What exactly IS creativity?

The Nature of Creativity

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"Everything you can imagine is real." — Pablo Picasso

Earlier this morning I was thinking about the word "creativity."

Is it...

  • An abstract concept used to describe our capacity for making things?
  • A primal force that drives us to tinker and create?
  • A source of some kind that we channel when creating?
  • A consciousness that speaks to us and guides us?
  • The spark of God?

All great questions.

The textbook definition positions creativity as the use of imagination and ideas to produce works of art.

I suppose that is a perfectly good definition, but it rings hollow to me with a sterile, antiseptic feel. Every time I create, I feel as if I'm connecting to something bigger than myself. Something vast and unending... like an unfathomable ocean.

Have you felt this before?

I also feel something move in that vast ocean. There is an unseen presence. It often calls to me. My instincts tell me it is God or some equivalent in nature. Perhaps it is what Dylan Thomas calls "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower."

Whatever it is, I feel most at home while sipping from this source. I suspect children swim in it day and night, because there is an unshakable familiarity every time I connect. It's as if I'm meeting again with an old friend... one with a depth of wisdom, kindness and playfulness I cannot fully comprehend.

I'm a spiritual person. And so it is no surprise Julia Cameron's definition of creativity moves me like no other...

"Creativity is God energy flowing through us, shaped by us, like light flowing through a crystal prism."

I was told as a child that I was made in God's image. I carry the spark of creativity... a gift from this vast presence in the moment of my creation. The spark powers my ability to create. It allows me to connect with its abundant source and other bearers of this gift in my own acts of creation. I now believe the ability to create is what it means to be made in God's image.

So what is creativity?
It is all of the things I listed... and so much more.

Food for Thought

What is your definition of creativity?

Do you even identify as a creative person?

Have you ever felt the presence of something unfathomable when creating?

One Small Step

If you identify as "not creative," just think about the ways you naturally create every day. Every idea that pops into your head is its own little creation. Each cup of coffee, meal, doodle, solution to a problem. And perhaps your greatest creation of all? A child.

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Prepare yourself for the journey ahead!

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