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Wise Mind Open Mind
Ronald Alexander : Simple Techniques to Ignite Inner Creativity & Passion

Simple Techniques to Ignite Your Inner Creativity & Passion

(Adapted from Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss and Change by Ronald Alexander, PhD)

Most of us were taught that creativity comes from the thoughts and emotions of the mind. The greatest singers, dancers, painters, writers, and filmmakers recognize that the most original, and even transformative, ideas actually come from the core of our being, which is accessed through an "open-mind consciousness."

In ancient traditions, open-mind consciousness was considered to be a spiritual awakening, the great enlightenment that dissolves the darkness of confusion and fear, and ushers in peace, happiness, clarity, and contentment. Today the notion that there's one formulaic way to achieve this spiritual awakening and creative vibrancy has been blown apart. You don't have to run off to a monastery or practice meditation for thirty years before attaining a breakthrough. A few years ago, I had a client, named Sarah who'd completely given up on psychotherapy until a failed suicide attempt convinced her to try it one more time. I urged her to begin a mindfulness practice, and she agreed. After several months — not years, but months — she had an extremely powerful experience while meditating. As she described it, she felt a rush of light and energy infuse her body, and experienced an ineffable sense of the presence of the divine, the cosmos, and a collective consciousness. After this transcendent experience, Sarah who'd been overweight to an unhealthy degree, lost several pounds, became more engaged by her work and closer to her friends, and was no longer suicidal. It was a major turning point for her.

What Sarah described has been called not only "open-mind awareness" but also, in the West, a "peak experience," "being in the flow," or "being in the zone." I call it accessing your "core creativity," because I believe that deep inside every person lies this potential for connecting to a universal flow of knowledge and creativity that's boundless and expansive. Our individual thoughts and memories are a part of this greater, larger resource.

Just as an athlete who's in condition has the muscle tone to be able to spring into action instantly, someone who regularly accesses their core creativity becomes creatively toned. For this person, the faucet to this remarkable flow of inspiration opens up easily, naturally, and often, allowing spontaneous and dramatic breakthroughs. When you're creatively toned, instead of merely dipping your toe in the water and playing it safe, you're willing to be utterly daring. Knowing this, you can navigate through a sea of self-limiting thoughts and transform such unwholesome beliefs as "I had my chance and blew it," "It's too late; my time is over," "I'll never be happy again," and "I can't."

Here are 6 ways you can stimulate and tone your creativity from my book, Wise Mind, Open Mind.

Mindfulness Meditation Practice

One of the most effective ways to become creatively toned and start accessing core creativity is through a mindfulness meditation practice. Mindfulness allows us to listen and pay attention to what we might otherwise overlook — whether it's a fresh idea or a new way of perceiving a situation — enhancing our creativity and letting go of our obstacles to innovation. Many people are intimidated with the idea of meditating with excuses of not having the time or ability to quiet the mind. Really all you need is 5 to 20 minutes a day and there are many mediation CDs that can help guide you through the process. In fact my CD Mindful Meditations for Creative Transformation was created to specifically help one access their inner resources.

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