The creative vitality of our lives
I remember hearing Carl Sagan, the wonderful scientist and creator of the 1980 television series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, speak about creativity and vitality as “two sides of the same coin”: “The stronger your creative instincts, the more energetic and vivid your life will be.” This sentence not only resonated with me: it reverberated throughout my life as I went from project to project, and adventure to adventure.
Great creative souls have always inspired me, and I love to watch documentaries about them and read their life stories. In the years that followed my corporate burnout, these inspirations guided my soul-searching and nourished my beliefs in Wholistic Wellbeing.
I noticed how they all had great strength and energy, as though they were guided by a power beyond themselves. They seemed more alive than most, filled with an extra inner vital force and relentless energy. They were endowed with more inner strength and charisma than others around them. They passionately loved what they were doing. Their actions seemed selfless and effortless, and even when facing alarming difficulties, they never gave up.
I like to think that what animated their spirit came from an inner vision, an inner voice, that relentlessly motivated them to inexhaustibly find their truth and contribute to the world from a place of indisputable authenticity.
Their solutions were original, courageous, and imaginative. The main lesson I learned? How important creativity is for a well-lived life. I also became increasingly accepting of the problems I used to eschew, as only by taking on challenges can we create new, groundbreaking solutions for ourselves and others.
Creativity generates ideas, alternatives, and new ways to solve problems. It also improves our ability to inspire others. When you create, you find breakthroughs and dissolve blockages. You contact the creator within, and connect with the loving intelligence that shapes our world when we tap into our hearts.
It is also freeing to be receptive to more creativity. You can be experimental and make mistakes. We may have all experienced a time when an art teacher told us our drawing was “wrong,” but if we let go, dropping antiquated assumptions of right or wrong, we allow more experimentation and novelty into our lives. Would Picasso be as remembered and revered as he is today if he’d stuck to more traditional modes of painting and composition?
Whether you’re a visual artist or not, try dropping bits of paint on an empty canvas or making a wild portrait of yourself, literally or metaphorically.
When we connect with our inner creative, we reach a state of flow, where time disappears, and things happen spontaneously. We enter the zone, as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi neatly describes in his well-known books. And when we get out of the zone and into the flow state of wonder, we realize how the draft of a short story came to be, how an illustration was drawn, or how a song was written.
Dare to be more creative, and you will realize that the vital energy of the world’s great characters is available to everyone. Release your ingrained habits and be open to thinking and living in new ways. Continue to do things that make you feel alive. Never stop learning.
As you become more creative, you will relax into that quiet space, in your egoless self. Animated by this energy, you will surely become more vital.