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Unleashing creativity

There is an interesting nugget of neurology that I cam across recently, about the Reticular activating system (RAS). RAS is a function of the brain which decides what we focus on. It is the reason why, when you are considering blue as the colour for your new car, because, “I hardly ever see blue cars on the road,” they then become ubiquitous. They were always there, but your brain didn’t think they were important enough to notice – until you start thinking about them more.

This has been happening for me with the topic of creativity. It began with me listening to the Audiobook of “Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear.” by Elizabeth Gilbert (she of Eat, Pray, Love fame). It had been recommended to me ages ago and I’d dutifully downloaded it back in the summer and then not listened to it. Having run out of credits on my talking book account over Christmas, and so depserate for something to listen to, I decided (rather reluctantly) to give it a go.

I’m so glad I did, because has really given me a new perspective on creativity – in particular, about not putting pressure on your creative spirit by forcing it to earn you a living. That’s something I’ve grappled with for a long time. I’ve longed for the Bremmand Chronicles to be bestsellers and to earn me millions so I can quit the day job and just write (well who hasn’t wished that for their passion?). They haven’t (yet) and, as a result, I’d always felt just a bit of a failure.

Now, thanks to Liz Gilbert, I realise that telling the stories which are burnished on my soul can continue to happen while I hold down a day job of an entirely different kind. It’s okay! I can be a consultant by day and a writer by night. I have Liz Gilbert’s permission! More importantly, I have my own permission.

Having started to immerse myself in the ideas of creativity, I suddenly started to see references to it everywhere. My RAS noticed it in work settings (on a training course, making the point that we are most creative when lying down, for example). It homed in on it as I listened to the Mi365 daily online coaching sessions I attend – as Pete talked about making great days by moving away from being Reactive and (by moving one letter) into Creative. It spotted it in a podcast I listened to with Deborah Walker (a natropath) when she talked about inspiration and creativity being unlocked through healthy eating.

What’s more, it has changed my perspective on who I am in a small but incredibly important way because, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of seeing how some of my creativity has excited and helped others when something I have been working in my non-fiction writing was released to its intended audience.

Suddenly, it is okay to be a creative type. It isn’t weird, or unacceptably unconventional, or something to hide. It is something to relish and love and excite me. It is wonderful to be creative.

am a writer….

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