The quest for creativity is a lifelong learning process, risks and all. The sheer potential for creativity, in my view, is immense no matter the discomfort in the pursuit. I now 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 learned, am still learning, to allow challenges that come my way to lead me to create more and stay curious rather than stop or discourage or, worst still, diminish.
In part one of this series, I concluded that children naturally live in the questions, asking them freely and often, with little attachment to the response, revelling in the chaos. I believe asking a lot of questions, questions that may create chaos, is where the creative path unfolds. I learned this as a child, then I unlearned it through painful experiences and sheer memory loss. I became a hostage to certainty.
Being certain, being all knowing, was the new quest. 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.
What’s at stake in being certain?
I believe certainty is akin to being a hostage to the past, to what we know. Certainty is where the answers matter more than the questions, stifling the potential of experiencing something, somewhere or someone new. It straddles 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 present moment awareness where we can be in non-judgement of ourselves or the natural creative process that lives in present moment awareness.
In “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 intuitive 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 so dangerously close to being certain and not taking the path of the uncertain. In retrospect, walking towards uncertainty is taking the path of blended courage, curiousity and creativity.
During each of those events, what liberated me was an experience like time standing still. Although each moment was different in circumstance, that stop-motion experience of being frozen in time was the same. I made a conscious choice to step into the uncertain and just see what happens.
Creativity became the renewed quest in turning-point choices in my life. These are the moments that I left my hometown of Kingston to start a career just north of Toronto, to leave Toronto for the exotic lands of Egypt and 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 let go of being a hostage to certainty, let go of comfort and entered discomfort. With each move, courage, curiousity and creativity came with me as my guide.
What are your guides into the unknown?
Check out the continuing story of “The Quest for Creativity”
The Quest for Creativity – Flaws and All: Explore what it is about imperfection that leads us to feel that we must be perfect.