Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unleashing Creativity

Is creativity a result of extreme effort or of letting go? Actually it is a combination of both. Sometimes we have to plug away every day in order to refine our skills. Repetition of basic moves in a sport or music is what helps us flow through our practice in good form. There are, after all, certain moves that let that ball sail through the hoop time after time, and certain moves that make the chord change on the guitar sound fluid, certain combinations of words that not only make sense but sound pleasing to the ear.

Then after we have exerted ourselves and tried various ways of achieving our goals, we need to step back, take a deep breath, relax and see what comes. Sometimes, it is that effort to try and express ourselves in a certain way that just does not come across, but then we step back, take a break, and when we quit trying real hard, somehow it just slips out and we cross that bridge.

In that moment of letting go, suddenly comes a flash of enlightenment, that inner voice that suggests that we try it a different way and see how it goes, and then it opens up and flows. It is this dynamic tension that opens the floodgates to creativity.

No matter what it is that we are trying to do, our best efforts can emerge from that relaxation and letting go that lets our minds wander and our muscles flex and a new perspective emerge.

We have to develop basic skills, and then staying focused on our goal, sometimes it is that moment of silliness or sweetness that opens up in the break that lets it all flow and perhaps even surprises us with the result. That's why sometimes it also seems inconvenient that great ideas come to us while we are in the shower or driving the car and we try and hold that thought until we can write it down. Magical moments may prove elusive, but if we keep going, we will capture them more often than not.

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