As we enter the month of May, we take up the pathway of creativity. My own experience has taught me that human beings are naturally creative beings, and that we come to our creative moments through three different pathways.
Inspiration: from the Latin–breathed into
A lot of the time, I think we see something creative that a person has done, and we think that with ease and maybe even some magical power they just produced–a piece of artwork, or a carving, or a beautifully decorated cake or a glorious piece of music, or a landscaped yard. Look what they did! Isn’t it so wonderful? And there are times and instances when individuals do wake up, either literally or metaphorically, suddenly struck with an idea and the skills to pull it off, and they create beautiful, awesome works of art and skill. This is creativity that is breathed into us from who knows where. Some say God, or Goddess, or the Muses, or Source, or Universe or Mystery or Higher Self. Some just say they don’t know where it came from. Regardless, we appreciate inspired works of creativity, but I’m not sure that most creativity happens this way.
Aspiration: from the Latin–breathed toward
Most of us will identify with this pathway to creativity. It happens when we find ourselves drawn to something that we want to make happen that requires craft and skill and thinking outside the box. It might be any one of the items I listed above and more, and when we get an idea like this, we also know that we are not quite sure how to make it happen. Maybe we need to do a little research, or buy some tools, or attend a workshop, or read a book by someone who does this sort of creating. In any regard, we have this creation toward which we begin to work, through trial and error, and eventually, we produce it. Aspirational creativity not only brings a work of beauty into the world, but in the process, we learn some skills and become better at whatever this work is.
Perspiration: from the Latin–breathed through
Most of us would not want to sign up for this kind of creativity, but this pathway crosses our personal journeys all the time. This kind of creativity happens most often in an unexpected situation that immediately looks like a problem. Our first reaction might be one of fear, dread or the urge to run in the opposite direction. We begin to sweat and breathe faster. And then, we realize that we have to respond and find a way through. And we do. In retrospect, we are pleased or at least relieved at the results. If we had had time to plan and be more intentional, what we did to resolve the issue might have been better, we think, but, you know, this was okay.
How is creativity breathing in you these days? Let’s explore.