The Power of Your Creativity

The things you were instinctively drawn to when you were young are often forgotten over the years, but can unlock the key to your creativity, providing useful insight into your natural gifts, talents, and the things that really make your heart sing.

As children we instinctively knew how to be creative. We explored our creativity through play. Despite being born to indulge in being creative, as we grew up we gradually became accustomed to more ‘adult’ ways of doing things and began to forget how much fun it can be to do things for the sake of it, for the sake of having fun! Much of this is because we stopped being encouraged to take risks.

Creativity is a celebration of one’s grandeur, one’s sense of making anything possible.  Creativity is a celebration of life – my celebration of life.  It is a bold statement:  I am here!  I love life! I can be anything! I can do anything! – Joseph Zinker

Creativity is an act of bravery, because in creating something we risk ridicule and failure. So, as we move from child to teenager and teenager to adult we learn to play it safe and conform within boundaries. Most of us do this to help us ‘fit in’, to gain acceptance and to meet expectations of others.

What do you remember enjoying as a child?

Perhaps painting pictures, playing with your dog, building lego fortresses, dressing up as a fairy princess or jumping around on a pogo stick? What happened to the child who once dared to create, who found joy and fulfillment through painting and modeling, sculpting and singing, dancing and acting, playing in the sand and making music with instruments?

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  – Pablo Picasso

If you can rediscover the artist within, you can redesign your life and learn to live a life you love! That is the power of creativity…

Start remembering your sense of play, today in three simple steps:

Step 1 – Doodle

Playing is the most creative human state. If we want to return to the state of creativity that children have naturally, we have to remember how to play. Want to give it a try? Pick up the nearest pen or pencil to you and find a scrap of paper. Allow yourself to doodle, turn the doodles into drawings of people or objects…. have fun with it… perhaps that circle will turn into a hairy monster, or is it a spider? That square might become a house for a gnome to live in…. notice if a story begins to form, perhaps a dialogue between characters you are creating, or a description of the scene that’s starting to take shape on the page. Lose yourself in your imagination for a few minutes, then come back to read on!

How’d you get on?

Step 2 – Turn Superhero/ heroine

Ok, this time get up from your desk – if there’s no-one around or you don’t feel inhibited, imagine you’ve just been transformed into your favourite super hero/heroine – that’s it, off out of your seat! Time to fly around the room, take a few minutes and allow yourself to fully get into role, look around as you go to see if there’s anyone needing rescuing as you swoop by! Relax into your body and notice how energy levels increase as you move your arms and legs, leaping around the room, pretending you’re soaring above the buildings and trees, feeling like the strongest, fastest, most heroic man/woman on the planet.

What we play is life. – Louis Armstrong

Got your breath back? Ok! Well those were just a couple of exercises to warm you up. If you were too shy to try the second one because you’re at work or in company – give it a go the first opportunity you get on your own! You might be surprised at how much fun you’ll have.

While we play, we stay present in the moment and switch off about concerns about the past or future. Our conscious mind switches off allowing the sub-conscious mind to be highly productive. So, when you are facing a big decision or problem to solve, or you have a project you are working on that needs a burst of creativity to bring it to life – one of the best things you can do is play! Yep! Staring at the page forcing things to happen won’t work. But, getting up out of your seat and having a bit of fun is scientifically proven to get the creative juices flowing again. Just a few moments engaging in your instinctive state of play is enough to occupy your conscious mind and free up the innovative thoughts of your unconscious…. the genius within!

When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters however… the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within. – Sigmund Freud

Step 3 – List What You Love

People who love their jobs are often employed knowingly or unknowingly in doing something that indulges their true talents. They are therefore doing work they love and love doing it! Accessing their natural creativity every day, they are literally doing the work they were born to do. I believe that this is something obtainable for everyone. The trick is remembering the things you love to do, and combining your inner passions with the skills and experience you’ve acquired so far in life, so that you can funnel all your talents into a career that connects you with your creativity.

If you’re wanting to take things a few steps further and would like to discover what your hidden creative talents might be and how they might link to the work you were born to do, try making a list now of all the things you loved as a child and what it was that you particularly enjoyed about them (if you struggle to remember, try asking a parent, sibling or friend what comes to mind when they think of you as a child) – e.g.:

  • Horse riding, connecting with animals, freedom, thrill of speed
  • Playing at beach, feeling of sand between toes, joy of getting messy
  • Collecting stamps, excitement of new addition, enjoyment seeing pictures from far away places

Next list the things you loved as a teenager, and what you especially enjoyed about them – e.g.:

  • Shopping with friends, freedom,excitement
  • Part-time job pet-sitting, love of animals, earning own money…

Finally list the things you loved in your early 20s and what you enjoyed the most about each thing e.g.:

  • Traveling to other countries/ experiencing other cultures and cuisines
  • Jet-skiing/ thrill of speed, being outdoors

Look over your lists and see what themes emerge – for example:

  • a love of being with animals
  • exploring new places
  • water lover

Creativity is the life force itself. – Shaun McNiff

These themes are clues about the things you have a natural ability for, they indicate what brings you pleasure and things you are drawn to. The themes running through your life and any links you can see between them can open up a window to your creativity and to what your dream career might be. Begin to notice your urges and the longings you have deep down to experience things you’ve always wanted to do. These are signs of your soul expressing desires in alignment with your natural creative gifts and provide symbols of ways to best express and explore your true nature, your inner self.

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best. – Henry Van Dyke

Turning what you love into work you love might not be something you feel ready to do yet, but do take little steps forward and start exploring your creativity. You’ll experience more energy, have more day to day fun and come up with more ideas to help you solve problems and move projects forward.

Creativity is harnessing universality and making it flow through your eyes. – Peter Koestenbaum

Think of ways you might be able to reintroduce and indulge in some of the things you wrote in your Step 3 lists in your everyday life: do simple things like skipping along the pavement when nobody is looking, doodle silly pictures at your desk, pretend to be a monkey when you visit the loo, make a silly face at yourself when you’re putting on your make up/styling your hair.

Save something extra fun up for the weekend that really allows you to play – head off to a theme park for the day with your partner, friends or kids, go to a water park and chase each other around the rapids, experiment with decorating a cake, buy some paints and have fun getting messy creating your very own masterpiece, get pots and pans out the cupboard and make your own drum set. Let your imagination run wild!

Whatever you chose to experiment with creatively, you will find an intelligent force working in every situation. If you trust it and follow its natural movement you will likely be amazed by the ability you will find from within you to move through problems and find creative use for mistakes and failures.

Experience the power of your creativity today, indulge in your talents, have fun with your passions – because you were born to!

We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves – Julia Cameron

Here are some books I recommend if you fancy some further reading on the subject:

The Artists Way, Julia Cameron (1995)
Art Heals – How Creativity Cures The Soul, Shaun McNiff (2004)
Trust The Process – An Artists Guide To Letting Go (1998)
Creativity – Get inspired, create ideas and make them happen now!Jurgen Wolff (2009)
What Colour Is Your Parachute? Richard Nelson Bolles (2010)

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