Creativity… a concept that I had pondered for a very long time.
Creativity is mentioned and recognized as a unique ability that separates human beings from every other living form we know of. An almost Godly ability that allow us to manifest that which isn’t yet in existence.
But if creativity is such a human defining concept, where is it? Shouldn’t it be spilling out of every form of human behavior and activity? Or is it reserved only for artists, designers and problem solvers?
Is creativity the ability of some to decorate the fringes of our lives or should it be THE defining force that shapes our lives? This is what I pondered for years without finding a satisfactory answer or evidence of widespread usage in our society.
Instinct, Lesson Taught By Taquito, a 2 weeks Old Puppy
I recently adopted a dog. After a very long time wanting a dog, I ended up in front of a cage where a cat was feeding her litter and a tiny impostor, a 2 weeks miniature dog. I took him home and named him Taquito (Tiny Taco).
Because of his young age, I was able to witness first hand the power of Instinct and how Trauma is born as a result of its collision with reality.
It is awe inspiring to witness the power and nature of Instinct, – perfect natural knowledge embedded in biology, uncompromising and non-dependent from circumstances -, that does everything to ensure survival.
The sheer strength and determination of how Taquito sucked milk out of his tiny milk bottle was perplexing! How can a newborn comes equipped with the knowledge and strength to suck with such rage? How could his tiny front legs be ready to push mom’s imaginary tits with such a force?
So instinct, I thought, is a perfect, ideal information that leads to action to ensure survival. Software embedded on the body – hardware – of every living creature.
Trauma, When Reality Doesn’t Give A Damn About Instinct
Everything alive is born with Instinct, the ideal set of behaviours and conditions within the lifeform to stay alive. Whether that ideal meets conducive or non-conducive environments is unimportant. Instinct demands that which is ideal for surviving in an environment that doesn’t care to cater for ideals.
The gap between a perfect need – instincts -, and an imperfect response develops trauma.
So Taquito’s instincts – desires – were always met with some degree of dissatisfaction or frustration. No matter how fast I wanted to feed him, I couldn’t do it at the perfect time, amount or quality, every time, all the time.
Those experiences, good and bad, will create emotional layers that soon become habits. Those habits will become attitudes, which later will form his character. His character will dictate how he decodes the world. Think of these layers as added software that Taquito will use to interpret and decode reality.
More layers of positive experiences than negative ones will give him a positive outlook on life, while the opposite will yield a negative outlook.
So once Trauma is cemented on his body as emotions, he will perceive things only in certain ways, and he will only perceive those things that he can decode emotionally. For the rest, he will be oblivious, no matter how positive or exciting they could be for him.
And the same goes for people. We are also born with instincts that allow us to survive. Our instincts also meet frustration and disappointment.
Plus, the environment we are born in, especially the emotional state of our mother’s at the moment of pregnancy and while we are breastfed, will shape our emotional and MENTAL layering immensely. Even our degree of intelligence will be enhanced or dwarfed by the conditions that surrounded us from conception to childhood. Hardware – the body – and Software – the mind -, end up shaping and limiting each other.
So a kid coming from a positive, reassuring environment will have a very different way of decoding the world. Not only he will have more processing power, but he will also see the positives more times than the negatives. His world in fact will be wider and rosier since fear won’t limit his vision and actions.
Like Taquito, people will tend to have very defined outlooks of life according to how they manage Trauma. In time, scientists actually have narrowed down this to 35 years of age, our emotional layering will be pretty completely finished, and we will react from then on, exactly in the same manner to events that the mind catalogs as “similar” or the past.
So from that moment on, we know how to react to situations in order to elicit certain results. Since the mind’s only real task is not keep us safe by avoiding risk or uncertainty, it will do everything in its power to land you in the same emotional waters, no matter how turbulent or destructive they are to us, because at least, they are known.
So after 35 we become zombies that react to the present as if it were the past according to our emotional layering or software. Is it a surprise that we always end up doing the same mistakes? It is only if we choose to stay blind.
You, me and Taquito end up guided by emotions and thoughts that aren’t truly ours, but chain us to our painful conditioning.
If every time you are at an emotional intersection, and every time you turn right instead of left, you will always end up in the same dead road of despair and unhappiness.
But You Are Not Taquito
And after all that thinking, seeing Taquito’s development, understanding how his emotional layering will condition the rest of his life, I finally understood what human creativity is all about and where to find it!
