Friday, 14 July 2017

Created to Be.

All children are artists.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. 
-Pablo Picasso

Today I want to talk about something which is very close to my heart.  Creativity.  The dictionary in short describes it as "the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work", and although I do not disagree, creativity is so much more than that.

In the past creativity was a topic which was seldom discussed.  People paid little attention to it, as linear thinking was seen to be of greater importance.  Logical thinking was encouraged and schools focused on developing mathematical skills and teaching students to understand the natural order of everything in life.  Creativity was neatly labeled and put into a box, to be taken out once or twice a week during the art class.  Even then students were taught about doing art in a certain way. After all, ducks were yellow and trees green, and that was that.  The result was that many generations grew up believing that creativity belonged to a very small, select and ultimately weird group of people.  They accepted the label which had been given to them by their parents, teachers or society:
"You are not creative."

Today this idea of creativity belonging to only an eclectic group has changed.  More and more people are acknowledging their own creativity.  Unfortunately, far too many people still believe that they are not at all creative.  The truth, however, is that everybody is born creative.  It is a part of our DNA.  We are the creations of a Devine Creative Being, thus, since we have been created in His image, it just stands to reason that we, too, must be creative.  Yet, most of us grow up believing that we are not creative.  It is a lie we have been conditioned to believe and we hold onto it despite our souls screaming out against it.

Another fallacy we so readily believe is that creativity equals fame.  People believe that only those people who receive awards or accolades are really creative.  This is absolutely not true.  No trophy, diploma or certificate can make you creative. You are not an artist because your paintings sell for millions of dollars, you are not a writer because you are on the bestseller list.  You are an artist, a sculptor or a creative genius because you are answering the call of your soul.  It is what you do.  You do not need an award to validate your creativity.

So what is creativity?  First of all, I believe that creativity is not something external.  It comes from deep inside of us.  It is like a pearl nestled within an oyster at the bottom of the sea.  Creativity is not confined to any particular object, concept or activity.  We confine it to certain activities like painting, singing or dancing, but in reality, creativity does not exclusively belong to those activities.  Creativity is part of our psyche and it is found all around us and in every area of life.  We do not need to be painters or sculptors to be creative.  We do not need paint or clay. We can be creative scientists or creative stay-at-home mothers.  We can be creative security guards or salespersons.  The way you wear your clothes, that dash of flair or the way you turn ordinary food into culinary delights all testify about the creative master within you.  Creativity is the ability of thinking outside the box, beyond the pre-conceived borders and to find new ways to solve problems.  Creativity is not only coming up with original ideas, but also to take a fresh look at existing ideas and expanding it into new directions.

One of the main reasons we feel that we are not creative is that we have been conditioned into believing we are not.  As a result we have buried our creativity beneath layers of doubt, negative self-talk and excuses.  When it comes to doing anything creative we always push it to the back of the queue, to be done once we have some spare time.  The question now is, can we revive our creativity or is it lost forever?  Great news!  Creativity might get stifled, but it never dies.  It is right there within your soul just waiting to be discovered.

How can we then develop our creative abilities?

First of all, we need to have an open mind.  When we remove our blinkers and open our thoughts, we prepare our minds to receive creative ideas.  In this open minded state we give our imaginations free range and we open ourselves up to inspiration.  Imagination and inspiration is a powerful combination in our creativity arsenal.

Next, we also need to be fearless.  So often we are afraid of failing that we never even start.  It is this fear which hampers us from developing and living out our creativity.  Fear is a self-made barrier between our ego and our creative self.  Fear chains us to the ground, making it impossible for us to take flight.  In order to pursue our creativity we have to be prepared to take risks.

We have to learn to listen to our intuition.  Our intuition is our strongest link to our creative voice.  Steve Jobs said that intuition is more powerful than intellect, yet we often discard our intuition as just a silly notion.  Intuition is that gut feeling we get about something or someone.  It is closely linked to inspiration.  Intuition can help us choose the direction in which to develop our creativity and it can guide our decisions.  However, we need to tune in to our intuition.

We have to give ourselves permission to daydream.  Daydreaming brings us in touch with our subconscious minds.  It is while daydreaming that we often come up with new ideas or fresh solutions to old problems.  It allows us to momentarily step away from the reality and opens up our minds to be more receptive.  Daydreaming helps us to release our imaginations.

We also need to develop our curiosity.  We need to become interested in the world around us.  We have to learn as much as possible, and go with wide open eyes through life.  Explore new ideas, new cultures and be prepared to take on new adventures.

Finally, remember, you are a creative being.  Believe it, live it.  Give heed to the call of creativity.  Create, don't wait for it, but do it for the sake of creating, not as a means to riches or fame, chances are that you will be disappointed.  Yet when we create because we are obedient to the voice within, any fame or fortune which comes our way as a result is a pleasant bonus.

Go on, be stunning!!!

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