Do you consider yourself creative? How about super creative? Most people may not think of themselves as creative, but I believe that everyone has the potential for great creativity. They just need a little understanding and practice.
Think of two parts of the mind: the conscious, and the subconscious. The conscious is the part that thinks. It’s the part that you are aware of. The subconscious handles everything else. Your bodily functions, sensory input, memories, feelings, associations, and more are all handled by the subconscious.
The subconscious is much more powerful than the conscious. The subconscious handles thousands of things every minute. The conscious mind can only focus on one. Even when you think you multi-task, you are actually switching your focus very quickly between different things.
The real power of creativity lies in the subconscious. Your creativity comes out of all the things you are not aware of — memories you don’t remember, things you have seen but have not noticed, and feelings within you that naturally occur. All of your new great ideas are lying inside of your subconscious, right now. The trick is in figuring out how to access them.
Most people have a lot of ‘gunk’ (no, that’s not a scientific term) inside of them. The first step towards getting to that creative subconscious part is to clear that gunk out of the way. So how does a person do that? There are many ways, but here we will talk about two common ways: meditating and Journaling.
Meditation has the reputation of being mystical and religious. For our purposes, meditation is just sitting in silence. This sounds simple, but it is very difficult. In our society we are constantly bombarded with input — TV, radio, the Internet, other people, etc. As a result, we never sit in silence with ourselves. When you first meditate, your mind will race. These thoughts are what’s in your conscious mind, and as long as they are there you are not getting in touch with your subconscious. The key here is to relax and let those thoughts go. This will seem impossible at first, but practice it. Start small, with 5 minutes a day, and work your way up.
Journaling is similar to meditating in that you are trying to get past conscious thoughts. Journaling is simply writing your thoughts down. Unlike keeping a diary, though, the kind of Journaling we are talking about it is free flow writing where your pen never stops moving and you don’t care about what you write. When you start, it is ok to write ‘I have nothing to write’ over and over until something comes up. Don’t censor yourself, and don’t let your pen stop. It is best to journal in the morning, before your conscious mind has been filled with events of the day. Journaling should be done by hand, not on the computer. When you write, try to fill three pages. The first page or two will be basic conscious stuff you need to get out of your mind. Filling three pages helps get past all that.
For a good deal more on Journaling, read ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
If you want to start tapping into your creativity, start clearing out your gunk. Start doing some meditating (sitting in silence) or morning Journaling everyday. It won’t have an immediate effect, but over time it will make you immensely powerful.
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