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 fulfillment.
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 it.
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 OUR HEAD
From working with people over the years and from my own experience of releasing my own creativity, I know that that the thing that blocks us most is in our own head. 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 the 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 people how to play and how to access the creative parts of their mind, to move their bodies, interact with each other, and to express themselves 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 most people up. Instead the focus is totally on the exploration of the myth or story and the feelings it evokes, which takes the pressure off and gives people permission to be whatever they want to be.
I have a dressing up box of hats, scarves, masks and cloths and perhaps the most powerful moment is when people start to dress themselves up.
They begin to become something other than themselves and that gives them permission to express themselves 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 people are expressing real emotions, and finding creative ways of expressing what’s going on inside them. 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, it can reach to parts of your self that may have been dormant for a long time.
One of the reasons that this approach is so powerful that it speaks through the language of the unconscious, using 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, that they begin to dream for the first time, and that they begin to feel more alive and in touch with their feelings.
(Alternative Health 1998)