Four Ways to Replenish your Creative Spirit: Tips for Personal Creativity
1. WHAT WERE YOU JUST THINKING?
Daydreams are fertile ground for the imagination to soar. As you sit absorbed in a problem, notice when you get lost in a day dream. What were you just thinking of? Your unconscious is a rich source of images, ideas and experiences that lead to new connections, and fresh thinking.
Daydreaming is a way to incubate the components of a problem and uncover solutions. How can you apply the images and thoughts of your daydream to the project you are working on? How could the image be a metaphor? Can your day dream show you a new perspective?
Try a technique called `forced connections’ If you were thinking about a bird, for example, think about the qualities of a bird, what a bird symbolizes for you, and how that could help you in your project.
2. CAPTURE YOUR IDEAS
* Keep a notebook handy to record your daydreams and ideas that come to mind while watching TV, attending a lecture, meeting with clients and so on.
* Collect pictures and articles of people, places, things and ideas that please you. You will develop an idea file that will help stimulate your thinking on future projects.
* Use your imagination to make connections between information you collect and a project you are working on, to trigger new ideas.
3. BE PLAYFUL
Delight yourself and you delight the world. You are richly rewarded when you apply your passion to what pleases you. Remember what you loved to do as a child and bring the essence of that activity into your work. This is a clue to your genius; to your natural gifts and talents. Da Vinci, Edison, Einstein and Picasso all loved to play and they loved to explore. Their passions resulted in genius. Even God likes to play. Lila is Sanscrit for God’s play. What is God’s play? Creating the Universe!
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE
As an artist, I’m alert to the people, places and things that nourish my spirit and replenish me. One day I told a friend, who is an artist, poet and mystic, I’ve been a little envious of the world of Gertrude Stein. Her Paris home was a salon for the leading artists and writers of the period between World Wars I and II. I wanted to be at the pulse of great ideas that make a difference in the world today, and create my own salon.
We decided to host Soirées for Smart People, inviting artists, poets, scientists, doctors, physicists and change agents. Food, wine and a room full of art provide the framework for pods of rich conversation and stimulating ideas.
People are thrilled at the notion of participating in a Soirée for Smart People, the idea strikes a chord somehow. This makes it easy to invite interesting people I barely know. I’ve even had people contact me from England and the US to tell me who in Vancouver I should include at my soirée. The beauty of the evenings is their simplicity. The dinner is potluck. There is no agenda. Guests arrive knowing that they can expect to enjoy a shared experience that enriches the human spirit.
Try hosting your own salon, inviting a mix of inspiring people from different professions. A variation on the theme is to invite people to bring poetry or a musical instrument. Have fun!
This article first appeared in the Meeting Planners Association (BC) Newsletter (1998)