“When you begin to act on your creativity, what you find inside may be more valuable than what you produce for the external world.”
That quote from the book “Claiming Your Creative Self” by Eileen M. Clegg is a reminder that creativity is an exploration of our psyche, our inner selves; it isn’t just about being identified as an “artist” producing a “work of art.”
In “The Woman’s Book of Creativity” author C Diane Ealy, Ph.D. notes she’s been listening to women talk about their creative process for years. Her comments could of course also apply to us men.
“I am always amazed by how many of them describe wonderfully rich experiences with their creativity and then tell me they don’t see themselves as being creative!,” Ealy writes.
“These women dismiss, discount, and rob themselves of their most powerful aspect, the characteristic which defines who they uniquely are as individuals – their creativity.”
She wants her book to “help you validate your creative process.”
Creativity can show up in many aspects of our lives.
Author Riane Eisler noted in “Sacred Pleasure” that while this capacity for creativity varies from person to person, “it can be developed – or hindered… The creativity we invest in our day-to-day lives is often the most extraordinary since… it can give far more meaning, and even sanctity, to our lives.”
One of the keys to more fully accessing and using creativity is attitude.
“We lock ourselves into paradigms and box ourselves in,” notes Roko Sherry Chayat, abbot of the Syracuse Zen Center in New York. “Creativity comes when we view our situations in a fresh way.”
Jodie Foster (in an interview we did about her film “Contact”) said she appreciated the story’s interest in scientific creativity: “The greatest scientific discoveries were all made by young people, who were able to say ‘Well you know, damn it, two plus two equals five because why not?’ They are at that time in their lives where they want to risk.”
According to a number of researchers and writers, girls (and boys) often have had their creativity dismissed and those “free impulses” discouraged.
Dr. Ealy notes in her book that repressing creativity can lead a girl to “become very conforming, to lack confidence in her thinking, and to be overly dependent on others for decision-making… The adult who isn’t expressing her creativity is falling short of her potential.
“Inwardly she feels this, experiencing a vague sense of dissatisfaction intruding into everything she does.”
Do you ever have that kind of experience?
Creativity can flourish more when it is part of our whole being as a person, engaged in the flow of life, and not just as a “hobby” you do when you “get the time.”
C Diane Ealy. The Woman’s Book of Creativity
Also read my interview Riane Eisler on her book “The Power of Partnership”
> Image: The Artist’s Hand – by The odd Note