Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Inside the Mind of the Creative Thinker

A friend came to visit me at my Quiet Space Studio this week and she asked me, 

          'So, ... where do all these ideas of yours come from ... how come you do all these creative things?'

I struggled to answer her because I am just being me. I don't try to do creative things, they simply come. After she had gone, I reflected upon her question. 

I realised that I have completely taken my creativity for granted. I chuckle at myself sometimes that I get up to all manner of quirky lovlieness, and what's more, I rather enjoy chuckling at myself in this way, like I'm doing something a tad naughty by being creative.

I am wondering if it is because I went to quite a strict all girls school, where something as trivial as wearing the wrong colour socks had me in the Head Teacher's Corridor. 

Funny thing was, the Head and I became quite good friends and not just because I spent so much time being sent to her. The more she scolded me for being a bit different, the more it made me chuckle and so the more different I would be, which wasn't that hard in such a staid environment. 

I remember she wrote on my report once, 'If Cheryl put all her boundless energy into her work, she would be a genius,' and so when I left school, that's exactly what I did ... not become a genius but put all my energy into my work ... and beautiful things have happened ever since, so in a way, she gave me good advice. 

I can still see her now, shaking her head at me and yet smiling in her eyes ... 'What have you been up to now?' And I would climb onto the chair in front of her big desk and start telling her the story. She would try not to laugh and the more she tried not to laugh, well, I just couldn't help myself.

I didn't tell anyone, because it would have ruined my street cred, but she lived near me and we used to walk to school together in the Winter when the roads were bad. 'With an imagination like that you could get in all sorts of trouble.' she would say. 'Or change the world.' I would reply.

Essentially, I suppose I am a Creative Thinker. That is, Creative thinkers instinctively think creatively, we live creatively, it's our life force.  I am a creative being. To ask me how I have all these ideas,  is like wondering how come a bird has so many feathers? or how can a fish can swim for so long? 

However, I am also a strategic thinker. I haven't always been. I was taught it by an exceptional Community Education Manager many years ago who helped me see beyond the limits of my own walls.

Creativity is not something I do, it is at the core of who I am. I do not see problems, I see creative solutions. 

Yes, granted, the solutions are usually quirky and outside the box but I don't try for them to be, they just are. I have won many awards for them as they are apparently also well planned and innovative and what's more, they are changing the world or at least making it a better place for those involved.

My friend's question has made me overview my practice & process of working.

Having reflected, I can see 4 categories emerging. 

My Work 
My Therapy
Work for Others
Supporting Others' Work

It has been very useful to review in this way as it has made me realise that I am not spending enough time on my own work ... What I mean by this is, my own creative projects as a writer, storyteller, poet, songwriter, artist. I expect there are many creatives that can identify with this.

Looking at the 4 categories has shown me that I spend 50% of my time helping others and only 25% of time on my own work, and though I love to help others, it is time to shift this balance and offer myself the same compassion and support. I recognise that helping others at the cost of my own work, is a dance I have easily fallen into throughout my life. I enjoy it.

Next blog I will talk about how, just by realising this, I have been able to make tiny shifts but great change, whilst maintaining the levels of compassion that are important to me.

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