Chapter 7.15 Exercise Your Creativity

Exercise Your Creativity

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.”
Bill Moyer (1933-2002)         Social Change Activist

Creativity is one of the largest generators of Positive Energy.  One of our roles on earth is to create … create societies, create cultures, create technology, create beauty, create babies, and for some to create havoc.

When you’re involved in creating something, whether it is painting, writing, business strategies, cooking, pottery, instructional guides, websites … it is generally kind of fun.  There are many ways to be creative.  My wife even asked me, why doesn’t anybody mention reading as a creative act?

“There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion.”
“The American Scholar”   Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American Writer

Go figure!  Somebody had already thought of this too (why doesn’t that surprise me?)  Reading and enjoying works of Creativity are actually participations in the creative process itself.  I do love a good book, or a well-developed film.  And although I am unable to replicate the pretty pictures in my mind to canvas, I did get a kick out of faux-painting our bedroom, Italian style.

A friend of mine, who is currently exploring the “new” spirituality, has his own theory of the symbolism of the cross.

“The cross has two planes, one vertical and one horizontal.  We live in the horizontal plane … work, responsibility, eating, sleeping, even play to some extent.  The everyday stuff we have to do.  The vertical plane, which is interestingly pointed to the heavens, is the spiritual component.  This plane also includes music, dancing, singing, art, creative ventures”
Marc Cittadino       Producer, Song-writer

Hmmmm.  It seems to me that the sign for Positivity is … +.  Could be this journey is actually going somewhere.

Most people have heard that the left side of the brain is our reasoning side (language, math, logic), while the right side is the creative side (spatial abilities, visual imagery, music).  This is not reversed for the majority of left-handers.  (The evidence that left-handers work more from their right side, and hence are more likely to be creative is inconclusive ….OK now lefties can S-K)  Probably most important is how the two sides work together.

“The chief enemy of creativity is “good” sense.”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish Painter/Sculptor

Since we have lived by the logical left side of the brain for survival, there are probably a lot of well-established checkpoints on the paths to activating the frontal lobes.  Making your way through logical thought requires a lot of determination, many battles, some defeats, with some well-established thinking barriers to knock down.  There has to be a route to the front of the brain through the right side.  Why didn’t I think of this before?  It had to be logical … perhaps that’s the problem!!

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head almost nothing.”
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)      Russian born French Artist

It doesn’t have to be a straight path from the back of your brain to the front.  Instead, getting to the front of our brains can also be accomplished by jumping into the Sea of Creativity.  (Watch out, I’m feeling a metaphorical moment arising.) The Sea is buoyant … you cannot sink.  As you enter the right side into your creativity, the tide will take you to the frontal lobes. You don’t have to think about it, you simply can ride the current.

“Life is a tide; float on it. Go down with it and go up with it, but be detached. Then it is not difficult.”
Prem Rawal        Indian Rig-Veda Artist

How much positive effect your creative act has on you is proportional to the depth of the art form that you are experiencing.  Watching sitcoms can be fun and get you to the wet sand, while a thought-provoking film, an intricate plot, a mysterious painting, a brilliant idea, … these get you well into the waves.

“Creativity engages your brain!  It’s the single greatest preserver of intelligence and our guardian against dementia.”
“Move Your Mind and Engage Your Brain” Lansing Barrett Gresham and Dale G. Alexander, PhD, LMT (2006)

Talk of dementia … that should get your attention!  I’ve always believed that the solution to many complex problems is to find another way.  Don’t knock down the barriers head on, but try to find a way over, under, or around them.  Thinking laterally is more challenging and creative than thinking straight ahead.

Of interest, though, is that to get to the Sea of Creativity, you usually have to make a definitive decision to do it (that’s using your logic.)  We have to use our rational side to make the detour to the creative side (at least left-brainers do).  The logical side has been trained to recognize negative potential and protect against it.  Now the left brain must learn how to trust its creative capacity and slip over into the right side.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Minqus (1922-1979)      Jazz Bassist and composer

Another form of creativity is strategic thinking.  Strategic thinking on some level is required to accomplish anything … to develop a plan of attack to get where we want to go.  Strategic thinking has to drive down the centerline of the road to the Sea of Creativity.  It weaves between logical, rational thought and creative new ideas.

We have to plan and live our lives by weaving on this road. We need to use our logical side to follow the map, to develop new paths, and to provide for our everyday needs.  But it is also important to take a refreshing dip in the right side often.  Your Creativity will cleanse your soul, and recharge your life.

We have been entrusted with the opportunity to create new life.  We have been entrusted with the responsibility to create the world we live in.  We have been entrusted to create the future for generations to come.  We need to jump off the cliff and get accustomed to the water in the Sea of Creativity … the world is waiting for us to swim to its rescue.

“Whatever creativity is, it is part of the solution.”
Brian Aldiss British Science Fiction Writer


EXTRA ! Late addition …

Here’s an encapsulation of a story that I read in AARP, December 2008 (S-K for those who are anti-seniors.) Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher, wrote in her book, A Stroke of Insight, about a rare stroke she suffered at the age of 37. The stroke completely shut down the left hemisphere of her brain.

“She was unable to walk, talk, read, write, or remember events of her life. Remarkably, this shutdown – and silencing the mental chatter – left her in a state of bliss. After eight grueling years of rehab, she regained full brain function, yet could still access at will what she describes as a state of complete peace and well-being.”

So when she feels like she is becoming stressed now, how does she move to her right brain? She focuses on the present … yeh really … by using her senses to appreciate the beauty and color and sounds and smells. She looks at the detail that is being offered up to her at that time.

“When you’re really paying attention to the richness of the present moment, that’s right-minded awareness. The left hemisphere is preoccupied with the past and the future, projecting fears, contemplating ideas that aren’t relevant to the here and now.”

(Check that “… right-minded awareness”, could also be “correct-minded awareness” …? )

This all sounds oh so familiar …

How fortunate and coincidental that a brain researcher would be a person to experience this complete state of right brain bliss. Now that she knows it exists, maybe she will be able to help the world access the peaceful side of the brain more often. Do we still believe in coincidence?


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