Creativity Isn't Just About Having Good Ideas : Page 2 of 3
Creativity Isn't Just About Having Good Ideas
I thought of this old story about the chalk because finally, almost 50 years later, I think I have more of a sense of what real creativity may be. It's not what I was told it was, not what I was made to feel inadequate about. It's not about being able to brainstorm 100 ways to fix a drain/bake a pie/change a lightbulb/mix your own paints, though creativity certainly may come into all that.
If we are the outcome of a creative universe in which we participate, in which we live and move and have our being, then surely we are heir to something within ourselves, which we can reach for, that goes beyond merely intellectual pyrotechnics.
To be creative is to listen inside. To be able to be inwardly directed, and follow what opens up, even if we don't know (a) that it will work, (b) where it will take us, or (c) whether we will even recognize ourselves as familiar, in the process. To be creative is to be an instrument for something that is both of us and beyond us-the whole that is greater than the sum of the parts, appearing in the part that is given to us.
Having good ideas is the surface level of creativity. Living with the creative attunement is the deeper reason, challenge, and joy.
There is such a difference between creating from the ego, and creating from the deeper Self. The ego may know a lot and have its cleverness; but often there is an insecurity underlying even the most impressive of accomplishments. In my own book-writing, and in working with my clients, it becomes so clear that the closer you get to your true heart, the more vulnerable you feel. Whether you can be present to that vulnerability without wanting to disguise it, hide it from others or yourself, or just close it down speaks to how hollowed out your instrument is becoming. Empty of self-images, we can receive the truth, beauty, healing, and surprises that can move through us from a deeper Source. When we are able and willing to lay down our need to know exactly what we are doing, and approach this open door with an open heart, something essential rises up from within us to meet it. That something essential moves us, speaks through us, loves us into expression. We become the reeds that can carry the music played by the Beloved. Which may be our deepest longing, after all.
How can we move into this true creativity, without feeling like we are being examined, graded, tested for how well we are doing? What is this creative field that we are part of, which asks us from inside (no demanding teachers at the front of the room) to make room for something that seeks to tell itself to us?
I have heard some people confess, "I'm just not creative." But this isn't possible. This error must have to do with some sense of being graded, or with the thought that you have to come up with 1000 great ideas. Anyone can learn to slow down and listen inside, if they wish to: listen for what calls them, what draws them to it, and what their own true internal response may be.
I often find myself recalling a saying of Jesus: "If you bring forth what is with in you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." Learning how to listen it forth, evoke it from your heart, and be present in frequent wonder to its unfoldment has proven to me ~ as a book developer and as a writer, both ~ that when you bring forth what is in you, what is in you does indeed "save" you, and opens you to the magnificence of what lies inside.
As a writer, I used to think that what I needed to do was have everything basically worked out ahead of time, and then sit down and carry out that template. When I couldn't do that, I concluded that despite my growing up in a family of writers and going to a high school for artists, I had no innate artistic talent and should just give it up.
And I guess that would have worked, except for some yearning inside me that I could not box up and bury underground, forever ~ a yearning to make something meaningful and beautiful out of what I knew and even what I didn't yet know ~ to find something that "had my name on it," which would allow me to recognize my true nature.