Are you wondering how to stimulate creativity and empower your creative thought processes?
Begin by answering this one important question: Do you mostly think in words, or in images and feelings? Your answer is important, because your personal thought patterns determine your brand of creative potential, and your ultimate success. Life is a creative project.
If words dominate your thinking, it will be difficult to stimulate your creative spirit. Creativity gestates in your unconscious, and is born in the gap between worlds; that vital crack between the vast unknown and your everyday mind. There are no words in this space; only feelings, knowing, and imagery. When this creative newborn enters your conscious mind, you have to be able to nurture and grow it. A mind filled with nothing but words will only choke it.
Leonard Cohen is a good example of a rich creative spirit. Have you listened to his songs? They are unique and powerful because his words convey speechless concepts.
His main mode of thought is rich in feeling and imagery, even though his creative output is in words. When you hear his songs or read his poems, you get the message, because he doesn’t put words to his thoughts prematurely. He waits for the creative awareness to mature. And when the words come, they respect the power and depth of his inspiration. They fluidly bend, and lend their definitions to express the creative output of his spirit.
“I want you, I want you, I want you
on a chair with a dead magazine.
In the cave at the tip of the lily,
in some hallway where love’s never been.
On a bed where the moon has been sweating,
in a cry filled with footsteps and sand”
… from Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz” (after Lorca)
Your feelings and subtle mental imagery are unlimited. They express your pure creative truth. Leonard Cohen is unique because he understands the sacredness of creative thought. He instinctively knows that words are only messengers. They are neither the creation nor the creator of thought.
The creative void — and words
When you hear words used this way, they don’t stop you at the line drawn by literal definition. They allow you to pass beyond into the creative vortex of your spirit. Magic happens in this strange dark place; this crack between worlds. It is from there that your spirit and creativity reach out to communicate with you. But you have to let it in. How? By creating an opening in the wall of words that block its signals.
This creative void within you is like a vacuum. It draws emotions, images, experiences, and conceptions, from your personal world and beyond. Then, like some cosmic blender, it spits them out; creative smoothies waiting to pour into a receptive container. If words are filling this container — your everyday mind — what will happen?
Words are tenacious. Words grab your mind and block the output of your creative void. Their fixed definitions stunt whatever wisdom and inspiration you may have received. Words are dead. They describe the fixed; the already done. Words regurgitate creativity. Words cannot feed creative inspiration and help it grow.
Used as commonly prescribed, words are a coarse attempt to express the incredible depth and range of your creative perception. Words are not at all profound. They can only point to the profound. Words describe. If you spend too much time communicating in words though, you run the risk that words will fill all of the available spaces in your mind — to the point where you perceive nothing BUT words in your head.
When their definitions block the subtle and liquid voice of your spirit, you will no longer feel the power of that sacred and creative void within you.
Changing thought patterns
You can improve your Creative thinking skills the same way you learn other skill sets — by focussed practice. Here are 3 suggestions to stimulate creative thinking.
- Practice meditation: Meditation is the practice of honoring your creative void. Through it, you learn to let go of your mind’s tendency to think in words. You become adept at ignoring the urge to follow the pointless tangents of the mind’s word stream. When the words stop, you enter your creative void and your universe expands. Try my Little Buddha Walking meditation for an enjoyable way to meditate.
- Wake up your creative imagination: Everyone is creative, each in their own way. Learn to recognize and honor your particular brand of imagination and creativity. Find ways to visually and physically play with it. When you exercise your creative mind you move beyond your intellect and its prison of words. Imagination empowers your creative imagery and feelings.
- Listen to yourself: You might not realize the depth of what you miss due to the unceasing flow of words through your mind. Take time out to listen to your mind’s constant chatter. Become aware of just how pervasive it is. Ask yourself if you would consciously choose these thoughts. Are they important, or are they just random regurgitations of yesterday’s experiences? If they weren’t there, what would take their place? Now, practice being in that place where you can perceive, visualize, and formulate without being limited by words and sentences and definitions.
If you practice the above 3 suggestions, you will gradually reduce the amount and volume of the words that take up so much of that precious creative space in your mind. You will clear that creative void so that your spirit can drift into it and gestate.
When you experience that void, it is like giving birth. It is not something you have defined or intellectually formulated. It is an unknown. It is a gift that you accept, then develop and share using words as a vehicle as necessary.
It is in the mystery, the surprise, and the darkness of the unknown that you progress in depth of knowledge, experience, and spirit.
This vast creative unknown within you is the breeding ground of creative thinking. Don’t let words get in the way.
Over to you now…