I’m writing this especially for participants of Dr Kate’s recent workshop at ANU where I was a presenter. Thank you for your engagement with my presentation about creativity – I’m grateful for your openness and generosity of spirit in participating. Seeing adults lying on the floor totally engaged in colouring is on my list of favourite things!
I welcome any further comments, especially in regard to whether you have implemented any changes and experiencing any benefits. This may not be apparent in the short term, in fact, sometimes a workshop like this can be unsettling. And good can come out of being unsettled!
Paul further opened up the idea of trust with regard to creative practice and this is an area that I will explore further. Rob’s naming of exhilaration as part of creative flow calls for sounding out this ego-less state of being without the need to understand it. There’s a connection to trust here. Surrender even. Your thoughts are most welcome.
I promised references. I began by citing the American farmer, essayist and poet, Wendell Berry from his essay ‘Life is a Miracle: An essay against Modern Superstition’ with regard to an over dependence on science to provide the answers to the world’s problems. Given the funding given to the Sciences and funding cuts to the Arts, I would say the superstition appears firmly entrenched.
My apologies – I misspelt Csikszentmihalyi (and I tried to get it right!) author of Creativity published by Harper in 1996. From pages 58-73, CM identifies the 10 pairs of paradoxical qualities of highly creative people. There is agreement in the work of Prof. Nancy Andreasen in her more recent research The Secrets of the Creative Brain. What I forgot to say, is that there is a surprising parallel between these qualities and the qualities of a visionary leader.
When I spoke of the general appearances of self-sabotage, I referred to The Enneagram, an ancient system of understanding personalities which has made a comeback in contemporary psychology. I’ve attended three training courses on this remarkable system, the most recent a 6 day Masterclass.
The areas we explored on facilitating creativity were from a wide range of sources. I referred to Andreasen’s REST – Random Episodic Silent Thought. When engaged in something effortless and different, the activity in the association cortices of the brain increased, making connections that had not occurred previously. Very cool!
Intelligent Fast Failure is the concept developed by Professor Jack Matson, who wrote Innovate or Die. Susan Cain gave the wonderful TED talk about introversion and the value of spending time alone.
I apologise that the presentation had to finish without the ending I had planned. The message was: write the paper you want to read and teach the class you’d love to attend.
My very best wishes for all your endeavours,