Claiming Your Creativity in a Changing World

butterfly swallowtailI am celebrating at least three major crises in energy, economy and climate now confronting us globally and simultaneously, adding up to the greatest challenge in all human history. That challenge is what, and why, I celebrate. Nothing short of a fundamental review, revisioning and revising of our entire way of life on planet Earth is called for. What an amazing time of opportunity this is! – Elisabeth Sahtouris, evolutionary biologist and futurist

Visionary evolutionary biology Elisabet Sahtouris explains, “We create our own reality and Nature shows the way. Look around you and note that everything human-made in sight originated as an idea in someone’s mind. Isn’t it obvious that we create our reality from our consciousness? Once we acknowledge how fundamental consciousness is to all human experience, including all our creative action, we see that scientific models of nature themselves are created within human consciousness . . .”

I think that our consciousness holds the key to making the changes needed in our world today and that imagination is one of it”s tools. Albert Einstein said that the level of consciousness that caused the problems we face will not be able to solve them. He repeatedly emphasized that “imagination is more important than knowledge”. He also said that “the rational mind with take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.

Creative imagination allows us to see beyond the obvious, to shift our perception and explore new ways of seeing and doing something. The key to engaging the process seems to be staying in the present and being open to what wants to unfold. The moment we begin to evaluate our ideas we short-circuit are ability to be in the present. One of the most important techniques for exploring your creative urges is brainstorming, in which you allow the flow of creative associations to take you in many directions without judging which ideas are valuable and which are dead ends.

When you stay present as an objective observer to the flow of words on the page, the strokes of your paintbrush across the canvas, the thoughts and ideas as you problem solve at work, the sense of the right spices to use when you are cooking, then you keep open the connection to a bigger more expansive part of your mind or the mystery (it’s hard to say what is really being tapped into). When I teach writing I repeatedly remind students that your imagination is smarter than you are.

Neuroscientists have actually shown that when you let the stream of consciousness flow our brain is actually activating more neurons and brain cells. Give it a try the next time you have a problem to solve. Think about some accept of the world today that could use some creative solution and see what you come up with. Creativity is a natural human gift we all have. It just need to be tended in order to be developed.

Here’s one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver provides beautiful inspiration for embracing our creative imagination.

Spring Azures – Mary Oliver

In spring the blue azures bow again
at the edges of shallow puddles
to drink the black rain water.
Then they rise and float away into the fields.

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
and all the tricks my body knows
the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
and the mind clicking and clicking

don’t seem enough to carry me through this world
and I think: how I would like

to have wings
blue ones
ribbons of flame.

How I would like to open them, and rise
from the black rain water.

And then I think of Blake, in the dirt and sweat of London
a boy staring through the window, when God came
fluttering up.

Of course, he screamed,
seeing the bobbin of God’s blue body
leaning on the sill,
and the thousand-faceted eyes.

Well, who knows.
who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window
between him and the darkness.

Anyway, Blake the hosier’s son stood up
and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city
turned away forever
from the factories, the personal strivings,

to a life of the imagination.

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