The Shift Network Blog

Discover the Power of Creativity Through Self-Expression for a Life of Joy, Connection & Depth
Marjorie MacIntosh
By Marjorie MacIntosh
Shift Team

There is an incredible cultural buzz surrounding creativity — from TED talks to books to magazine articles — everybody is talking about it.

Yet so many of us say, “I’m not creative.”

So how do we reconcile that everybody seems to find creativity important yet they don’t see it in themselves?

And can you become creative if you aren’t?

The truth is ALL of us are creative, according to visionary thought leader Jan Phillips, author of the upcoming book, Creativity Unzipped: Why Your Thoughts Matter.

As Phillips teaches, not only are we already being creative every day of our lives, but if we open ourselves to more creativity through self-expression, it can bring a multitude of benefits to our lives....

... including being more centered, having more awareness, joy, and depth, becoming more attuned to our inner voice, feeling as though we have more to give, and becoming an inspiration for others.

How we are all undoubtedly creating every day...

As Jan Philips writes, there are many ways that we create, but a big one is through the art of story.

“People make up stories all day long about what happened in the office, at the gas station, while walking the dog, or while waiting in the doctor’s office.

We are story machines.

Notice how quickly you want to make up a story and tell it to someone every time things don’t go the way you want. It comes naturally, and yet people don’t consider this a creative act.”

Yet the creative act of story is pretty powerful. It allows us to connect to others; by sharing our stories and listening to others’ stories we create intimacy.

Story is also the driving force in our everyday lives. Our lives are a result of our thoughts and our actions, and the stories we tell ourselves will ultimately impact every decision we ever make.

Jan Phillips’ message is that we all are storytellers and in that we all have the power to create, to self-express, and to change the world around us.

Opening yourself to creativity through self-expression....

Psychoanalyst Rollo May, author of The Courage to Create, writes, “If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself,” and Jan herself likens making time for creativity to making time for prayer; it’s an important practice for nourishing our spirits.

Yet Phillips reminds us through her message that creativity doesn’t have to be solely about the “arts.” If you can’t paint or sing or play an instrument that does not mean you are not creative.

Expressing ourselves through story is an act of self-expression, and therefore an act of creativity. And if we can embrace this form of creativity, it also can be a sort of gateway....

Phillips asserts that when people start taking responsibility for their own original thinking, their creativity becomes sharper and more beautiful and gets expressed in the world in a more purposeful way.

That way could certainly be in the form of a painting or a song, a poem or a novel, but it could also be simply the stories you choose to tell yourself and others, the dreams you choose to pursue, the way you show up and the actions you take.

Whatever form of self-expression your creativity takes, it is ultimately a true expression of yourself and of spirit, and that connection is what will bring lasting awareness, joy, and depth to your world.

For more on the creative process, watch Jan Phillips’ video, “You are Worth the Time”:
 

 


PS - Enjoy the article and video above and wand to know more? If so, please download Jan Phillips' free hour-long audio, Creativity Unzipped: