Creativity, Part II (or, the sandbox is not just for kids)

Remember last week, when I wrote that ideas start to flow as we tap into our innate creativity? Well, there’s a reason for that.

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist known for his theory of the Collective Unconscious, believed that not only does each human being have an individual psyche, there also exists a collective, or universal psyche, that “houses,” in essence, the soul of all mankind. All thoughts, memories, ideas – everything – exists within that collective, and we ALL have access to it.

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic, presents my favorite description of how the “magic” of inspiration works. She, too, believes that new ideas are just floating around out there, in the collective, waiting for a human partner to latch onto them and make them manifest – give them life. Sometimes, she says, when we are open and relaxed, the idea tries to get our attention – inspiration knocks on our door. Most often, we are too busy or distracted to hear the knock, and the idea moves on. But, when we are available – because we have opened up that channel of creativity I wrote about last week – inspirational insights, information, and ideas literally fall into our lap!

Have you ever heard of the theory of Multiple Discovery (also called simultaneous invention)? Researchers noticed that fairly often, innovative concepts and/or revolutionary inventions were “discovered” by more than one person, around the same time in history. Did you know, for example, that Elisha Gray AND Alexander Graham Bell both walked into the patent office on the same day, seeking a patent for the same device? Jung and Gilbert would say that this is because the idea is floating around out there, waiting for someone to grab it – and sometimes, several people do!

Conversations With God also references Jung’s Collective Unconscious, explaining Inspiration like this: “Everything…is energy, vibrating at a particular frequency. Every sentient being in the universe is attracted to vibrational energy matches. These ideas resonate with beings in the physical realm who are projecting at a similar energetic signature. It is energetic resonance that draws these ideas to them” (CWG book 4, pg 150-151).

What this means is that when you are “in tune” with your creative side, you open yourself up – you actually change your vibration – and become a “match” to the ideas and insights that are waiting to come to life!

According to Frank, an entity interviewed by Mike Dooley in the book From Deep Space with Love, creative self-expression is how Source (God) speaks through us, and one of the best ways to channel our creativity is through play. As I mentioned last week, being artsy-fartsy isn’t the only way to tap into our creative selves. Frank advises us to get back in touch with our inner child. Apparently, we humans take life far too seriously!

Children have an innate sense of joy and wonder. They don’t lament the past or fear the future – they enjoy the present moment – they live in the NOW! Playful creation is a natural part of childhood. The good news is, we ALL have access to that inner aspect of our being. As adults, we tend to think of play as frivolous or a waste of time. On the contrary, creative self-expression is essential to our well-being!

Have you noticed how adult coloring books have become the latest fad? What about play therapy? Once used strictly with children, therapists now recognize the value of play with their adult clients, as well. According to Dottie Ward-Wimmer, in the book Play Therapy With Adults, play is valuable because it not only fosters creativity, it promotes mind-body health and integration. Creative play draws on both hemispheres of the brain, which enables us to solve problems more efficiently. Through the release of beta-endorphins, play provides us with a sense of well-being, which in turn, improves oxygen intake, aids digestion, and decreases muscle tension. And, as mentioned earlier, it is when we are in a healthy, relaxed, joyful state that we are most receptive to the “knock of inspiration.”

As you go through your week, look for ways to integrate more playtime into your day! You will reap the rewards through an increase in your spiritual, mental, and physical health.