creativity


School has ended.
I am grateful.
I am grateful school has ended.
School has ended well.

Part of the graceful ending of my master’s program was an opportunity to record a “This I Believe” statement and have it played as I stood in the middle of the circle of faculty and classmates; each one a part of this transformational experience. The intent of the exercise was for each individual to be witnessed and celebrated at this journey end. Here is my statement:

This I believe…that each person has an eternal, spiritual essence that holds our deepest callings, purpose and desire for destiny.

I believe that creativity is birthed out of the place of spirit and that to nurture our spirit is to support our ability to do the unique and meaningful work that we are drawn to do.

I believe that that work is best supported when we recognize that every connection we have with people, places and things can be characterized as a relationship.

I believe that engaging our spirits in these relationships will bring the greatest satisfaction and deepest meaning to life.

“Love is what creating is about.” So wrote Robert Fritz as he describes the creative process in his book “Creating.” Ascribing love as a generative force, Fritz invites his readers to not only recognize the process of creating as a tool, but to step into a lifestyle of creating and so experience life at its essence. According to Fritz, the act of creating builds energy, which in turn builds momentum, which in turn renews energy, which continues an energetic flow that is renewable.

Fritz separates the creative process into nine consecutive elements:

  1. Conception – one begins to consider what to create and experiments with ideas;
  2. Vision – a specific idea is identified, many times through brainstorming;
  3. Current reality – identify what I currently have in relationship to the vision, this is where structural tension is born;
  4. Take action – begin creative process, learn by doing, experiment;
  5. Adjust-learn-evaluate-adjust – creating is a skill that is accumulative;
  6. Building momentum – organizing actions to build momentum, comes with experience;
  7. Always have a place to go – creates a dynamic that focuses time, energy and direction;
  8. Completion – often acceleration of energy and actions, final decisions, declaring that creation is complete, direct energetic momentum towards next project; and
  9. Living with your creation – develop a new relationship with creation, from creator to audience.

These elements are experienced in an active way where creators take risks, experiment, and learn by doing.

In a collaborative arena, Fritz also points out that creative teams need a clear vision if they are to be successful in creating. When the clear vision is absent, this is most likely a symptom of a simple truth: the individuals, and therefore the group itself, do not know how to create. They were never trained. To think that it could be this simple blows my mind as I would love to have this kind of job.

Notes based on: Fritz, R. (1991). Creating. New York: Fawcett Columbine.

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…

They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.

Pearl Buck (1892-1973)