Creativity is good for you…

( I was a musician prior to becoming  a physician. I have no formal training in music composition. However, every time I boot-up my MacBook Air, plug my keyboard into my laptop and click on the GarageBand application, I sit for a few minutes and get ready to be surprised. Several hours later, I am listening to the freshly finished piece wondering, “where did this song come from?”  I hope you enjoy the little musical sketch, entitled, “Walk in the Park.” Best listened to with earbuds, but using just your ears works, too!).

Whether you believe it or not, within you lies an ever-present source of creativity. Every human being has creativity factory-installed within them, a direct connection to something fresh and new.

Some people say that they are not very creative. Some people think that other people who demonstrate the output of creativity were lucky, or born with it. “They have natural ability,” can be heard, sometimes with a tone of admiration and at other times with a tinge of resentment. 

Is it true that some people don’t have access to their inborn source of creativity? More and more, it seems to me that the only way you cannot access your creativity is if deny you have it.

As we go through our day-to-day life, we actually have many opportunities to consult our creativity. Some people may face a routine task and find a way to get things done in a novel, more pleasing and enjoyable way.

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better. -John Updike

People who play sports are often delighted when they come up with a different move or strategy that adds to the richness of the game. Artists, painters, musicians, and writers all look to the inner creative source for ideas, inspiration and vision.

Creativity is different than knowledge or skills, isn’t it? Having knowledge and skills is certainly helpful, and can often be put in service of creativity. But if knowledge and skills were the same as creativity, I’m pretty sure everything would have been already invented or done and we would live in a world of drab, rule-oriented drudgery, (well, maybe not all that bad, but you get my point).

Creativity is frequently accompanied by a sense of freshness and newness. It’s like being given a gift!

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. -Carl Jung

For me, creativity begins with a willingness to admit I don’t know very much. You would think that admitting that would be dispiriting and halt any effort, but for me, I feel as if I press ‘pause’ on my rather limited know-it-all mind and then I simply wait for something new. There is an experience of curiosity and playfulness.

Maybe if you reflect for a moment on your experience, you will remember when a helpful idea or solution to a problem showed up when you least expected it. Do you remember what happened? Start to notice the antecedents to your own accessing of creativity and then start putting yourself in its pathway!

Get comfortable with being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored — the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care. -Austin Kleon

The accessing of creativity can be a solitary process. It involves slowing down, especially slowing down the critical, rational mind. This usually means that you have to step out of the frantic pace of life from time to time. Sometimes people worry that they will be seen as selfish if they devote themselves to pursuing creativity in their daily life. 

Making yourself available for creativity is like making yourself available for food and water. It will nourish you, replenish you and invigorate you. -Ian M Crooks

You will be more able to make a difference for the people in your life when you are well-fed. You don’t need to beg, borrow or steal to get creativity. It is already present within you. You need only turn in its direction, and it is ready to deliver. Be available and as a result, you will be available for others.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. -Martin Luther King Jr

There is an ever-present source of creativity waiting to well up within you.

Will today be the day you empty your bucket of stress and cares, and make space for the inflow of creativity? 

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