Day seventeen of creativity and expression

In working on one of my creative projects today I realised something.

Working on a project that serves a purpose, though creative throughout the process, is not necessarily the best way to combine creativity and expression. 

You see, I’m past the halfway point for my creative and expressive month, and so far I’ve rarely felt that sense of release that comes from being really in touch with yourself. What I’ve realised is that, THAT FEELING that I’m searching for, that was my reason for choosing this particular focus, is not something I’ve been able to gain from doing things that serve an alterior motive. What I think I need to put a little more time into for the remainder of the month is activities that are creative for creatives sake.

Activities that serve no other purpose other than the participation in that activity.

For example my recipe book had begun to feel like a job, because it’s for healthier eating, and daily use. My bucketlist project is contrived of things that hold a lot of meaning and importance to me. Same goes for me quote book.

But dancing? The dancing lesson last night was so much fun, and I think that a big part of the reason for that is I was doing it for no other reason than to dance.

It’s the same when I paint. Or when I play music.

In having this realisation I’m remembering something I read in researching the work of Martin Seligman, atleast I think it was him. Whoever it is, they are an author and theorist in the area of psychology and has received a lot of notoriety for their work on what they call authentic happiness and positive psychology. They write about something called “flow experiences” which are activities you do in which you experience a state of joy, creativity and total involvement and they usual occur when you do the activity for the activity’s sake. They seemingly make problems disappear because participants feel something transcendent where everything else fades away. The experiences are challenging, require skill and concentration, clear goals, immediate feedback, a sense of control. Time stops and a sense of self vanishes.

The point is that one very important lesson I’ve learned from this focus month is that to experience the feeling I’m searching for from creative and expressive projects can likely only be gained from flow activities, being creative/expressive for the sake of being creative/expressive and nothing more.

An important lesson I learnt from doing.

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