Creative Expression and Learning “But I’m not very creative!” A common statement by people who don’t see themselves as being artistic. But, you don’t have to be artistic to be creative. Everyone Needs Creativity. We all need to express creativity irrespective of the form it takes. Denial of the natural creative urge is an impediment to health as it causes a person’s inability release their unique gifts and, in turn, make a contribution to the world around them. Creative expression guards against a life of routine and boredom and ensures a sense of play, excitement, fun, challenge and risk taking. These are the childhood qualities often deemed inappropriate for adults. Creative Expression and learning are based on a “Flow Dynamic” which utilises imagination, spontaneity, perhaps some magic and self-confidence without fear of judgement. Who taught children to play? Nobody! It is a natural instinct. Modern day life has too many rules, restrictions and behavioral doctrines. These anchors to human expression lay waste to the wonderful joy found in letting oneself “go with the flow”. As quoted by Norman Cousins in his book “Anatomy of an Illness”, “Long before my own serious illness, I became convinced that creativity, the will to live, hope, faith and love have biochemical significance and contribute strongly to healing and to well being.” Look at Your Own Life Are you stuck in a set routine in life, or do you approach your daily responsibilities with a sense of flow and creative challenge? Do you spend any time in your day, thinking about how to make the mundane things more fun and more enjoyable? Do you have any pursuits or activities in your life that allow you to express your creativity? Do you see life’s hardships as a challenge, as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person, and not allow yourself to be a victim? 10 Steps to Creative Expression 1. Develop a Vision of what it is your want to create. 2. Examine and Evaluate the Existing Reality. 3. Identify the Gap between your Vision and Reality as the place to exert your Creativity. 4. Accept Trial and Error as a workable means to achieving your goal. Then, you are learning as you go, making your own mistakes, and your own discoveries. 5. Turn your back on old speak like “The Right Way”, “Self-consciousness” and “Rules” and ask yourself “What if…”. 6. Continually remind yourself that you have the Power to Create. 7. As you go and your Creativity begins to flow, use the Momentum as confidence to push on further. 8. If you get stuck, go back to your vision, see the big picture again, and try again. 9. When completed, celebrate your creation. 10. Use your successful creation as energy to drive you forward to your next creation. What can you do in Your Life? Which of your daily tasks can you approach with more creativity? Consider the following: Cooking Cleaning Gardening Driving (In terms of the route you take) Activities you participate in with your friends or family. How you play with your kids. The layout of your home. Mundane tasks at work. Can you find and participate in other activities that will allow you to express creativity? Local Art Classes Clay Modeling Wood Working Gardening Theatre Groups Choirs Book Clubs Movie Clubs Wine Making and Home Brewing Cooking Classes Vegetable Growing There are, of course, many other options available. Reference: Hoptman, Neal and Carla, Help Yourself to Health, Millennium Books, Alexandria, NSW, 1996.