What does it mean to be more creative?
Being creative happens at many levels of human experience. In terms of art, it can mean tapping into the urge to make something, to approach the world differently, to use an art form to express yourself. But at an everyday level, as we engage in problem-solving, exploring, taking risks, considering new perspectives, making unusual connections, we are using our creativity in the world. It is our creativity that lets us respond to our world, trying to make sense of it, engage with it fully, and have fun with it. It is our resilience.
Creativity is a vital part of who we are.
As children, we accessed this part of ourselves easily. And our creativity grows with us — it’s an energy we channel through our life in a variety of ways. For some people, this creative sense remains — we draw upon it for adult play, maybe even do it for a living. For others, it may be less obvious, but the creative energy is used in handling challenges of everyday life. And another group of people may feel self-conscious, discouraged, or stifled — yet the urge to be more creative remains, waiting to be drawn out.
Why counselling for creativity? Three reasons. First, this is an area where lots of people get stuck. Many people got shamed in elementary school because they approached an art task in an unusual way. Maybe they didn’t get the appreciation they needed to feel encouragement to grow. Maybe their creation was an experiment but it was treated like a personal failure. Many, many people stopped drawing in late elementary school because they wanted their skill to progress to adult levels (this takes encouragement while you develop a different way of seeing). Many others felt their words were ignored while spelling and punctuation were criticised. Perhaps you are blocked currently. Perhaps you would like to tap into your creativity now.
Second, creativity is an area that rewards our well-being. When we let ourselves create, we dip into a right-brain consciousness that can be deeply exciting, satisfying, and meditative. We can enter something called “flow state”. It allows us to pull together very different things and make sense of them in a deep way. This can be an enormous relief to someone who is stuck in trying to make logical but rigid sense of their world.
Third, what comes up in the creative process tends to be what comes up in your life. For example, you might discover that your struggle with perfectionism gets in your way as you write. Or you have difficulty letting yourself take risks and explore different possibilities. Letting yourself be in process with art or writing allows you to find your own learning edge. You can learn to manage the balance between your expectations and your acceptance of what actually happens — the difference between the idea and the execution. You can learn to manage criticism. It can help you build self-esteem and self-confidence. You can consider the automatic choices you make that no longer serve you and make conscious decisions to change them, if you wish. And you can learn to appreciate your own approach to art, writing — and life.