November’s theme is creativity, and I am so excited to be focusing on this because I want to nurture my own creativity more and more. I see a direct link between being in the flow of things, having my heart open and the experience of creativity. So let’s jump right in with the first question:
What is creativity?
To answer this question I want to offer what Dewitt Jones believes it is. Dewitt Jones was a photographer for National Geographic, for over 20 years and his job required that he be creative, day in day out. Who better to speak to this subject than someone who has spent his life using his creativity “on demand” so to speak. Here is his answer to “What is Creativity?”
Creativity is the ability to look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary. It is not an extra special talent per se but perspective. “Creativity is a matter of perspective”. So what is the perspective he’s talking about? In his fabulous DVD “Everyday Creativity” he describes creativity as Falling in Love with the World! Wow what a great definition. I find that definition freeing, liberating and individual. In other words, what I fall in love with is very individual and not “cookie cutter”.
In the book, The Brain that Changes Itself, Walter J Freeman, a Professor of Neuroscience at Berkley, was the first to identify that there are two life-stages (or occasions) when we are so open to learning, we will learn almost anything.
Can you guess when they are?
When we give birth and become a parent… and when we fall in love. (Yes I know they can go together). These two occasions are times when our entire system seems to open up and will consider all kinds of possibilities. So how come?
When we think about the phenomena of falling in love, be it with a child, an adult, animal, activity, piece of music or art, something pretty magical happens, but the impact on the brain is what is so important. “Oxytocin is released, allowing existing neuronal connections to melt away so that change on a large scale can follow. Oxytocin induces a calm, warm mood that increases tender feelings and attachment, and may lead us to lower our guard… oxytocin also triggers trust.” (The Brain that Changes Itself, pg 118-119)
So, this is the key to learning on a big scale, and to creativity. Have you noticed the phenomena of people in love, being open to trying more things, different foods, activities, perspectives and over all being less defensive, entrenched? Yes a person in love is on “drugs” and these “drugs” allow the brain to release old patterns and routines and open to new learning and ways of looking at things. How wonderful! That’s just what our world needs more of.
So, the question for this week is…
Are you interested in cultivating the perspective of “being in love” with life itself? What would it be like for you to wake up in the morning, and decide you wanted to move through your day as if you’d just fallen in love? Let’s all try this on, and see what we can discover.
And here’s the payoff…
The more we can be in love with life, the more open and potentially creative we can be.
So, is this all just rose-coloured glasses, or are there deeper implications to consider?