Brain Space

As a child I was frequently told off for “being a dreamer.” As a consultant I would ask managers how busy their diaries were and they would fall over themselves to tell me how busy they were, and laugh when I would ask them what percentage of the week was allocated for thinking. “I don’t have time to think.” When I suggested that they must spend all their time firefighting, they would nod in agreement. Then I would ask where in their job description did say anything about firefighting ? A question then for the bosses as to why all their managers were employed on the wrong contracts.

Problem solving requires space, time and great questions. Innovation requires space, time, great questions and iterations. Art requires space, time, great questions and iterations too.

Keep letting your mind go for spacious explorations.

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210319-why-procrastination-can-help-fuel-creativity

The Rules For Creativity?

Rule 1: Feel safe to explore.

Rule 2: Never stop searching for stimulus.

Rule 3: Allow time for open meditation rather than focused meditation. One allows the mind to wander creatively and the other focuses the mind on one thing such as the breath.

Rule 4: Everything is an experiment.

Rule 5: Fight the inner interference that stops you working. Remember P = p – i (Performance equals potential minus our minds imposter syndrome interference)

Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake, there is only make

Rule 7: Don’t create and analyse at the same time, they’re different processes

Rule 8: THE ONLY RULE IS WORK. If you work it will lead to something. Its the people who do the work who catch on to things.

Rule 9: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself, its lighter than you think.

Rule 10: ” We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules, and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities’ John Cage

Apapted from the work of “Sister’ Mary Kent, who revolutionised graphic design and encouraged the creativity of thousands of people.

5 Objects and Some Flowers

If you were to prepare a still life using 5 objects that symbolize what was most important to you in your life so far what would they be?

How would you arrange these objects or metaphors?

Flowers bring colour and a need for light, they offer beauty, smell, seasonality etc. and evoke memories.

Would you photograph them, paint/draw them, make a model of them, just write prose/poetry about them – maybe I’ll draw something from the prose/poetry? The objects are few but the possibilities are up to you

The last sentence is the clue. I’m interested in you sending photograps or documents to me,(kevinshome@me.com) to see how they collectively emerge and what is evoked in me as an artist when I receive whatever you offer.

This idea is based on an original idea of Charles and Elizabeth Handy

Some Great Sites For Inspiration Today

https://www.steamco.org.uk/#creativity . Promoting the arts in schools and communities

www.degard.org . Great website full of her aura paintings of the famous

https://devonsculpturepark.org “We give nature freedom to experience its strength and beauty and use environmental art to educate and challenge us on climate issues and natural solutions.

www.bristolartschannel.com . Newly launched site full of great things happening in and around Bristol UK.

stgeorgesbristol.co.uk . Home of the wonderful that offers great events from classical to pop and contemporary music, ideas and spoken word etc.

cubecinema.com . The Cube is a Microplex Cinema, Arts venue, adult creche, independent museum, and progressive social wellbeing enterprise in Central Bristol, UK

imagerytoolbox.com . A great site to, “Mobilize your inner resources when facing cancer, chronic illness or crisis.” Actually lots of great creative ideas.

Lucywillis.com . Lucy Willis RWA is an award winning painter ( BP Portrait Artist of The Year) and printmaker living and working in the West of England. Great painter of light.

Beating Your Inner Critic – 1

I want to provide you with four resources to draw upon and help your creativity move forward. This is the first resource, you may simply use it for reflection but much better if you use it to get feedback and then use it for your meditations or support from a coach etc.

One of the biggest issues in our lives is that of crticism. We fear the critcism of others because it feeds our own inner critic. Our own inner critic has a visceral response is triggered by that nano second responder, the amygdela. This primal responder is buried deep in our minds and forms part of our primitive brain, it has no language and is designed to work in an instant, flooding the rest of our brains and our bodies with all the chemicals needed to deal with perceived danger, inducing freeze, flight or fight. To investigate this response and its impact on the vegas nerves I’d refer you to Stephen Porges.

More and more research points towards the extraordinary slowness of our ‘thinking’ brain we think that processes and reflects the signals it receives and can give voice to that information instantly but it really is not the case. That primitive part of our brain has already begun to respond up to 20 seconds before the thinking brain is conscious enough to start checking out, why they feel their body responding in a certain , perhaps familiar way. Or why they just blurted out something they now regret. A good source would be to look at Simon Sinek’s, why, how, what model of the brain.

Creativity is dangerous, it must by definition be about something new, and newness challenges existing patterns of what is acceptable. Things that were not acceptable to early humans could put you outside of the group, being outside of the group is dangerous because early humans were threatened by all manner of predators. There is a lot of evidence in the form of human skulls that have teeth marks from such loveable creatures as sabre toothed tigers to underline that one human on their own was pretty vulnerable.

There is a long history of the threat perceived by groups to people not responding to following the rules, spoken or otherwise. just following the wrong religion could mean a quick or indeed tortuous death, and still societies lock people up who pose no material threat but who dare to be at a tangent. My contention is that there is a deeply conditioned set of responses that can make creativity feel threatening. Which creative person hasn’t prevaricated rather rather than starting work? So, how do we change some patterns of behaviour within us?

Take a small plant in a pot and put it on a window ledge, as the plant grows does it grows it begins to lean towards the window and the available daylight. What I am providing below is about finding what to shine the light upon and to build upon.

Appreciative Inquiry holds that it’s better to work from what works rather than to try working with what doesn’t. Shine the light on what works, strengthen that and then what doesn’t work becomes easier to fix. Problem; if I don’t know what works I can’t overcome what doesn’t!

For most of us we don’t realise what a treasure house of potential we hold and what others would gladly have. To create and become an imagineer requires us to know what we can use to battle against the crisis of confidence, blocks and barriers that come our way.

For many years I have used 4 quadrants to help my coaching clients to start build a new future using the resources available to them. Starting with one of the quadrants we can can eventually bring all four together and build a holistic picture. The four quadrants will show you where you can safely build and by default those areas that may be unsafe foundations from which to try and build.

This is the first top left quadrant, MY STRENGTHS. You may chose to score them yourself, perhaps out of 10. Then without disclosing your marks, ask others to score you (you may want to do this as an exercise with at least two quadrants together when you ask others). I always urge the person being coached to ask an honest partner to feedback to them what they experience of the person being coached, and to score the list. Even better is when the person giving feedback can give examples. Try not to self-justify. Subsequent questions arise as to why all too often the feedback is surprisingly positive in so may areas. We begin to become aware of how others see us, what we can build upon and what can more easily be strengthened.

MY STRENGTHS

  • Sense of values
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Love of learning
  • Perspective (wisdom)
  • Bravery
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Vitality
  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Social Intelligence
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Leadership
  • Forgiveness and mercy
  • Humility/Modesty
  • Prudence
  • Self-regulation/control
  • Appreciation of beauty and excellence
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Patience
  • Transpersonal

Transpersonal by the way is about the spiritual, the soul, the soulful; this may be religious, but equally it can be experiencing the transformative effect of a beautiful view, a piece of music, a work of art etc.etc.

Over the next three posts I will give you the other quadrants so you can gather together Strengths, Skills, Resources and inspirations and grow towards the light.