Archives for Consciousness
As musician Alanis Morissette points out, “We’re taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me they’re of equal value as happiness, excitement and inspiration.” The image is the character 'Sadness' in the wonderful movie Inside Out, which portrays how we can make positive use of all our emotions.
Does Daydreaming Encourage Creative Thinking? There are many reports on the value of mind wandering to encourage creative thinking. But is daydreaming always helpful to be more creative?
"Writing is a path of profound self-awareness." Mark Matousek How can writing help us learn more about who we are, and release more creativity? One answer is writing can be a powerful tool for accessing our shadow self. “Creativity always requires taking a chance on one’s self meeting one’s unconscious, or shadow..."
Many creative people may find solitude unappealing, even threatening. But it can help us engage with our shadow self and reveal creative ideas. Lena Dunham, actress, writer, producer, and director of the HBO series "Girls", comments about solitude:
How can meditation help us be more creative? Can biofeedback technology help us meditate more effectively? In their book on creativity research, Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire make a number of references to meditation and creativity. For example, they note: "Steve Jobs has even said that meditation — which he studied with Zen master Shunryū Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind — was the main source of his creativity."
Creativity is one of the most joyful and meaningful parts of being alive. And for many people, creative expression is not so much a choice as a spiritual necessity. But creative work can be emotionally challenging and stressful, and we need to renew and reboot to keep pursuing excellence.
"Creative resistance is essentially anything and everything that prevents us from starting, developing or completing our creative projects." Julia McCutchen As a creative person, you have a passion to use creative thinking and explore creative ideas, to express yourself through some form of creative work in the arts, or science, business, cooking - any number of engaging ways to use your talents and passions. So what might stand in our way?
What emotions and thinking may hold us back from being more creative? The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence article "Creativity, Emotions and the Arts" quoted in Part 2 talks about students holding back from being creative out of concerns "that people might think original ideas are silly" - but this kind of retreating from creative work can apply to us at any age. An example might be Joss Whedon - one of my favorite artists, who has credits as actor, writer, producer and director of movies and TV shows including Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. etc etc.
“When we’re sensitive to other people’s emotions and struggles, holidays bring extra challenges." Carol Burbank, Ph.D. continues: "Winter celebrations bring their own craziness, the joy/grief cycle of memory, reunions and rituals that touch everyone to the core. “Just riding our own rollercoaster is enough! But when we are empathic, we sense everyone else’s wild ride, too!"
In his book “Literature and the Brain,” Professor Norman N. Holland details how we may respond so deeply in both creating and experiencing literature – novels, plays, poems, tv and movies – and the neuropsychology underlying our often intense engagement with stories and characters. Holland comments on one primal story that so many of us enjoy: