The word CREATIVE, I want to us to reclaim it. How many times have you heard someone say, or have you said, “I’m not very creative”? Basically, when we say this, we are using it to say “I’m not very imaginative or original.” This is a correct use of the word. However, I’m now wanting to distill this word to its basics. That is, I want to think of creative in the basic sense of referring to originative – having the power or ability to create. CREATE simply means to bring something into being. So, when I say, “I’m creative” it means I bring things into being. Used this way, everyone is creative – because everyone is constantly bringing things into being – with varying degrees of imagination. The question I’m often thinking about is what are we – you, me, everyone – creating? The point of today’s post – a post that is bringing me back to creating for my blog after a bit of a hiatus – is to suggest that it’s time to own our creative power, to take responsibility for what we are creating. If we can be imaginative about it, well, all the better.
A thought pops into my head. I have created that thought. Words come out of my mouth. I have created those words. I take a step forward. I created that movement/motion. Thoughts, words, actions – I am creating them all the time. So are you. How we live together is the sum of these creations.
Yup. Life is a collective creative process. How we live together is a collective creative process. While we simply can’t know the full impact of our creations, we can speculate on some of the impacts – sometimes we even have a strong sense in our body, for example, that lets us know. Usually when you have that sense in your gut of “I shouldn’t say this” and decide to follow it with “but…” and go ahead and say it, you get the kind of response you anticipated. Not only did you create words, you possibly created anger, criticism, carelessness. Of course, the reaction/response to what you say is not something you create. The person you speak to is creating their reaction/response. You are not responsible for their creation. They are responsible for their creation, just as they are not responsible for your creation. Well, not fully, anyway. What they create was in some manner sparked by what you created and vis-versa. We are at once individually responsible for our creations and our creations are also connected to and informed by other people’s creations (more on this another time).
My point is – we are constantly in a web of connections, a collective creative process, a dance.
We are all in a creative dance together. Imagine a room where everyone is dancing. And they are in their own body, dancing away – with no awareness of the space around them, no awareness of the people around them. It is free form – people move however they want. They are encouraged to move whatever is in them – some people are dancing rage. Some people are dancing sadness. Some fear. Some joy. Most are moving between all of those. Legs are in the air, arms or jutting out.
No one is paying attention to their environment. Imagine.
The result is a lot of collisions. Maybe even a bruise here and there because of the force of impact. Definitely feet are stepped on. People stumble and trip. Let’s assume these people are somehow wired to be unaware of what is outside of their selves. Immediately after bumping into someone, they might say “I’m sorry” but this does not lead to them choosing to pay more attention to their environment. They slip right back into free dancing around the room with total disregard for everyone else. Eventually, people start getting angry because they keep stumbling, falling, having their toes stepped on and getting an elbow in the stomach.
Arguments ensue, while everyone is thinking “What it is it with these people, they have no regard for other people’s space.” Yes, everyone is thinking this.
Imagine you are watching this madness. You might want to scream out “Would everyone please pay attention to their surroundings and find a balance between your own rhythms and movements and the movements of others?!” Seems pretty sensible to you and to me, no?
What you would be doing is asking people to own their creative power. To take responsibility for what they are creating and their contribution to the collective creation – from which they are inseparable. From which WE are inseparable. We can’t know all of the impacts/results/consequences of our thoughts, words and actions. These accumulate over time in non-linear ways. We can, however, have some sense as to what we are giving life to in the present moment with our thoughts, words and actions. What type of dance we are fueling.
We can have this sense if we choose to have it. If we choose to be AWARE and CONSCIOUS of how we are moving through the world. This is what I’m thinking. Imagine if we begin to own our creative power, rather then unleash it out into the world hiddedly-piddedly and with nominal awareness, consciousness. In the beginning, I suggested that how imaginative you/we are isn’t the point – we are all creative. True. That said, I guess I am asking you to use your imagination here in order to open up what could be. Keeping in mind, of course, that we can’t fully imagine what could be – that’s the beauty of it, the mystery of what could happen if we all began to own our creative power….but that’s a subject for another post.
Reflection questions: In what ways have you relinquished ownership of your creative power? In what ways can you claim greater ownership of it?