Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Defining Creativity

I didn't get around to posting this last Friday, but here is my take on the latest chapter of The Joy Diet, which I'm reading together with a bunch of other book bloggers at The Next Chapter.

This one is all about Creativity and I got a lot out of it, a surprising amount really since I think I spend a lot of time and energy on creativity as an artist.

I was really impressed first of all with author Martha Beck's definition of creativity or as she puts it: The Act Of Creation : the process of realizing - making real - events, objects, or relationships that originally exist only in our imaginations. This is a really new and more inclusive way of looking at creativity for me, instead of just limiting it to what I'm doing over in my studio, but in the whole rest of my life, (a lot of which of course affects what's going on in the studio.)

But this is crucial, especially if we take to heart one of the main message of this chapter that you are always responsible for creating your life whether you like it or not. Owning up to the fact that I am inherently and completely creative day to day, minute by minute, decision to decision is both inherently empowering and very scary too. It is very easy to forget this, and just bumble along from thing to thing without ever really taking this responsibility on and working out how I feel about it.

What is that lesson that Spiderman has to learn over and over again? "With great power, comes great responsibility", well Spidey, I'm right there with you in having to learn,re-learn and learn again this ultimate truth.

The part of this chapter that really helped me turn around my thinking that I'm helpless and ineffective in changing anything, or making better decisions was the exercise of challenging and changing your dichotomous thinking. Either/Or, Black/White, One Thing or The Other.
I'll write the exercise out here so you can try it, just fill in the blanks, and I bet you'll be amazed:

My Dichotomous Life
I can either be ____ or _____.
I can either have ______ or ______.

I can either do _______ or _______.

***now using the exact same things you've written above, fill this out:

My Creative Life
I intend to be both _____ and ______.

I intend to have both _____ and _______.

I intend to do both ________ and _______.

See, it is just that easy to figure this out, both things are going to happen, so start out with the intention that yes indeedy, both are going to occur, then you don't have to fight yourself about the "bad" one happening!
That's amazing to me, it was such a d'oh moment. I hope it is useful to you too!


jovaliquilts said...

The creative life statements remind me of my sister who at age 5 was in line to get ice cream. Everyone ahead of her was saying they'd take half vanilla, half chocolate, but when it came her turn, she said, "I'll have whole and whole!"

Laume said...

It is a very "doh" moment. Something I know I've thought of in passing before but you're right - stopping and paying attention to intention in EVERYTHING we do - of course!

Lisa @sacred circle said...

What wonderful awareness of a concept that you have visited in the past but really rung home for you now. I guess insights show up when we need them the most...

I love this... "Owning up to the fact that I am inherently and completely creative day to day, minute by minute, decision to decision is both inherently empowering and very scary too." What a powerful and rich statement... and so true!