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Five Steps to Higher Creativity: Engaging the Human Spirit

Unleash Your Creativity!

Creativity has often been the misunderstood child of the genius family. This misunderstanding has brought along with it a tainted picture of what creativity is, what function it serves, and where it comes from. The creative process remains one of the great mysteries of the human spirit. How do we create the things we do?

Many people have said that creativity is the process by which we connect spiritually, connect with people, and connect with the world. It is safe to say that through creativity, we connect with some energy, some force, some thing. And it is through this connecting process that we have the opportunity to use our creativity to effect change in our lives.

If we choose, we can become more aware of our creativity blocks. Through this process, we can become more creative, more connected, more trusting, more enthusiastic, and more focused on our success.

Here are the five steps to higher creativity as well as five related traps to watch out for. Being a creative individual with a passion for a new project can be exhilarating, and with these five steps and some awareness about who you are, you can climb to place you never thought possible.

Step 1: Completion

In other words, take out the trash! Our homes are filled with goodies, gadgets, and garbage that we don't need. These items (typically bought for time saving) end up costing us precious space in our consciousness. By ridding ourselves of these items that we do not use, we can free up energy otherwise saved for these items. For example, imagine how much energy is tied up in the books we bought two years ago? If you're not going to do it, get rid of it. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it.

Creativity Trap #1: Tolerations A "Toleration" is something you have been "putting up with." Most likely, it's on your list of things to, and has been there for months or even years. Sometimes we don't know something is a toleration because we have been putting up with it for so long and have gotten used to it. Like the pile of stuff on your desk that you don't really see anymore even when you have to reach over it to get a paper clip. So make sure to take care of the squeaky hinge on the door, the junk drawer in the kitchen, and the dental appointment you meant to make nine months ago!

Step 2: Clarity

Create an clear intention of what it is you would like to create. Perhaps you are an artist with an established medium (painting, acting, writing), or perhaps you are a creative individual who would like to create a new project, a new relationships, or a new career. Whatever your heart's desire, begin now by narrowing down the specific qualities or attributes of your creative endeavor. Remember, being specific is the key here. If we are to enroll the universe in supporting our new desire, we must make our "recipe" as specific as possible. Make a list of qualities, draw a picture, cut pictures out of magazines ? do whatever you can to get as specific a picture as you can. Have I said that enough times yet? Well, here's one more: Be specific!

Creativity Trap #2: Perfectionism Now this is a popular one! Creative individuals often find themselves narrowing down their vision and getting stuck in the fear of not being able to live up to their vision. "It has to be this way or it's not going to work!" Keep in mind that all you are doing is coming up with what you want to create and not how you are going to create it. Keep the perfectionism gremlin at bay by understanding at a deep level that you are human and that you will do the best you can with what you have available to you. You don't have to wait "until the exact right moment." And besides, any mistake you make (whether large or small) will be a gift.

Step 3: Collaboration

The keyword here is ASK! Asking for support around your creative project can be an intimate and vulnerable experience. Sometimes we are afraid to ask for the time, space, and energy we need to put behind our new project. Other kinds of collaboration can include asking for help to clean out your garage in order to build your new studio, asking friends to come over for a dinner party because you in order to try some new recipes, or asking someone to read Chapter One of your new book. Putting together a support network can mean the difference between getting to the next phase or falling flat because you didn't have enough support. You don't have to do it alone!

Creativity Trap #3: Unhealthy Boundaries and Overcommitment. You know who they are. Those friends, family members, neighbors, or other people who drain your energy. In order to have the time, space, and energy you need for your project, learn how to say the word "NO." Telling someone up front that you only have a specific amount of time to spend with them will be infinitely easier than sitting through another boring lunch with Uncle Herbie. That's time that you could have spent on your new adventure.

Step 4: Confidence

The number one confidence and trust builder is keeping your agreements. When you keep your agreements (with others as well as yourself), increased confidence is a natural by-product. So take a look at the agreements you are making and whether or not you are keeping them. Take a look at your day planner or calendar. They're full of agreements you have made. Being on time gives a wonderful feeling. But don't take my word for it, try it out! Give yourself the test of being everywhere you have agreed to be five minutes early for a whole week and see if you don't feel more confident. I guarantee it.

Creativity Trap #4: Resentment and Jealousy Being in the acting trade, I have seen these two things at work quite often. Actor A gets the part and Actor B would like to flatten their tires. This is a natural and very human reaction, and it's perfectly fine to have these feelings as long as they don't stick around. If Actor B is still feeling that way three weeks from now, then there's a problem. Jealousy and Resentment are huge "creativity constipators." Have you ever tried to create something while feeling resentful? You can't ? it's an instant roadblock.

Step 5: Connection

As I said in the introduction, creativity is a connection for everyone to some "thing," and connection to others, to the world, and to ourselves can further this connection, provide inspiration, and expand the "joy of creation." And if you have done these steps in order, by the time you get to this step, you will be able to feel that connection at a real heart level. There are five universal ways to connect to our heart: nature, children, music, animals, and art. These are places you can always find a heart connection. You may have your own personal way to connect to your heart (and thus, to your creativity). Find a time each day to connect at a heart level, receive joy and inspiration, and you'll be creating in no time!

Creativity Trap #5: Distractions and Addictions What's your favorite distraction? For some it's television, computer games, or talking on the phone. These are precious time and energy stealers that we use when we don't want to face the blank page, canvas, or monologue. Addictions like alcohol, cigarettes, and eating also serve the same purpose to "cover" our feelings of inadequacy, imperfection, and general univentiveness. The good news is, I am not asking you to give up your television and solitaire computer game. All you have to do is keep a watchful and not give in to them every time. If you can keep the boundary of creating for yourself from the heart, your distractions and addictions will not hold the same power.


These five steps are designed to help you be more open to your own creativity and the inspiration that the world holds for you. If you work with these steps, you will be able to find a balance of creative synergy while avoiding some of the creativity traps and find yourself in a real heartfelt creative project that you love. Good luck!

Bernie Cardell makes things happen. He has experience in coaching all types of people including gifted and creative people, business owners, executives, teenagers, actors, board members, healthcare practitioners, and just about anyone you can think of. Through his experience in coaching, working for Insight Seminars Worldwide, The Love and Logic Institute, and The New Warrior Project, he has had the opportunity to coach hundreds of people through confusion to large and lasting change.

Bernie is also a successful stage actor and director.

For more information on Bernie and personal coaching, please visit his site My Creative Prosperity at http://www.mycreativeprosperity.com

 

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