Archives for December, 2010
The title comes from an article by entrepreneur and coach (and sometime performer) Suzanne Falter-Barns, who quotes what Deepak Chopra said in a lecture she attended: "Creativity is ultimately sexual - I'm sorry -- but it is!" Other people agree. Writer Eve Ensler has commented that she believes “sexuality is the greatest gift we’ve been given. "Its energy is the basis of creativity, love, ambition, desire, life. Sexuality has gotten all these bad raps because it’s so powerful.”
Einstein was expelled from school for “undermining the authority of his teachers and being a disruptive influence.” "Montessori taught me the joy of discovery...It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you." Game designer Will Wright In her article Accessing Genius, creativity coach Sharon Good declares, "It has become clear to us that much of our genius is squashed at an early age. School curriculums are standardized in the interest of conformity and control and rarely address diverse talents and learning styles." Sir Ken Robinson "argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences.
Author Philip Pullman notes that he has "published nearly twenty books, mostly of the sort that are read by children." But we adults can certainly enjoy the richness of his stories - one of them was made into a favorite movie of mine: The Golden Compass. In a Q&A interview on his site, he also addresses a number of questions about his life and work as a writer - giving perspectives that can be meaningful to any creative person. Were you encouraged to be creative? No, I was ignored. When anyone took any notice it was to point out what a twit I was, and laugh at me. This was the best possible preparation for the life of a novelist.
Actor and singer Idina Menzel has performed on stage as Elphaba in 'Wicked' and in many movies and TV series, including "Glee." Like many other talented performers, she feels she was "born to do this" and started working professionally in her teens, doing weddings and other things in high school, "while everyone else was having keg parties. "I just felt destined to do it and really committed and driven; it was something that just felt right all my life." She has been singing "since she was born" and does it "everywhere I go. In the shower, walking down the street. I don't need any impetus to do it. I just sing." [Quotes from imdb.com] She commented in an interview about what her character Elphaba meant, especially in terms of the courage to be yourself:
Over the years of reading biographies and interviews with many highly talented and creative people, it has often struck me how many of them talk about being self-critical and having poor self-esteem. For example, writer Larry Kane commented about his bio Lennon Revealed: “People would be surprised at how insecure John Lennon was, and his lack of self esteem. Throughout his life, even during the height of Beatle mania, he had poor self esteem, even though he exuded confidence.”
Our quality of consciousness - including attitudes such as perfectionism and self-criticism - can have a deep impact on creative energy and expression. A number of therapists and others think hypnosis can help creative people improve thinking and awareness. In his article Writers Thrive On Anxiety, hypno-psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Knight declares that hypnosis can help writers in a number of ways – and be helpful for other creative people as well, of course. He says it helps “first, in lowering anxiety, second, in dealing with our own negative self-talk, third, in providing motivation to stop procrastinating, fourth, in building self-confidence (hypnotherapy is excellent in that regard), fifth, in releasing the creative power of the subconscious.”
Research and historical studies show there are high rates of bipolar disorder among people in the arts, including visual artists, musicians, poets and writers. "We don't know why this is the case, but there may be something about the gene for creativity that runs not only in those types of professions but in bipolar as well," said Dr. Lori Altshuler of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program. From the article: Bipolar Explorer, by Hilary MacGregor - which also quotes former entertainment lawyer Terri Cheney about her book Manic: A Memoir - the source of the image here. In her Psych Central article The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Creativity, Jane Collingwood notes an Oregon State University study that "looked at the occupational status of a large group of typical patients and found that 'those with bipolar illness appear to be disproportionately concentrated in the most creative occupational category.' They also found that the likelihood of 'engaging in creative activities on the job' is significantly higher for bipolar than nonbipolar workers."
Creative expression involves our whole being, so taking care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually and physically is part of being a healthy and thriving creative person. Musician Henry Rollins commented about being a performer and staying healthy while doing road tours with his Rollins Band: “Eating well is becoming easier on the road as more places are health conscious. Gyms are easy to find anywhere there’s electricity and traffic." But, he added, “Time is the hard part. I do my best and I learned a long time ago that without recuperative sleep, good nutrition and constant exercise, this high stress lifestyle of traveling, etc., quickly takes a toll. "And how do I do it? I just see it as a very important thing and make sure I get it done.”