Archives for Life circumstances
How can we be creative in our life, whether or not we choose to pursue a career in the arts? "Creative living is about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear." That is one of the main ideas in the teachings of Elizabeth Gilbert - one she addresses in her book on creativity: "Big Magic."
"I love the atmosphere at the mall - everything about Christmas." Actor, musician Drake Bell I don't like holidays. And I don't like crowds of people. I don't like noise." Writer, cartoonist Roz Chast Of course, there is no "season" for stress - but holidays can be more stressful and challenging, especially when we are highly sensitive. What are these seasons like for you? Do you feel overwhelmed more often? Here are some ideas of what you can do to take care of your health and emotional balance.
"A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity." Mary Garden (Scottish musician, via brainyquote.) As creative people, we may experience emotions very deeply and intensely, and feel at times we need to shut off or escape from some of them. But those feelings can also fuel creative work, as many artists know.
"Our body doesn't make a moral judgment about our feelings; it just responds accordingly." Doc Childre and Howard Martin in their book The HeartMath Solution. In addition to simply being more aware of how our body is responding to strong emotions, we can make use of biofeedback technology to deal with anxiety and stress.
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.
The host of the Psychotherapy 2.0 online training summit, Diane Poole Heller, PhD, notes: "We've brought together some of the most respected names in the field—visionaries such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Diana Fosha, Jack Kornfield, Gay and Katie Hendricks, Steven Hayes, and Richard Schwartz."
Depending on how we look at it, stress can both stimulate and disrupt creativity. Many artists may use stressful situations and emotional turmoil in their creative work, but stress and emotions such as anxiety can interfere with creative thinking. Musicians including John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and many others have created "break-up" songs.
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?
As a creative person, you may be especially sensitive and vulnerable to sensations and feelings. As a creative professional, your work may be one of the most deeply satisfying parts of your life, but can also be so physically and emotionally challenging that you suffer from anxiety and stress. Creativity coach, author and psychologist Eric Maisel writes about how the creative life can be an ongoing source of stress – if we interpret or frame it as such.
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.