Introspection is the key to understanding one’s self, and it’s also a route that leads to the well of creativity.” – Jane Gaboury
I’ve been reading so many articles recently on the nature of creativity and the creative process, about how people can be inspired to dig deep within themselves to come up with beautiful and inspirational works of art. One of the things that I’ve discovered over and over is that the most incredible things come from the darkest places, from the most confusing places, and even stranger yet, from the tired places.
Many times people have told me that they aren’t able to be creative because they have too much to do, and they don’t have the energy to put their ideas in motion. They make excuses based on the misconceived notion that they have to be perky or manic or have boundless energy in order to see their dreams become a reality. I’ve always felt like this was a much smaller limitation than many people realized, but now I know just how small it is.
Our mind is an extraordinary thing. It gives us dreams and fantasies while at the same time helping us to cope with the challenging aspects of reality. It helps us conquer enormous to-do lists and keep up with relationships and job responsibilities in ways that we didn’t know we were capable of. The mind thinks, the mindsets into motion, and the mind creates – even when we aren’t aware of it.
Think about it this way. Have you ever had an “Aha” moment when you were in the shower or in the last few minutes before you fell asleep? Have you suddenly recalled a tidbit of information, like where you had placed that lost book or the name of a band you were talking to your friend about, hours after you had actively stopped thinking about it? Odds are, you have. Do you know why?
Your brain is ultimately separated into two parts: your active mind and your subconscious mind. Your active mind processes information and you are aware of its activity. Your subconscious mind also processes information, and you are never actively aware of its activity. It is from your subconscious mind that flows many aspects of the self, especially the creative self, to your active mind.
So when you had that brilliant idea when you got in the shower, that was your subconscious mind relaying information to your active mind. To you, it came out of nowhere, a shot of inspiration from the air. The reality isn’t quite like this, although you can definitely consider the truth to be just as miraculous.
What most people realize is that this communication between both parts of your mind happens naturally, but it won’t happen if you don’t take the time to slow down and become introspective. The reason why it finds you in the shower or when you’ve just crawled into bed is because that’s been the first time all day when you’ve taken the time to rest and be still. Your subconscious is very polite, it won’t butt in until you’re ready to listen.
So if you’re exhausted and feeling drained. Don’t try to fight through the muck and the mire of your active mind and force yourself to be creative when you don’t feel up to it. Instead, look inward. Take time to meditate and allow yourself to relax. Only then will your inactive mind begin to teach you, and relay information that it’s been storing since the last time you took a minute to relax.
Relaxation is Invigorating.
And it’s the gateway to creativity.