People often deny their creative potential. They say things like “I’m not creative. I can’t even draw a straight line.” Or “I’m not artistic. I can’t paint.” There is an assumption that being creative has something to do with painting or drawing straight lines. Claiming to be creative feels like an arrogant thing to say about yourself if you’re not an expert, not making a living from your creations, not well-known and publicly acclaimed for your imaginative gifts. But creativity is much bigger than that.
Creativity is the gift we all have that enables us to convert our experiences into other forms — into stories, poems, songs, gardens, recipes, quilts. Every day we encounter a myriad of people and adventures. We talk with people. We work with people. We argue and laugh and plan with people. Then we create stories about our interactions. Every day we wake up with a blank canvas of 24 hours. We call it our “day” — but it’s really our canvas for creating our life.
Day by day, choice by choice, thought by thought, word by word, we create our lives. And as our intentions and energies seep out beyond the boundaries of our flesh and intermingle with the intentions and energies of others, we engage in the co-creation of our families, our communities, our cultures, and ultimately, our civilization. If you’re breathing, you’re creating something — even if it’s nothing more than the energy field a person walks into when they are near you.
We know from science that our electromagnetic field (em field) extends from 8-12 feet beyond our bodies. The HeartMath Institute performed several studies to investigate the possibility that the electromagnetic field generated by the heart may transmit information that can be received by others. They concluded that the heart’s em field is an important carrier of information, so when two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by one person’s heart can influence the other person’s brain rhythms. For the first time, there is scientific proof that a compassionate heart can actually bring peace to the room.
If in your heart you have generated peace, compassion, loving and kindness, then that’s exactly what others experience when they are in your presence. You create in the world what you hold in your heart.
Years ago, we didn’t have the equipment to measure this kind of phenomenon. We never understood that we literally, consciously create the entire electromagnetic field around ourselves — that we create how it feels for others to be around us. We had creativity in a small box that was related to paints, colors, the arts, ballet, opera, Russian novels. Most of us were taught not to think of ourselves as “creative.” If a child went to a parent saying s/he wanted to be an artist when s/he grew up, the parent would frequently say, ” Oh honey, you can’t make any money as an artist. You’ll have to be something else.” And that child’s creativity would rarely thrive. Their imagination would not be nurtured.
And we know that our imagination is the most potent engine of change in the world. In the past year, we have watched people’s commitment and creativity topple oppressive regimes, stop wars, challenge the status quo, connect people around the globe. Our creativity is the manifestation of our consciousness. It is our thoughts, our prayers, our words made flesh. And what makes creativity evolutionary is the additional factor of regard for the common good.
If I am conscious of how I use my energy, manage my thoughts, compose my words, create my days, then I am a conscious creator, an evolutionary creator.
I am aware that I am engaged in evolution as an agent. It is not happening to me. It is happening through me. The world is in the throes of an evolutionary shift and evolutionary creators are consciously contributing to it, weighing in on the side of fairness, compassion, justice. There is a conscious evolution movement afoot and those who are in it know that. They are proud of that, committed to that, hope-filled and humbled at the great mystery and wonder of it all.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention says that creativity doesn’t happen in our heads but in the interaction between our imagination and our social context. It’s a matter of experience and response, a matter of relationship to others and a commentary on the significance of our encounters. Creativity is the vivid expression of who we are in the cosmos.
The world is not divided into two groups, the creative people and the not creative people. If there’s a distinction, it’s between those who are creatively productive and those with unexpressed potential. We’re all creative by default. We’re genetically predisposed to create. Each of us, to varying degrees, is intrinsically motivated to be original and to solve challenging problems. The question to ask is not, “Am I creative?” but rather, “What inspires me and how can I share that?”
Creativity is not about intelligence or information. It’s about inspiration, from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath, courage, the soul.” Creativity is about being fully alive, living courageously, or as the painter Joan Miro says, “Expressing with precision all the gold sparks the soul gives off.” We inspire each other when we dare to create. We open others’ hearts. We unlock their doors so their spirits can soar. And this is why it matters: because the path through the dark forest can be lit by our work. Others can find their courage in the creations we conjure. Our stories can help people see these times in a new way, understand that this chaos is only a local view of the cosmos evolving beautifully.
When we join in as conscious co-creators, we are fulfilling our nature, midwifing the new even as we are made anew. We are looking at the tipping point our planet is facing and nudging it toward life. We are saying YES to the future, YES to our grandchildren, YES to the creatures that share this land. And that affirmation of life is what brings us life, that we may have it more abundantly. Dualities are giving way to the singular. Polarities are dissolving into unity. Earth is giving birth to a species that celebrates its oneness with All That Is. Yes, we are evolving and the light is on its way!
About Jan Phillips
Jan Phillips is a visionary thought leader, award-winning author and dynamic speaker. She is co-founder and Executive Director of the Livingkindness Foundation, a global network of grassroots philanthropists. Her own quest has led her into and out of a religious community, across the U.S. on a Honda motorcycle, and around the world on a one-woman peace pilgrimage. Blending east and west, art and activism, reflection and ritual, Jan’s presentations inspire consciousness and social commitment. A visionary with her eye on the future and her heart in the present, she is an invigorating speaker and story-teller.
Jan is an award-winning writer, photographer, and multi-media artist. She is the author of No Ordinary Time-The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity, The Art of Original Thinking-The Making of a Thought Leader, (winner of Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Magazine, Editors Choice Award from Allbooks Review, and Best Books Award finalist from USABookNews.com), Divining the Body, God Is at Eye Level – Photography as a Healing Art, Marry Your Muse,
Follow Jan Phillips on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theejanphillips