“Accept and love yourself, it’s the start of everything good”
We all come into the world with creativity coursing through our veins. Creativity is the driving force in our very being - every cell in our bodies is primed to learn, grow, build and create; new cells, stronger immune system, memories, a personality. Everything in our world is hooked up to be constantly interacting with our environment and responding with our own intelligence. Like a giant, unpredictable, glorious, jam session.
Creative intelligence is behind everything. It is the force that governs everything in our known universe. And yet we spend most of our lives in an attempt to turn this miraculous thing inside us, off.
As small children our natural curiosity has not been tamped down by life yet. When we are small we ask endless questions and experiment constantly; ‘what happens when I stack these wooden blocks on top of one another? Or if I drag this crayon across this page (or wall!) or what will this sand do if I dump it out of the bucket on the picnic blanket?’
And for many (practical) reasons, many of the adults in our lives shut this creativity down. We learn (and internalize) the message that our curiosity is annoying, messy, inconvenient. And because we want (and need) more than anything to connect and be loved, we (devastatingly) set to work finding all the ways we can turn this part of ourselves off.
Connect at any cost.
Silencing, shoving down, drowning out, ignoring, shaming this part of ourselves, doesn’t yield us the sense of belonging and acceptance we hope for. We cannot ever truly feel accepted if we know, on some level, that we are not showing up as our true, whole, wild, creative, chaotic, messy, unpredictable, glorious selves?
Cutting ourselves off from creativity is not only painful, it is perhaps one of the most damaging, limiting things we ever do to ourselves. In diminishing this aspect of ourselves, we cut ourselves off from the very intelligence that is animating our whole world which is our main operating system. We literally stop speaking our soul’s mother tongue, which in turn crushes our ability to navigate and interact in the world. I think of Paul Simon’s lyric “Doesn’t speak the language, holds no currency” This is why I say we are glitching.
How on earth can we expect to successfully navigate a world who’s entire premise is create, experiment, fail, create experiment succeed - repeat. All the major successes in any arena, ever have been the result of this intelligence saying what happens when I do this, go here, grow that. Where do you imagine life on earth would look like if this intelligence said, “oh no, better just play it safe and do what we’ve always done’. Well there would be no evolution for a start.
Life itself is hooked up to experiment and fail and experiment again. Always pushing. Always answering that blind desire from deep inside to keep trying to create something...magnificent. Sometimes it fails, but when it succeeds….. Think: the human body, literature, love.
Sure there are going to be failures. It is part of the process. But the alternative? Stagnancy.
We are attempting to live in and amusingly, expecting to be successful at, dominating a world that is governed by curiosity and desire, while having systematically cut ourselves off from those very things.
Creativity is by definition messy, chaotic, sometimes devastating, always miraculous. And it’s m.o. is JOY - with its endless curiosity, creativity is always looking for ways to create things that will bring you and others joy. Creativity is the thing within us that makes us experience a deep desire to make things - and it is woven into the fabric of our being right from the very beginning.
Watch how children are almost always making things; drawings, cut out paper bits, whatever they can get their hands on. And then they give them away. They're channeling the voice of creativity itself, which is saying look what I made you! I love you!
This is elemental in all of us.
Just because we have turned this off, doesn’t mean it is not still in there waiting to be turned on again.
You have big dreams inside of you. And they are not going to happen with you sitting on your hands behind closed doors. Jane Dunnewold and I discussed how we can believe ourselves and the lives of our dreams into being in Episode 06 of The Creative Genius Podcast. Don’t miss it. It is one of those conversations that carries the power to change the course of your whole life.