We are pulled to create, contribute, connect.
It is Life’s impulse to move, to be in constant change,
Expanding and Contracting.
If this impulse is impeded destruction ensues -
Anything from low mood to violence.
The next time you are standing on line at Starbucks ask yourself – “what do I really want right now?”
The drop down menu of lattes will not suffice.
What is the malaise that comes in like overcast skies telling you?
Beyond the basic hygiene of sleep, nutrition, exercise, inquire:
What have you created today? What have you contributed today? What have you connected to, or others to, beyond your Self? In what way is your difference as an individual linked to the differences of others?
Not a bad contemplative act while standing at Starbucks – head lifts from the new default staring into the promised land of the portal of escape – your tech device. (I wonder how we will evolve, that poor neck, not a bad practice to just look up and counter that ‘urge’)
We need to define terms briefly here:
Urge – dear Freud, your work is important, too easy to popularly diminish it, and, for this particular perspective, I am not referring to libidinal or aggressive unconscious urges, but the very life force that desires expression to use energy to construct.
Impulse – the impetus to reach into, no, not the cookie jar, but the imaginative ability to see more than what is here and make something – this is ‘the force’ to get stuff moving that may be new and unfamiliar.
Creativity – to connect what is known in new ways to discover something not known. To move energy and information found in direct experience, history, and present moment exchange within and between Self, Others, and the environment.
Be careful to remember we as a culture are often inculcated with beliefs about creativity – it’s those other folks who paint, dance, act, write – “I’m not the creative type”, that stuff is superfluous, not relevant to daily living, an aside, I’ll do that in my spare time, maybe retirement, and is the first to be cut from funding in education.
Creativity is Life and if given attention will support all other functions of daily living. If ignored will manifest in destructive symptoms.
Health = Movement
Illness = Stagnation
I sometimes wonder about the 911 tragedy. The obvious agony of destruction of life, and more, the obvious misuse of the urge to create, contribute, connect. The misuse of creative imagination. The misuse of incredible intelligence.
We will find a way to express the natural urges and impulses one way or another dependent upon our context.
This is the external context that informs us implicitly and explicitly, repeatedly, to form our brain and all the behaviors that ensue. This is our internal context, the ways in which we repeat memory, meaning, and move accordingly. The 80000 internal thoughts per day building a momentum in one direction or another.
Here we have a chance to determine a direction if we let take hold of us another urge, the contemplative urge – the desire to be still, be in silence, to listen beyond the fervor of conceptual bias of what is already known and seen, to be moved by a deeper directional pull, (to clarify, this does not mean the current cultural trend of sitting on a rock legs crossed eyes closed – that just hurts!). Take a meandering walk around the lake, get circular, stop the linearity and objective ends.
That is how Nelson Mandela leaves unjust 26+ years of imprisonment without bitterness burning, or Viktor Frankl generates meaning that moves life forward, not in spite of human to human horrific hateful acts, but because of the awareness of what cannot be destroyed and the clarity found in a need to actively construct the generative urge.
Create, Contribute, Connect
Begin by Seeing:
Yourself first, this deep need to create, and let yourself be moved by it
The best in others – look for what is right and good right now
Nelson Mandela once said that if you choose to look for what’s good in another they might act all the better for it.
We sense our safety, it’s not what you say, it is your presence. We know threat, you judging me, looking for what’s wrong, and from that I will be glad to act it out for you, letting you see what you already believe, because I am lost to my threat response, pushed by fear.
Ah, but when I am seen, heard, recognized, as I am, without prejudice, without having to prove my merit, the best in me can rise to the top like cream.
As you stand in line at Starbucks, imagine that the energy you are seeking is seeking you.
In what way can you invest in that energy?
In what way are you blocking what needs to express through you? Lack of sleep? Large amounts of distraction in tech? Letting the negative mind habits lead? Lazy avoidance in pleasure-seeking?
Let yourself be pulled by the generative urges which will require getting uncomfortable getting into unfamiliar territory, not waiting for perfection, but practicing to make possible an expression of your life that creates, contributes, and connects.
You might enjoy the documentary on the Creative Brain