Today I have an interesting video from world creativity expert Ken Robinson,

speaking at the 2011 World festival Of Creativity in Cannes in June 2011.

As always he has great insight into creativity and how we manage it.

Do you think we are all creative?
Do you believe that creativity is something as intrinsic to us as the blood in our veins?

Pix Credit

There are many ways to be inspired and I have covered several of them in our converstions here.  One easy way to get yourself back into the inspiration zone is to visit one of your favourite places.

  • What is the place that really speaks to you?
  • Where in the world makes your heart sing?
  • Is there more than one place?

So why does this help? Simply because when you go to those places you connect to something deep withing your self .  Its like a home coming and often you are impelled from within to respond creatively. Here are two of my favourite places….

Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand

Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand

And another also filled with light and water…..

Venetian Canal : Photo - Kadira Jennings

Venetian Canal

There is something about both of these places that I am drawn to again and again.   I have only been to Venice once but all I have to do is get out my photos and I feel inspired all over again.

  • What is your special place and how can it inspire you to create something today?

This past week I have been involved in a virtual creativity workshop with Angi Sullins.  I would like to share with you a great exercise she had us doing this week, which is all about allowing yourself to do things. To remind us to allow ourselves to be less ‘responsible’ and more impulsive and heart oriented in our activities, Angi had us all make a permission flag. Here is mine….

Permission Flag created by Kadira Jennings

Permission Flag

We have become such slaves to leading ordered lives, fitting into our self assigned roles that have later in life become outworn garments of an inner life long discarded.

  • When was the last time you allowed yourself to do something delightful just because you felt like doing it?
  • When was the last time you did something without considering what everyone else wanted to do first?
  • When was the last time you skipped somewhere? Yes I did say skipped. Did you know that if you can get over yourself enough to forget about being silly, that skipping is an expression of joy? Did you know that it’s very hard – if not impossible  to skip and stay grumpy, or sad or depressed?
  • When was the last time you created something just for the sheer joy of doing it – rather than because of one of those ‘have to ‘reasons?

So what do you do with your Permission Flag?

  • The idea is to put them around your house, in your car, outside the front door – any place where you want to remind yourself that it is OK to do something special for NO REASON.  We don’t have to have a reason to be happy.
  • We don’t have to have a reason to explore the world we live in more fully. Are there streets in your neighbourhood that you have never been down? Perhaps you might take some time out this week to go and visit some of them – just to see what’s there?

It is these actions that fill our creativity cups.  You can’t create in a vacuum – go and fill up your cups.  Give yourself permission to do so. I have two challenges for you today –

  1. Go skipping this week. How does it feel?  What did you realize ?
  2. Make your own permission flag – have fun doing it and put things on it that represent fun for you. And give yourself permission to have some fun this week

I would love to know how you go – Please feel inspired to come and share your experiences here. The comments button is in the top right hand corner of the post as always. I am going to give myself permission to only do one blog post a week for the month of August as I have a very busy month coming up, preparing for the colour workshop I’m giving at the end of August.  So for the next few weeks beginning this week, I will only be posting on Mondays – Down Under or Sundays Up Over!! depending on which part of the world you live in! Wow the liberation I feel in saying that is TREMENDOUS. I can actually have an early night tonight now ….. Woohooo!!!

I have come to the conclusion that Life and Art are so closely intertwined as to be inseparable.

Intertwined ropes

Intertwined Ropes

The more I teach art and participate in the development of my own creativity, the deeper my understanding of this becomes.

Although many people don’t realize it, participating in any form of creativity whatsoever – is ALWAYS an act of self development.  Perhaps this is why we find so many people refusing to acknowledge their creative potential and denying themselves through that oft repeated phrase;

“But I have no talent!” I refuse to accept this and challenge everyone to examine that statement by asking the question – “Is that true?”

We all have talents of some kind which are often dismissed.  The ability to draw a smile to someones lips or make people laugh are talents.

What is your greatest talent?

Pix Credit: The Morgue File

“Our own worth is measured by what we devote our energy to.” – Marcus Aurelius

This is an interesting way of looking at our life’s value and our own self worth.

Marcus was a remarkably wise man. “Marcus Aurelius’ work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.” – Wikipedia.

Bust of Marcus Aurelius

Bust of Marcus Aurelius

Surprisingly the thoughts and principles expounded in his work are as relevant in the 21st century as they were in C170. If our worth is judged by the amount of energy we devote to something it follows that this is also a measure of what is important to us.  Or more precisely the back story of why we do that activity is what is important. I would suggest that this is in all likelihood something we don’t spend a great deal of conscious though on.

For example, are you doing work that sits some where on the scale between, hate and indifference? If so why do you stay there? What is your back story about that?

Of course there are many, many reasons we use to justify this state of affairs, staying in a bad situation way beyond time we might have moved on, and I am no stranger to that particular story.

In light of this, when was the last time you took half a day out on your own to look insight-fully at your life and what you are doing with it? The important thing to recognize is, how precious each and every moment is, and to then ask yourself the following questions –

#   How could I make this moment better?

#   Thus far – how has my life been measured?

#   What have I devoted my energy to?

#    How is my creativity showing up?

I was walking down the beach this morning when I came across a little fellow who looked very similar to this.  He got me thinking about what life would be like if I  could only walk sideways everywhere I went.  How would that change the way I operate in the world and what would the advantages and disadvantages be….

Crab walking in The Sand

Well talk about synchronicity….. as I was driving home listening to one of Rich Schefren’s Q & A sessions what should he be discussing but the concept of our unique and individual work flow patterns. One point that particularly resonated with me and made me think of my crab, was this –

We all have a work flow that we use, either consciously, or unconsciously. The question is does it serve us?

Are we limiting ourselves to walking sideways?

As creative people, we would be wise to look at this not only in terms of how that is relevant to the business practices we use but also in terms of our creative process itself. Rich had a good point, in that so often we are looking for a tailor made solution to fit our specific scenario.  We live in an off the shelf society  and have come to expect that there is a ready made solution if we can just find it.

However as we are unique, and what we do and how we work is also unique, only some of what works for someone else, may work for me.  It is my job to figure out what does and doesn’t work of other people’s processes and take the best for myself.

We would profit from spending more time thinking before we begin doing, in order to begin doing more efficiently once we get going.  Part of the problem here is being time poor, so we think time spent planning is an area we can save time but ultimately this is flawed thinking and practice as the opposite is true.

So my question for today is – How does your work-flow strategy serve you and/or hinder you  and what changes can you make so your creative experience is a more enjoyable one? I would love to hear your thoughts -the comments box is at the top of the post if you feel moved to contribute.

Pix Credit: earl53

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