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About creativity

Creativity provides the solutions to solve the unexpected challenges of life. We have been successful, as a species, because we are good at doing this. Natural selection has favoured creativity, we have evolved into creative beings - it is part of being human.

Creativity is largely a product of intuition and imagination. Our intuition gives us access to the enormous wealth of information held in our unconscious: everything we have ever experienced or learned, minute observations too fleeting to register consciously, memories and facts beyond our instant recall, conclusions deduced subconsciously.

This information from the unconscious comes to us in such a way that we may feel we know something - but not know how we know. We cannot reach it on a conscious level. It comes to us more as a feeling or voice than as something that we can grasp intellectually. If we follow these feelings we are said to be using our intuition. Creative people listen to their intuition. They will ask: "Does this feel right?" before they seek the intellectual confirmation from the question: "Is this right?"

Creative block frequently occurs when we get this the wrong way round, often when we are feeling unsure either about ourselves or some aspect of life around us. We are unable to ask: "Does this feel right?" We need something more certain, we go straight for "Is this right?" This question closes off our ability to listen to the massive well of information in our unconscious and we desperately strain our conscious intellect to search for something sure, safe and concrete.

When we are able to let go of the uncertainty, the fear, the necessity to consciously analyse everything, we open the gates to the endless stream of thoughts and ideas from our unconscious. Combine these with imagination and they are elevated yet further from our conscious control and nearer to something new and innovative.

If we are focused, this process will have direction and meaning. We can then consciously examine these thoughts with our intellect, sorting, evaluating and building on them as we test them for credibility against our understanding of the real world. It is an uncertain process, sometimes we get lucky sometimes not. That is creativity.

Most people go through phases of feeling a lack of creativity, some people rarely feel creative at all. The reason for this is that to some extent or other, we all perceive the world as dangerous and threatening, if not consciously then unconsciously.

We have many fears: of losing our jobs, or our relationships; of not having enough money, or enough time, of not being happy; of failure - the list can go on. We feel uncertain and would prefer the safety of certainty. We want to know that everything will be all right. In this state, we lose trust in our feelings, our intuition; we doubt ourselves and cling on to what we know for certain, unable to take a risk on what is not sure.

The harder we cling on, the more we block ourselves and the more unable we become to see or create opportunity. In the end we may not even know what we are clinging on to, we just cling on, unable to let go. For some people and some organizations, this state is so entrenched in their existence that it is not recognised as a block: instead they simply accept themselves as uncreative or blame others for their failure. They remain unaware of the vast resource of their creativity and either never seek to unlock it or simply don't know how to.


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