meredith-gaston-portrait

CREATIVITY

Creativity is essential to life as a human being because it is an expression of our unique spirit. We are not just random bodies in space without meaning, we are one-off spirits having a rich and textural human experience. Nobody views the world exactly as we do because nobody shares our eyes. Each one of us has a one off kind of creativity, a one off imagination, and this is a gift. Using our creativity connects us with our higher selves. It is interesting that the word ‘inspiration’ derives from the latin for being literally ‘in spirit’. Our individual creativity is a natural expression of our inner thoughts and feelings. Our creativity celebrates the way we experience the world and our imaginations each day.

Plato expressed that ‘Life should be lived as play’. By this he was not trivialising life, he was declaring our need to see life as an adventure, like being in a playground. There is so much for us to explore and enjoy in our lives. The possibilities for learning new things and exploring our creativity are endless. When we take ourselves or life too seriously, we can forget this important truth. By loosing our sense of creative play we can accidentally become stressed and unhappy people. We can even become negative about ourselves, others, and life itself because we loose our essential creative sparkle – our wonder, our imagination. Our creativity makes us happy, and it is critical that we enjoy it constantly as a source of joy and healing.

By embracing our natural creativity, we are able to practise a priceless kind of therapy tailor made for ourselves. There is such a thing as art therapy, you have likely heard of it, but anyone that loves singing or dancing for example, will tell you there is singing therapy, dancing therapy and so on. We heal our worries and hurries when we become immersed in our creative space and slip into the ‘flow’. Being in flow can happen with numerous different activities – acting, writing, drawing…we can loose ourselves and transcend into a higher consciousness.

Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. At any opportunity, take time out to daydream, imagine, create and explore. See the world with curious eyes so that when you look around you, the beauty of a single flower, the scent of freshly cut grass, particular shapes of clouds in the sky or the stars emerging from the night will move you.When we  are moved by life, by any experience, conversation or moment, our creativity is stirred. We have all felt that feeling of being deeply moved – whether by a person, a place or a thing. You might like to take a moment to think about that precious feeling. In this way, we can see how inspiration is a head and heart experience – it is something sacred in daily life.

Mindfulness is a practise of being in the present moment and really be-ing present to life. Being ‘in flow’ and noticing details in our natural environment with a sense of appreciation are deeply creative practices that are available to us each day. Every person is born creative in a different way, and taking time to get to know and love you own creativity is a very precious commitment to yourself. Seeing yourself as a creative person and allowing your unique voice and nature to be expressed in this life will allow you to experience fulfilment, peace, and endless inspiration. You will never need to worry about a shortage of ideas or motivation when you actively choose to live mindfully. Tuning in with yourself in daily life simply by taking a few nice deep breaths, writing in your journal, taking a quiet walk alone or freely drawing, singing, dancing or simply pottering will recharge your creative self.

There is a great emphasis in this life on productivity and accomplishment. While having goals and dreams is essential, creativity is a timeless, joyous experience that is never hurried, is never critical, is never right or wrong, it just is. This is why creative time is so therapeutic. There is no right or wrong, there is simply free expression.

Some tell me they are not creative at all. They may love mathematics, sports or science rather than the obviously creative pursuits such as visual arts and design. They may feel worried every time they pick up a pencil that their drawings will not be perfect, or that others’ work may be better. As we’ve learned, there is absolutely no right or wrong in creativity, and there is of course no such thing as perfection. I always ask people who claim not to be creative being in daily life if they are good problem solvers. If they daydream or dream at night. If they use visualisations to imagine what their futures may look like, or if they love listening to music. The answer to these questions is usually yes – of course! Again – this is creativity at play. Creativity is a part of everything and everyone.

Thinking itself is a creative process. It’s not only that we use our creativity when we think, it is that we literally create our lives with our thoughts. We may not think about thinking in this way, but it is a life-changing realisation to explore this piece of wisdom. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said that our thoughts ‘create’ our worlds. He went on to tell us that we have the power to ‘choose’ our thoughts. Practising negative thoughts creates a lacklustre, disappointing life experience, just as practising positive thoughts creates positive, beneficial experiences no matter what. Only we can think the thoughts we think in our own minds, just like only we can see through our own two eyes! We are literally able to visualise and actively create absolutely wonderful lives for ourselves with the positive thoughts we choose to think. This is sometimes described as manifestation – or even positive affirmation. What we think, we become.

We are born to be creative, it is our natural instinct. The first peoples of our land, our Indigenous Australians, did not have a written recorded language. Stories were passed down from generation to generation through song, dance, art and story-telling. The sacred power of creativity allowed culture and tradition to be nurtured for many thousands of years. It is wonderful to take a moment to think about the richness of other cultures such as our ancient Egyptian, Greek and Chinese ancestors for instance, and all the inventions, the art, the dramas and folklore, the creative gifts they left us to enjoy and be inspired by.

It is absolutely essential that we respect our creativity in daily life and find our passions. When we live by our passions we are naturally happier people. We laugh, love, play and experience more. We deepen our appreciation for ourselves, each other, and all the joys of life. We simply live fully, and experience life in the present moment. In this way we are never short of inspiration or fresh ideas. We always find plenty of motivation for our projects and dreams, and we energise ourselves by enjoying the therapeutic benefits of creativity in daily life.

Do you have any comments you would like to share?
I look forward to your thoughts and ideas.