The art of creativity

When the creative spirit stirs, it animates a style of being:

A lifetime filled with the desire to innovate, to explore new ways of doing things to bring dreams of reality. D. Goleman and P.Kaufman, 1992 In their book, The Creative Spirit, Goleman and Kaufman say that our lives can be filled with creative moments as long as we’re flexible and open to new possibilities and are willing to push beyond routine. Research has shown that most of us are capable of tapping into our creative spirit – especially when we consider the broader meaning behind ‘creativity. While it can mean coming up with a regular supply of good ideas, being of a creative mindset also brings about a heightened awareness of people and the world around us which leads to improved collaboration and communication with others.

Some of us may even be intimidated by the word ‘treativity’

And only think of people such as Einstein or Da Vinci as worthy of wearing the Creativity’ label. Ultimately this thinking limits the possibilities of embracing creativity as a way of thinking Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist at Harvard* believes that each one of us has a special interest and it’s when we ‘tweak’ the edges of this by going beyond what’s routine and conventional that an inner spark of creativity is lit that gives enormous pleasure. It’s about attention’ to the little things and in so doing trusting your instincts to see the unique differences available to anyone who takes time to ‘see’ using a mindful perspective.

When we see with fresh eyes

we engage an innate sense of curiosity and begin asking more questions and being more open to possibilities. Rs when we do this without fear
of the wrong question’ that we take more risks with our learning and begin observing in a more open way. Essentially it’s in the amount of ideas, attempts to try out something new and the
willingness to ‘fail’ without ‘falling that the chance of good ideas arising improves. When this happens we have more opportunities to translate and transform creativity into something that’s practical or simply beautiful to view.

Without adding the essential ingredients of fun and play’ though – we can easily become ‘bogged down’ and lose contact with the spontaneity of freshness and originality.
Humor, relaxation and letting go’ are like self-raising flour, eggs and milk to a perfect cake – they’re the ingredients that let our creativity rise to the surface and bubble forth
new perspectives. Playfulness is a creative state that allows us to feel that were in the right state of mind feeling a harmony between our thoughts and actions that can feel
effortless.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced ‘chick-sent-me-high)

professor of psychology and education at the University of Chicago, calls this state ‘flow’ – when we’re at our peak in any activity. It’s a state where our skills perfectly match the demands of the moment so that all self-consciousness disappears. It?s when we feel doubt about our skills that anxiety is triggered; at the opposite end is boredom for those times are greater than the task at hand and requires little from us. It’s during these moments that time seems to stand still and hours pass effortlessly and usually without notice. This state is similar to when we are mindfully absorbed in our work or our creative pursuits. Our mind is focused and wayward thoughts to distract us are absent.

We are more open to insights from the unconscious mind when we are not thinking of anything in particular.

That is why daydreams are so useful in the quest for creativity.
Anytime you can just daydream and relax is useful in the creative process: a shower, long drives, a quiet walk. Immersion and daydreaming can lead to illumination, when suddenly the answer comes as if from nowhere. This is the popular stage — the one that usually gets all the glory and attention, the moment that people sweat and long for, the feeling “*this is it!” But the thought alone is still not a creative act. The final stage is translation, when you take your insight and transform it into action – then it becomes useful to you and others.

Source. Schooñpfmodernpsychology.com.au / Painting : Cy Twombly at Centre Pompidou Paris /  Photo: Desree Paris

 

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