When they asked me to write something on the subject of creativity, I immediately exclaimed, “Oh no, what could I say about that”. It’s difficult to explain a thing that I have always lived with since it is, for me, absolutely normal to be creative. Sadly I often hear it said, “But I’m not creative”. It’s a mistake to say this because if it doesn’t come natural to us, we can learn how to be creative. So don’t get down about it – we are all creative in some way and with varying results, but we all possess this beautiful quality. All you have to do is discover it and practice!
Let’s try to understand the most common mistakes. For many people being creative means being able to draw, paint, sculpt etc., in other words, to be artistically inclined. Instead, creativity can be expressed on various levels: it’s a way of expressing oneself in any field: in relationships with others, in the way one approaches life, in the way one thinks. It implies freedom from convention and conditioning, and on a higher level it means becoming channels for God. Therefore, “creativity” is the answer (sometimes a different one at that) to any situation in life, and applicable in every field. But above all, it gives us joy, the desire to live, and the beauty of being ourselves. For example, with time I understood that one of the aims of my creativity is to want to almost always make things beautiful, or even more beautiful – so the aim is then toward aesthetics. For Peter who is a musician and the Ananda choir director, the aim is to create sounds that enrich the soul.
Once my friend’s two year old son didn’t want to eat, so after several attempts to get him to eat, the father slapped him. Do you know what the baby did? Well, he knew that if he continued to say no, he would get slapped again, but he was too proud to let that happen and start eating. After a minute, putting on his best smile, he rocked on his high chair saying “I’m joking, I’m joking”. Obviously his parents burst out laughing, he started eating, and the situation ended in a positive way.
Here’s another example: I am an artist and I often create objects for which there are no specific materials or accessories, therefore I need to invent alternative solutions. Hardware stores and stores that carry plumbing supplies are my favorite ones but I often deal with shop assistants who see their supplies exclusively for their traditional purpose, so they often reply that they don’t have what I’m looking for. However, when I sometimes was able to go to their warehouse, my eyes lit up because I would find 100, or more, objects that solved my technical problems. So, how much are we hindered by a conventional way of doing things? Because if we don’t let these conventional ways hinder us, we have the freedom to have full access to any area we want to explore. We could therefore say that “creativity” is “being free”, at least it’s like this for me!!
Creativity…the more you give it space to express itself, the more it grows. The creative flow is always accompanied by the energy necessary to make things happen, it gives you joy in life, and a strong initial drive, and for me, the initial drive is so strong that if I don’t immediately realize a project, the energy implodes in me and I feel frustrated and there’s a lack of freedom, like a bird who has had its wings broken. It’s obvious that you must like the idea of being creative, otherwise, you won’t even feel like dedicating your time to being so.
But how can we be creative? My creative ideas come to life like clouds that chase each other on a windy day. Try what I do – enter in each one of them with the wonder of a child, let the rational mind rest momentarily, and examine each idea and then move on to the next one. When I begin a project I know what my goal is because I have already imagined the final result in my inner vision. My rational mind then helps me order and organize what I need to do to achieve my goal. Most certainly I have had to develop determination for long projects because at a certain point the initial energy diminishes and it is then that you have to apply will power and determination in order to finish the task, always keeping in mind, however, that definitely something beautiful is being made…then the energy is renewed. On the other hand, sometimes, I remain centered, and I listen, because as the project proceeds, my intuition, step by step, tells me what I must do and what my next steps will be, and I finish a project for which I hadn’t envisioned the final result…and it surprises even me!! In any case, many times I have experienced that when I am asked to make something, the more I am limited by the request, the more creative I am, since the limitations delineate better how I can express myself.
One of the things I love to do is to wake up early and stay in bed, in that state of being half asleep and I merge into an idea, free from any thoughts. Magically a curtain opens and a series of ideas and solutions appear, I create and invent. Everything that comes to me in that state is always proves to be the right thing. I have, by now, experienced many times that when ideas are born from a rational process, after a while I don’t like them anymore, whereas the ideas that come to me from a superconscious state are always the right ones and are a success. This is what I consider the highest form of creativity. If I then wish to go deeper, I enter into superconsciousness during meditation, I open my heart and listen to whatever I receive.
Don’t ever block your creative flow with the rational mind that finds things unachievable. Simply let the idea go while it flows to the next one…keep searching! Don’t think “well, I’ll do it later”, or, “I’ll think about it later”, otherwise you will often lose that flow, that ‘something’ that ultimately results in a successful idea.
If Swami Kriyananda had limited his creativity, thinking it would lead to little or nothing, Ananda, and everything he has done, wouldn’t exist. Just think about that!!!
We are all special because through our personalities and our hearts we can enrich not only our own lives, but that of others.
Well then??? Let’s get going, let’s dive into creativity, let’s try it, experiment with it, let’s open our hearts and live in tune with a new step in Life.