Do not Limit Your Creativity


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by Michelle Casto

Julia Cameron once said, "Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity." And it is true. You will become more divine as you become more creative.

Creativity is loving what you do no matter how menial or small the task. You find intrinsic value in the act---such as gardening, painting, or cooking. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach to how you look at things.

Being creative is not limited to activities traditionally thought of as "creative," such as painting, writing, composing, or dancing. Everyone can be creative, even when doing simple chores. Do not limit yourself and narrowly define creativity, as I did for a very long time.

I can remember back to the first grade when I drew a picture of the sky and colored it purple. I was very proud of my landscape. To me, it was beautiful and perfect, but the teacher criticized me in front of the class, saying, "The sky is not purple, it is blue." I was devastated. I could not understand what was wrong with my sky; or for that matter, what was wrong with me.

From that day on, I never thought of myself as "creative." It has only been during the past few years that I have realized I am very creative, in the way I write, the way I think, the way I am! Whether or not we consider ourselves artists, we are all in the business of creating our lives.

Each of us is here to contribute something unique, yet most of us aren't sure what that "something" is. We would like life to be more beautiful, but don't think there is anything we can do. Yet, a simple creative act enhances the beauty of the world.

Just think about how you feel when you see an architecturally beautiful skyscraper, or colorful downtown mural, or exquisitely cared for garden. Each of these works is a work of creativity, a work of art. Creative work can help us to heal our planet and our souls.

The reality is that we are born creators. Just to be is to be creative. But to make the conscious choice to act on your ideas and thoughts is truly powerful. You have only to watch children, especially at play, to see the creative force in its purest, most exuberant form. But along the way, we squelch their imagination. We teach them that there is "right" and "wrong" way to do things. We also instill in them that other people are the authority-that they can't trust themselves. Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more powerful than knowledge." But in our society, we promote the collection of knowledge instead of the expansion of our imaginations.

Creativity is associated with a kind of intelligence--- the ability to take notice and act upon the nuances of nature. An artist has his eyes, ears, nose, heart, and mind wide open---this heightened awareness enables them to tune in to their thought patterns, which guides their work.

The first step to unleashing your creativity is to start the process. For example, if you want to become a writer, you will not succeed until you start writing. Putting pen to paper is the first step in the creative process. Now, what you write first may not be the final draft, (believe me, it won't!) but it is a vital component to unleashing the creator within.

If you are having difficulty coming up with ideas, instead of trying to force them, relax. Slow down and allow your inner self to give you guidance. And it is very, very important not to judge yourself for not getting it "right" or perfect, because that will definitely dampen your creative spirit.

The creative process

Creativity is a process of unfoldment, leading you to the next stage, in that each thing you do leads you to a deeper level of understanding, emotion, and thought. The Get Smart! creativity process involve the use of both sides of the brain, the analytical side and the artistic side.

The first stage occurs in the right-brain---insight, where you have a flash, a hunch or intuition about an idea.

The second stage occurs in the left-brain---reflection, where you analyze the idea.

The third stage occurs in the right-brain---imagination, where you generate ideas about the original idea.

The fourth stage occurs in the left-brain---evaluation, where you analyze the feasibility of all the ideas generated.

The Four Roles of the creative process, according to Roger von Oech, author of A Kick in the Seat of the Pants:

The Explorer: Searches for materials with which to make new ideas. (He breaks his routine and gets out there to explore).

The Artist: Takes the materials and transforms them into original ideas. (She imagines and reflects about the idea).

The Judge: Takes on the evaluative role, and decides what to do with the idea: implement it, modify it, or discard it. (He considers what the idea is trying to do and sees the possibilities).

The Warrior: Takes action on the idea. (She prepares for criticism and gets back up when knocked down).

What creative role are you playing? How can you move to the next level/stage in the creative process?

Suggestions for Further Reading

Author:Michelle Casto is a Whole Life Coach, Speaker, and Author of the Get Smart! LearningBook Series: Get Smart! About Modern Romantic Relationships and Get Smart! about Modern Career Development She holds a Master of Education degree and is a certified career development and customer service instructor. Her coaching practice is Brightlight Coaching, she empowers people to freely shine their bright light to the world. Free 30 minute coaching consultation. Michelle Casto may be contacted at [email protected]

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