I often hear people say “I’m not creative”, however, I believe that we all have the capacity. Creative thinking is actually a form of logic our brain uses regularly.
“With creativity, the universe is that of a self-organising patterning system that makes assymetric patterns. Logic defines the rules of behaviour within this rather special universe.”One area where creativity can be beneficial is in personal development. Creative work requires focus, concentration and being able to make a series of decisions. Art can help to open up neural pathways in the brain that are engaged when you are uninhibited making it conducive to relaxation and further creativity. Having an outlet for self-expression can help to increase confidence and encourage calm assertive behaviour. Art, for example, is a safe medium to make a mistake and explore your mechanisms for dealing with mistakes. Often it can be quite an insightful journey.
– Edward de Bono
There are also many ‘real-world’ situations where a bit of creative thinking can make a big difference e.g. running a business, juggling many commitments, and even just getting the kids to bed on time, can all require creative solutions.
One of the main obstacles to creative expression is ego. It can be low self-esteem when you have no confidence and won’t take chances or it can be when you have established yourself behind a mask of perfection and there is a fear attached to anyone seeing you as less than that. Both scenarios can box you into a rigid form of thinking.
Further blocks can be caused by the limited and self-fabricating falsehoods we pin on ourselves as adults. “I can’t”, “I won’t”, “I never”...
Another major obstacle to creativity can be ‘adult behaviour’. As we get older we are conditioned to present ourselves to society in a certain way. This can create an aversion to play and fun as we begin to act rigidly and think ‘rationally’.
TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Allow space and time for play and exploration in your life. Children explore frequently. Often the box is favoured over the toy at Christmas because, unlike the toy with its set number of functions, the box represents infinite possibilities limited only by the imagination.
Become aware of when you are on autopilot. We all, at one point or another, reach unconscious competence in a variety of tasks and are no longer aware of the process. Become present and mindful and start to wonder about and question the world around you.
Distract the conscious mind so that the unconscious mind can be heard. Most of us have had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night with a great idea. This is because our noisy rational mind has gone to sleep and finally the unconscious creative mind speaks up. If you find yourself stuck in a problem and needing a creative solution, distract your mind with a completely different task and let the answer simply come to you. The brain is self-organising and given time it will formulate synchronicities that help you to find a creative solution.
Sinéad Lawless is a fully trained & registered reflexologist and artist based in Dublin.
Having worked in design and illustration for over 11 years, Sinéad is now combining these skills with her energy work to create workshops, that are not only practical in their approach, but help us to connect to and release the underlying energy that fuels and inspires the creator in each of us.
Sinéad will be running art & creativity workshops and courses in 2012.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or sign-up for our newsletter on the right.
59 Seconds - Prof. Richard Wiseman
Think! Before it's too late - Edward de Bono
The Art Instinct - Denis Dutton
The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron