THE TENDER SHOOTS
It seems to me the more relaxed you are the more choices you have available to you, the more creative you can be in any given situation. Yoga and meditation practice are a gateway to greater creativity.
A friend of mine says the same about space, the more space you operate in the freer your potential - but I'll come to that one in a later post...
So, creativity. What does it mean, and what's the need to be creative? And what's it got to do with yoga?
Human creativity is expressed in many ways. Obviously actors, musicians, artists, writers are all creative. So are mechanical engineers, designers and filmmakers. But any profession can be creative, and so can you! You may not call what you do creative - every decision you make contains some element of creativity. What you wear, how you present yourself, your travel plans, what you eat all involve decisions and that's all creativity is - empowered decisions, conscious choices.
Hmm, you're not convinced I can tell. Do these things really not seem like creative acts to you? Is it because you do them slavishly, in a repetitive way? In other words did you decide long ago how you'd present yourself, what you'd eat at lunchtime, how you'd react to the receptionist at work every day? Do you sleepwalk through your day until something out of the ordinary happens and forces you to change a pattern?
Have you decided not to decide? To hide in the usual and mundane? Why isn't that a good thing, I hear you ask. I'm alright, I get by. Why isn't it fine to be on autopilot?
When we stifle and bury who we really are , we become lame and shut down. Our minds are narrow and our ability to communicate and interact becomes hampered. We categorise and stereotype the people we meet, feeling threatened and afraid, unable to see them (and things) fully and clearly. I believe the truth is we all yearn to be creative - it's part of who we are. People I meet who draw, or bake, or make things tell me they can't help it - it's an impulse in them. The people I see in class who say "I wish I could..." or 'I'd like to start...' are often the unhappy ones. The ones who aren't doing, but are thinking about doing. Ironically society tends to portray creative people as dreamers. But those who suppress their creativity are actually the ones living a daze. You might have heard the phrase ' to wake up' at a meditation class, that's exactly what your creativity is - your ability to wake up your full potential as a human being.
A creative person sees reality very intensely - it doesn't mean conjuring things up, no, it means seeing and feeling the world vividly. So vividly, in fact, that you can put together connections and patterns that help clarify the world and phenomena.
It means you see and interact with the beauty of the world rather than hiding from it. A exciting prospect isn't it?
Quote above is by Henry Miller. Picture above is by Antony Gormley