Creativity isn’t only about drawing and creating symphonies, it is about being able to act outside our conditioning. It is the ability to go against the emotions and thoughts that keep us slaved to the past.
Creativity is the tool that breaks our chains from the past and allow us to land in unexplored, but rewarding places, where growth and true living is.
Unlike Taquito, we are not condemned to live repeating our mistakes over and over again. We are not meant to react in the same exact form and following the same paths just because they have been embedded in our physique and body. That is why creativity is almost a synonymous of being a human. No other animal can change emotion and thought by will alone.
Creativity makes us humans, instead of robots acting out software. Creativity is the way out of these eternal loops of pain!
Creativity is the possibility of deciding to turn left when our software – fear -, is telling us to go right, just because we always turned right at that precise intersection in life.
Creativity is ditching the known for the unknown. It is pushing for AND accepting a different outcome.
Creativity is the wide avenue that will always land you where you haven’t been. It is the force that will help you react to new situations in novel ways. It is the space where you create yourself and evolve. It is the attitude to accept that which is, without trying to bend it into what you would like it to be.
Creativity is chaos, it is the unknown, it is unwelcomed by the mind, it is dizzying and uncomfortable at the beginning, but highly rewarding at the end. It is what constitutes a life worth living.
Creativity requires trust and acceptance, it may land you in places that you have never thought or imagined to be in, and will force you to grow both in wisdom and fortitude.
Creativity will put you at risk, and that will make you stronger and more able to face problems of all kind and sizes. Creativity makes you stronger, even when the mind tells you otherwise.
Creativity allows you to break away from Trauma, from the debilitating disease of conformity and boredom.
Isn’t that truly a God-like power?
How To Exercise Creativity Then
Reboot your software or emotional layering.
You need to access your primal software or “layers of trauma and experience”. Start by observing your thoughts and emotions as they happen. This will give you access to this primal software. Once you realize how your mind and body react to situations you will be able to rewrite new code into yourself by acting differently. For example if you are in a situation that triggers your anger, notice the trigger and observe the anger, until it fades away.
Welcome discomfort. Every time you act in ways you have never acted you will feel out of place and uncomfortable, that is a good sign. It means you already broke a loop, no matter how small. Following the example above, you are in a situation that usually triggers rage on you. You identify the trigger and observe the anger until it dissipates. But your brain doesn’t like this outcome, since you have broken a pattern, so it will make you feel uncomfortable by telling you that you are weak for not lashing out. Your mind is playing tricks on you, observe the discomfort and accept that feeling. If you do it enough times, your mind will understand that anger isn’t the right response anymore.
Stop defining yourself. Every label you put upon yourself is a limiting belief. So stop calling yourself a Scorpio or a Pisces. Stop describing yourself as a cheater, a feminist or a vegan a father or a daughter. YOU ARE, that is all that matters. You are not the layers of experience or conditioning. You can play multiple roles in your life but none of them should define you. You are much more than any and all of them together.
Do New. Eat what you have never eaten. Go on holidays to places and in ways you have never tried. Hang with the kind of people you have never hanged with. Try hobbies you always thought were boring. Do that which you believe you suck at. Try new and you will become new. That is where growth and the excitement of life are. Learn why change is so important for you.
In fact, stop Labeling. Things are not pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, that is how the mind labels things to keep us from risk and to establish patterns. But that keeps you stuck in a past that no longer exists. When you stop labeling, you stop attaching emotional value to things, therefore you break more and more loops and disintegrate patterns. Your thoughts and emotions get weakened, your mind loses a grip on you, and you become freer and freer.
Stay open and humble. Don’t subscribe yourself to hard believes. Distrust the general, distrust the “knowledge” of the group. Never conform, society is sick and in the verge of existential collapse, simply because everyone is walking out there like zombies running programs of the past, unable to perceive reality as it is.
Never believe you are always right or you know it all.
Unlike Taquito, you are capable of analysis and reasoning, use them. He can’t change his emotional scars, his layers of experience or his early conditioning, but you can. Remember: all it takes is turning left where you always turn right.
The lines between opposites are all in our mind, erase them. Welcome what is new, welcome discomfort, welcome situations where you don’t know what to do and how to react.
There is were growth and true living exist. Life isn’t supposed to be mastered. Make yourself an eternal beginner by doing things you are not good at. Don’t blame life for your lack of imagination or courage.
You were born with the ultimate tool to flow through life – creativity -, will you use it? Or will you waste it miserably as most do?