The quest for creativity is a lifelong learning process. The potential for creativity, in my view, is immense. I lean in on what I learned as a child, to pursue creativity with a bucket load of curiousity, eyes open, alert, proactive and determined.
I learn to allow challenges that come my way to lead me to create more, be courageous and stay curious rather than stop, discourage or, worst still, diminish, a hostage to certainty.
In Chapter 1, I concluded that children naturally live in the questions, asking them freely and often, with little attachment to the response. I believe it is in questions that the creative path unfolds. I did learn this as a child, then I unlearned it through experiences and inconvenient memory loss. I became a hostage to certainty.
Being certain, being all knowing, was the new quest in my youth. Was I conscious of this? I don’t think so. I thought it was necessary, important to know, so I acquired knowledge and when asked a question, it would pain me to say, “I don’t know”. Once again, the risks went up, the stakes were high. I sought answers instead of questions.
Yet, there are also high stakes at being certain.
Certainty is akin to being a hostage to the past, to what we know and have already experienced. Certainty is where the answers matter more than the questions, stifling the potential of experiencing something, somewhere or someone new. It sits dangerously close to complacency.
Certainty engages our left brain’s past experiences, thoughts and stories and misses out on the emotional circuitry of engaging our right brain’s present moment experience. We live more in the past. In doing so, we miss out on the present moment where we can be in non-judgement of ourselves or the natural creative process that lives in present moment awareness.
In the inspiring story and book: “My Stroke of Insight”, Jill Bolte Taylor writes:
“To our right mind, the moment of now is timeless and abundant. In the absence of all the rules and regulations that have already been defined as the correct way of doing something, our right mind is free to think intuitively outside of the box, and it creatively explores the possibilities that each new moment brings. By its design, our right mind is spontaneous, carefree and imaginative. It allows our artistic juices to flow free without inhibition or judgement.”
I recall several milestone events in my life when I was dangerously close to being certain, judging, reluctant to explore and evading the path of the uncertain. In retrospect, walking towards uncertainty is taking the path of blended courage, curiousity and creativity.
During each of those milestones, what liberated me was an experience that feels like time standing still. Although each moment is different in circumstance, that stop-motion experience of being frozen in time, listening inward and cutting out the noise and clutter, was the same. Through taking the time in those moments, oftentimes a series of them, I made conscious choices to step into the uncertain and trust in what emerges.
Creativity through tapping my inner resourcefulness, intuition and courage became the renewed quest in turning-point life and career choices. These are the moments that I left my hometown of Kingston to start a career just north of Toronto, to get engaged within four months of meeting my now husband of over twenty years, to leave Toronto with a leap of faith for a new life and career in Egypt, to explore a career leap from Egypt to Dubai! Each of those experiences were complete unknowns, and they were each the greatest most enriching adventures. I had to take the leaps, blazing forward, to emerge with these incredible experiences.
I let go of being a hostage to certainty, let go of comfort and entered discomfort. With each change, courage, curiousity and creativity came with me as my guides to leap past the discomfort. Because when the discomfort of the unknowns were behind me, blazing through the unknowns bring me experiences and lasting impressions of something, somewhere and someone new and wonderful.
What are your guides into the unknown?