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Self-hypnosis and the story of your innate creativity

Posted Mar 11 2010 1:09am

Yesterday, I ran two Word Sauce workshops and read my poems at the 6th Annual Writers’ Festival at Leeds Trinity University College. How wonderful to see so many enthusiastic people experimenting with writing of all kinds and developing their creativity.

One of the participants in my afternoon workshop asked me a very interesting question. We were talking about using writing to ‘dialogue’ with feelings, emotions or physical sensations when he observed, ‘But to do that, wouldn’t I have to be a creative person?’

So what is a ‘Creative Person’?

Who is this person, so different from most of us, who is Creative with a capital ‘C’?

When we begin to become more consciously aware of the stories we tell ourselves about creativity and creative people, we can begin to question and challenge some of the myths around creativity and what makes people creative.

In his book,  Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihalyi Csikszentmhalyi interviews creative people from many different fields: the arts, mathematics and science, inventors, educators, thinkers, therapists. He concludes that creative people are not people who simply happen to connect with and express their own innate abilities but people who combine their abilities with disciplined practice. They actually invest time in finding and developing their flow experience – through activities which actively nurture this.

Many of our ideas about the messy, crazy, slightly chaotic or even brilliantly tortured creative soul are simply not true – and probably extremely limiting to us.

To create, we need not only to be able to allow our ideas to emerge, but we also need to work at our particular skill, through consistent disciplined practice.We need to combine playfulness with emotional intelligence, nurturing creative freedom and discipline.

When we talk about ‘creative people,’ we often leave ourselves out. I loved helping people to rediscover yesterday that, using self-hypnosis and writing as self-hypnosis to find our flow or optimal state, we can create something out of an apparent nothing; that, by connecting with the feelings and emotions that are always going on for us, beneath all our ‘busy-ness,’  we can remember and reconnect with our innate creativity.

And when we practice a few simple self-hypnosis and free-writing techniques, regularly and with consistency, we can enjoy experiencing ourselves as Creative People every day.

Next time you catch yourself wistfully wishing that you were ‘more creative’ or that you could be more creative ‘if you only had the time/ the right space/ could leave your current job, etc, etc,’ it might be helpful to ask yourself if that story is holding you back in some way.

Take a few deep breaths. Learn and practice a self-hypnosis or free-writing technique . Invest a little time each day in finding your own flow.

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