“Even if we don’t have the good fortune to discover a new chemical element or write a great story, the love of the creative process for its own sake is available to all” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
Many people believe that they are not creative or mistake ‘creativity’ for ‘artistic ability’. Whilst they have commonalities they are not synonymous. Art is an interpretive and symbolic expression of your perspective on a particular subject. Creativity is more about shifting your perspective to look at a given subject in a new light.
As a coach I use a number of creative techniques such as: getting clients to draw a picture which envisions the future, using colours to depict moods, asking clients to tell their story, using metaphors, visualisation, imagery, role play….
Our left side of the brain does all the analytical, logical, and linear thinking. The right side comes into play when you are engaged in creating, making connections, or expressing emotions. We tend to use our left brain more than the right in adulthood? Why is that?
Can you remember back to your childhood days? Creativity and fun were abundant then. Think back to role playing (cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, doctors and nurses), making shapes and castles in the sandpit, making models out of play dough and plasticine, playing on the swings, climbing, tag…And the endless curiosity, such as picking up bugs, poking at worms, asking lots of questions, like ‘why is the sky blue’?
As children go to school they learn what is set in the curriculum and to pass exams. What happened to inquiry, self discovery, experiential learning ……now I have gone off on a tangent !
Back to creativity …when you the last time you did something fun and creative? Built a snowman, had a snow ball fight, went sledging, wondered why buses are painted yellow or red….?
Here is my travelling nativity set that I made out of clay at my local pottery studio in Shipley. It all sits in a shoe box and travels round to people’s houses over the Christmas period. It’s not a work of art, the children love it and the adults smile at the crude figures!
You don’t need to be an adult with children or have permission to do any of the above! So how can you reclaim your creativity?
Here are my top 5 tips:
- Do nothing – just Be! In the words of Immanuel Kant “to be is to do”. It is simple, effective, clears and declutters the mind from the huge amount of information that it is bombarded with on a daily basis. Take 10 minutes time out each day to sit and stare into space blankly, watch the sky, dream, listen to the silence / your breathing. If you are able to; go outside, look up at the sky, marvel at what’s out there, listen to the birds
- Do something different at least once a week. Most of the time we operate on auto pilot so do something different to break that pattern. Perhaps try something new for lunch/ dinner, take a different route home, walk down a different street, watch something else on TV, read a book that you would never dream of reading….
- Be inquiring and curious and see the world around you with new eyes. Imagine that you are a tourist…. look up, look around, see things that you never take the time to see. As ‘what if’ questions and you will be amazed at what answers you get. ‘What if’ the lamp-post could talk – what stories would it tell?
- Unleash the child within. It’s been struggling to get out for a long time to have fun! Find a puddle to jump up and down in, rolled down a hill with your friends, chase butterflies, play on the swing, make something…
- Find new perspectives – strike up a conversation with someone who you don’t know that well and listen to their perspective and get an insight into their world.
Engage in any of the above regularly and you will soon notice a rise in your creativity, personal development and self growth
If you have other tips to add to the above, I would be delighted to hear from you. And if you try anyone of my tips, please do let me know how you get on.