Saturday, November 29, 2014

The trouble with being creative

Often I am asked what its like to live and work in a creative field. The challenges, the payoffs etc... For people that hold steady jobs at stable companies, what I do for a living must evoke an equal amount of head scratching and envy. One of the big questions is 'how do you stay creative?' or 'how do you access that area of your mind more effectively?'

I recently completed my Yoga teacher training up in Rishikesh and I can only admit there was an inner shift of monumental proportions. An understanding about how the mind actually works and how we can move beyond the suffering that the mind creates is at the fundamental core of Yoga philosophy.

Learning to be creative has more to do with un-learning and de-habituating than anything else. To access our true creative potential we need to learn to still the mind. When we still the mind we start to unglue the narrative that plays through our consciousness like some mesmerising film, or train wreck, depending on where we're at. This ongoing narrative, constructed from layers upon layers of often unquestioned social, financial, religious beliefs keeps us trapped and stuck like a needle in the grooves of a record, playing the same song over and over again.

You can't just 'be' creative, not at a core level. Thats the problem with it, its not something you can click on and off, not if its to be regarded as an accessible part of your holistic being. Accessing creativity begins with observational awareness. We have to sit and watch the mind spin around in its habituated patterning, we need to understand it and observe it without judgement, without getting caught up in its game.

Creativity is not about being able to take a better picture or paint an amazing portrait though those are happy outcomes. Creativity, true creativity is the ability to take a novel approach to the most mundane habitual patterns that occur everyday in our lives. When we harness our reactivity and allow for gaps in our old narratives to form, we are on the path to becoming Great Artists within our own lives. 

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