Published in Alternative Health Magazine
Creativity at one time was a province of a few special gifted and often privileged individuals. But now we are told we all are creative – or at least have the potential to be creative.
We all have the same seeds of creativity that these “greats” have. Whether or not we go on to be great writers, sculptors, artists or musicians, expressing our creativity can give us great pleasure and fulfilment.
The majority of people who phone me up, want to be more creative. Most are in jobs that do not allow any outlet for creativity and leave them feeling frustrated and deadened.
Some have had the experience of being creative as children and then suddenly in adolescence or young adulthood have felt a door slammed shut on their creativity.
Others feel that their urge to be creative has been continually crushed by the conditions of their lives and when they try to express themselves, find their efforts banal and disappointing.
GETTING OUT OF YOUR HEAD
From working with people over the years and from my own experience of releasing my own creativity, I know that the thing that blocks us most is in our own heads. It is the critical voice inside us which judges and censors everything we do. It tells us we are going to look stupid, people are going to laugh at us and we won’t be “cool”.
I encourage people to get out of their heads and to allow their bodies to lead them. This is the fastest track way to outwitting the “judge”.
Most people who come to my workshops have little or no experience of drama. I teach you how to play and how to access the creative parts of your mind. I invite you to move your body, to interact with other participants and to express yourself vocally. For most people this is incredibly liberating. Just to be able to play.
The whole focus of this approach is away from the idea of having to be “good” and to perform, which freezes you up. Instead, the focus is totally on the exploration of the myth or story and the feelings it evokes. This takes the pressure off you and gives you permission to be whatever you want to be.
I have a dressing up box of hats, scarves, masks and coloured fabrics. Perhaps the most powerful moment is when people start to dress themselves up.
This is optional. But when you do you will begin to become something other than yourself. It will give you permission to express yourself in new and unfamiliar ways.
EXPRESSING REAL EMOTION
What never ceases to amaze me is how creative people can be. I see the most inspiring pieces of theatre in my workshops. Much better than going to the West End.
To me it’s theatre. It’s real theatre. Because you are expressing real emotions, and finding creative ways of expressing what’s going on inside you. This is what makes it transformational.
The Greek word for drama means “action”. Drama is about movement, about expressing your life energy, your passions and emotions. By expressing through the body and through your life force, you can reach parts of yourself that may have been dormant for a long time.
One of the reasons that this approach is so powerful is that it speaks through the language of the unconscious. It uses the language of story, which we normally have access to through our dreams.
A lot of people say that through participating they are able to reconnect with the child within. They experience lost childhood memories, they begin to dream for the first time, and begin to feel more alive and in touch with their feelings.
(Alternative Health 1998)