Monday, February 6, 2012

Obstacles To Creativity (Part I)

This is part I of a series of posts on this blog on obstacles to creative expression.

Coaching professionals in the corporate world who want to express their creativity is a challenge I love to face every time! I love it because, they know what is missing, so that part of the work is done. Now, it is all about removing the obstacles that hinder their path to self-expression. It is a challenge because, the obstacles don’t seem like obstacles to them. They have worked hard to create the obstacles that I am asking them to remove!

What are these obstacles?

1. The notion of discipline

Wassily Kandinsky said: “There is no must in art because art is free”. The moment a coaching client says, “I have to …” is the moment the obstacle has been identified. The moment you take your corporate mind set, your disciplinarian identity, your controlling aspect, whatever you want to call it, is the moment creativity ran out the door.

Creativity is an energy or consciousness that cannot be boxed in. It cannot show up at 8:30 every morning and be done by 5 every evening. It may or may not fit into your schedule. It is not an exercise routine, or an appointment. If you dare to express yourself, you have to be open to when and how it shows up.

Creativity does not repeat itself. In other words, if you created something one day after you went for a walk and it was sunny and beautiful, you felt rejuvenated, etc. and now you have created the same background and hope to create something just as masterful as you did then, it won’t work. We as humans want so badly to find patterns, and structures. It is how we understand things. You cannot understand creativity. It has an elusive and mysterious quality about it.

So, then why bother you may ask. This seems impossible. It is, if you think of it as a chore. It may feel like a chore if you are tired after a long day’s work, coming home to family and personal demands and now you have some time left for creativity. Sometimes, it is necessary to take some time out. Take a personal day or two or a week off by yourself to find your connection. Yes, it comes at a price, the price is time away from structures, routines, and all the musts in your life.

Creativity is not something you can squeeze into your busy day at the moment you require it to show up. If you are not feeling playful, inspired, enthusiastic, and connected to something greater than the physical world you perceive around you, you cannot feel creative. If you do not feel creative, you cannot truly create. Yes, you can be skilled at putting things together in a beautiful way, play music, or make a meal from scraps in your pantry, but that is your talent and not your creativity!

Creativity is a source of boundless energy that is calling the artists in all of us to have a sip or dive in as we wish. All she asks is for our willingness to abandon old structures, patterns, musts, and any kind of discipline to discover a brand new version of ourselves. Yes, indeed this is a challenge for all my disciplined, productive, structured friends who are successful in part, because of these qualities that they have developed within themselves. Letting go is not how we accomplish any kind of logical endeavor. Letting go however, is the first essential step in self expression.

Next week, I will write about a second obstacle to creative expression. If you are a professional in a logical, rational business of any kind and would like to flex your creative muscles, you may want to work with a spiritual life coach. Spiritual life coaching is about discovering the artist within and creating the required space for it to show up in your life. If interested, contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation.

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