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Accessing, Embodying, and Expanding your Creative Essence

Posted: December 10, 2020 by Caroline Kinsley

What is Creativity?

Sometimes it can feel like creativity is this unique or precious gift that few of the many obtain. Western culture views creativity as a mastery level by fine artists, musicians, dancers, tech masters such as VanGogh, Ella Fitzgerald, Twyla Tharp, and Steve Jobs. Yes, these individuals are very creative beings, and their work deserves much praise and appreciation. But I'd like to offer the idea from Anna Craft's early education theory that while there is "big-C" Creativity, there is also "little-C" creativity. We all inherently possess little c creativity. More importantly we need little c creativity to support our big c creativity idea, even Steve Jobs.

Craft describes Creativity with a capital C as original ideas on a big scale, such as introducing new technological advancement (i.e., Apple). Little c creativity is how we use our creative imagination, multiple-intelligences, social and cultural knowledge, and environment to solve and overcome challenges. For example, when you are putting together breakfast, you find that you are out of sugar, so you put honey in your pancakes instead. Or, perhaps you are missing a dear friend during COVID-19 and want to find a way to see them so you offer to walk with them outside to access that quality time and remain socially distanced. That is your little c creative essence at play. How else do you access your creative essence at home, work, with family, friends, or even yourself?

Why access your creative essence?

Accessing creativity is essential for our survival. There are times when we do not have the resources we need so we look around and make it work. Not only is creativity essential, but it can bring joy and a sense of fulfillment to our lives as well. After all, you are still introducing an original idea into your environment, and for that, you offer a gift. That can, in many ways, can support your sense of purpose and self- confidence.

The embodiment of your creative essence

Creativity doesn't just exist in our thoughts, but in your body as well. Your mind, body, and spirit are aware of your environment and provide insight, information, and guidance on what to do. Use them! Become aware of the sensations. For example, are you stressed? What can you do to relieve that stress? Does it take a new perspective in the way you think about it? How do you move about it? What can you explore, problem solve, and widen your perspective?

Try it out! This you can do by starting while sitting in your chair. This is a practice of how you get up from your chair to stand?

First, begin with just doing it without thinking about it. Now that you have tried it once, try it again but this time notice where you started - perhaps not changing it (Do you lean forward? Press your feet into the floor? Push your hands off of the side?).

Got it? Okay now try it three more times but each time with a different initiation (different body part, at what speed can you do it?).

It may feel silly, great! You’re doing it! This is you exploring, problem solving, and widening your perspective of the task to stand up.

This relates to how you can think about approaching stress too. How does the stress start? Does it begin in the same way? How can you approach it differently next time? Can you explore, problem solve, and widen your perspective of how to cope and manage your stress emotionally, physically, and spiritually?

Expanding your creative essence

Just like any skill, accessing your creative essence takes practice. The best way to expand your creative confidence is to look for creative opportunities every day. I want to offer a little experiment for you to try today. Look for at least one creative moment and write it down. While writing, ask yourself the following:

  • What did I do?
  • Why did I do it?
  • What were the emotions I felt before, during, and after creating?
  • Were there sensations/ experiences in your body that informed your thinking, and vice versa? Would you do anything differently?

A gentle reminder, you already have what you need.

Brene Brown recently spoke with Dr. Scott Sonenshein On Stretching and Chasing. The podcast episode explores the ways we can stretch what we already have rather than chase the next thing. This includes exploring what skills, ideas, plans, people, and places you have access to in new perspectives to allow you to create something new with them. Instead of the opposite which is telling yourself that to create something new you need to buy, learn, go, or reach something you haven’t yet. Well guess what, working with what you have is your creative essence in its purest form.

Accessing creativity is something we do every day without realizing it. The more awareness you bring to the times you're doing it, the more you may be excited to access it.

Tags: mood and feelings, anxiety, treatment orientation

Caroline Kinsley (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

LPC intern, R-DMT

Lets explore verbal and nonverbal forms of communication as a support for your psychological, physical, spiritual & relational well-being.

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