Simple Techniques to Ignite Creativity & Passion : Page 2 of 2
Simple Techniques to Ignite Your Inner Creativity & Passion
By Ronald Alexander
Dabbling in the Arts
Our culture's overemphasis on fame and great success often turns people away from their creative inclinations, because they feel that if they can't reach a professional goal with their writing, singing, or painting endeavors, they shouldn't bother. What they don't realize is that simply dabbling in the fine arts, with no specific goals or intentions, awakens our ability to approach life with greater openness and curiosity. In the same way that mindfulness practice jogs the areas of the brain associated with well-being, optimism, and compassion for yourself and others, so too does immersing yourself in any artistic exploration or enjoyment jog your creativity.
Immersing Yourself in Nature
Experiencing nature can awaken in you a sense of vitality and infinity, which becomes a path to your core creativity. Without conscious thought, you can look up at the astonishing number of stars in the sky or leaves on a single tree in a forest, and feel a sense of vastness and spaciousness. As you gaze at the heavens the ancients observed, knowing that humanity throughout history and across continents has pondered these very stars, you experience being a part of something larger than yourself that feels as if it has always existed and always will.
Entering Sacred Space
In ancient times, sacred spaces, such as churches, temples, and sites for group rituals, were built on land whose features evoked a sense of spirituality. Treks to places like Machu Picchu, the temples of India, and Stonehenge have become more popular for Westerners who yearn for a sense of connection to their divine nature. Yet sacred spaces can exist wherever you feel a sense of spaciousness and connection to the creative, life-supporting forces of the universe. Arranging the space in your home or office to bring in light and nature will help you feel expansive and access your core creativity as you open up to your important role in all of creation.
Seeking Out Creative Stimulation
When the Irish band U2 wanted to reinvent their music, they traveled to Berlin, a bustling, gritty city unfamiliar to them, and soaked in the atmosphere, allowing its energy to infuse their songwriting and sound. Similarly, a famous actor I once spotted in an art museum stood before a painting for a good ten minutes before throwing his arms out and his head back, and standing for many more minutes, as if opening his heart to a beam of creative energy emanating from that painting. We all have this capacity to open to the vital forces around us and allow ourselves to take them in, mingling them with our own passions.
Many forms of physical movement can be an entrée into open-mind consciousness. Somatic therapy or somatic disciplines such as martial arts, tai chi, and yoga are the most well-known ways of quieting the rational mind and opening up to the intuitive mind and its connection to the numinous creative force. Any physical activity that involves discipline and a slowing down of thoughts, from skiing to dance, actually creates new neural pathways in your brain that become roads to innovation.
Becoming creatively toned can lead to a breakthrough in parenting or relating to others, or it can make you feel vitalized and fully engaged in the mundane chores of the day. The Buddha said that to find enlightenment, one must chop wood and carry water, meaning that the deepest, more purposeful life may not be one dedicated to an extraordinary cause or endeavor, but one that's simply lived with a deep sense of awareness and openness to both the known and the unknown. A passion for discovery, for embracing the new and the unfamiliar can help you transform your life in ways you never dreamed possible, as you find the strength to move out of fear and resistance and into something new. •
© 2012 Ronald Alexander. All rights reserved.
Ronald Alexander, PhD is a leadership consultant, psychotherapist, international trainer, and the Executive Director of the OpenMind Training Institute. More »