One of the most wonderful gifts of a human being to this world is the creativity that is possible when we are able to truly let go of our external concerns and open up to what is deep in our soul. Being able to play with the possibilities of our imagination and actively coax them into fruition is what has created our most inspirational offerings. Creativity is what allows us to envision businesses and enhance relationships. Ultimately, it is what allows us to hope.
Creativity is also the one thing that allows us to pull through some of the great challenges we face and to come out better on the other side. Where would we be without creativity in trying to get sullen teenagers to engage with the family; to lead our team through a company merger; or to encourage social change in the midst of extreme hardship. It is creativity that stimulates a different thinking and gets us out of stuck places. It releases a generative energy that feeds the growth and joy inside us as it brings forth new possibilities. It is truly a wonderful and magical force.
For me, creativity is what feeds me, fills me, pulls me, energises, exhausts and empties me. Creativity is what keeps me up at night. But, most of the time it happens in my head alone. It remains a bud in my imagination and never gets the chance to grow into what it needs to. (Hence the sleepless nights – that energy has to go somewhere!).
What keeps it there in my head is a little box that I’ll call the WWPT Box. Most of my creative ideas end up here and never make it out. This box stands for the ‘What Will People Think?’ Box. The moment creativity starts flowing towards the action, the actual birthing process where the world will experience it, that box snaps up those ideas for scrutiny and they struggle to see the light of day.
At the seat of this, lies a self-consciousness that reigns me in and keeps me living on the surface of my life. My frustration with this awareness over the last few weeks is that I really do believe that you can never please everyone, and I am okay with that. In so many instances I am able to let others think what they will, without letting it bother me. Why, then is it so difficult when it comes to truthfully revealing the heart of who I am, my creative ideas?
The answer that has come to me is that it is because my creativity needs others. It is completely reliant on participation with others. As a learning designer, my particular creative outlet involves the generation of something through the collective.
And that has brought the awareness that what I need in order to douse the flames of the WWPT self- consciousness is a good old dose of Vulnerability. That opening, emptying, filling quality that will teach me the hard way how to get my ideas out of the WWPT Box and into the ‘HIA Box’: ‘Here I am…’
And Vulnerablility is a whole other can of worms. Or should I say, ‘Box of Tricks”?!
On a personal note...
I am curious, creative, determined, committed and (a bit too much of) a perfectionist.