The theme of creativity has been swirling around in my awareness for several months now. It started as a question which kept popping up: “Where did my creativity go?”.
I had been feeling frustrated at not finding the time to do creative things. And then I realised: it flows through many aspects of my life every day, and it’s part of who I am. It was the connection with it that I was not quite ‘getting’ for a while.
If a word resonates with you, it can be interesting to look up the dictionary. Dictionary.com defines creativity as:
“1. the state or quality of being creative.
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination
3. the process by which one utilises creative ability”
And when I looked up ‘creative’ I found words like “quality”, “power”, “originality”, “expression”, “imaginative”.
I believe that creativity can be a way of living as well as a state of being in-the-moment, creating something. This has blossomed in the last 4 days on a workshop with Stephen Gilligan PhD, a psychologist and psychotherapist who studied with Milton Erickson (among others), and is an expert in hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and generative trance as ways to access the unconscious mind and generate solutions.
From the start of the programme we were learning how to deeply connect with our centre, dropping awareness into the body (the 'somatic mind') to learn in ways that are “before and beyond words”.
We experienced creativity as a conversation between opposites, things like happiness and sadness, courage and fear, stay or go. When we can acknowledge and welcome both we enter a place of generativity where new learning and solutions can emerge.
Stephen described creative living in terms of asking and holding a question, rather than seeking or striving to find an answer, putting the mind into a deeper place (somatically) and not over-thinking in your head.
It was fascinating learning about principles of Aikido, a Japanese martial art which roughly translates as ‘harmonising with life force’, in a way that goes with the flow of what’s happening. Some of the Japanese characters for each part were familiar, from my interest in Reiki and Ikigai.
“How you deal with the chasm between how you’re being [in any moment] and how you want to be [ideally] is one of the most significant aspects of how you can live creatively and maintain wellbeing.
Learn to come back without drama or punishment.”
Stephen Gilligan, PhD
Today, back in my day-to-day life, there is a quality and resonance to my experiences that I am committed to staying connected with. Now that this way of connecting with creativity has fully opened up in my awareness, I believe it will be significant going forward.
And I’d love to share it with you. Whether you think you are creative or not, I believe you can connect with it in your own way.
Tune in to the meditation I’ll be posting in the next couple of days which is a taster of what we’ll be covering at a workshop in Edinburgh on Saturday 3rd March. I’m happy to chat to you about it if it interests you and you would like to know how it can benefit you.