The Playful Imagination: Redefining Creativity and Reaping Its Benefits
Week 12, Day 4 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's reexamine definitions of creativity to further include our joyful hobbies.
THE IMAGINATION AT PLAY
When we think about creativity, it is all too easy to think art with a capital A.
For our purposes, capital-A art is a scarlet letter, branding us as doomed. In order to nurture our creativity, we require a sense of festivity, even humor: “Art. That’s somebody my sister used to date.”
We are an ambitious society, and it is often difficult for us to cultivate forms of creativity that do not directly serve us and our career goals. Recovery urges our reexamining definitions of creativity and expanding them to include what in the past we called hobbies. The experience of creative living argues that hobbies are in fact essential to the joyful life.
Then, too, there is the hidden benefit that they are also creatively useful.
Many hobbies involve a form of artist-brain mulling that leads to enormous creative breakthroughs.
Spiritual benefits accompany the practice of a hobby.
There is a release into humility that comes from doing something by rote. As we serve our hobby, we are freed from our ego’s demands and allowed the experience of merging with a greater source. This conscious contact frequently affords us the perspectives needed to solve vexing personal or creative conundrums.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 195 – 196)
Read the following affirmation out loud with purpose and intent:
My creativity blossoms through joyful hobbies.
I embrace my imagination through the joy of hobbies and the spiritual benefits they bring. I allow myself to be humbled and freed from my ego's demands as I experience the merging with a greater source. This leads to creative breakthroughs and solutions to my personal and creative challenges.
The Imagination at Play Exercise:
- Start by finding a hobby that you have always been interested in or something new that you would like to try. This could be anything from painting, drawing, photography, gardening, cooking, knitting, playing a musical instrument, or anything else that you find enjoyable.
- Set aside 10-15 minutes each day for this activity and make it a priority. This is your time to let go of all your worries and just focus on having fun.
- Get into the creative flow by letting your imagination run wild. Let your mind wander and allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.
- Pay attention to any new ideas or inspiration that come to mind as you engage in your hobby. Jot down any thoughts or sketches that come to mind.
- As you continue with your hobby, pay attention to any patterns or habits that you develop. Think about why you enjoy this particular activity and what it brings out in you creatively.
- Reflect on the experience after you have finished. How did you feel while engaging in your hobby? How did it impact your day and your overall mood?
- Repeat this exercise daily and watch as your creativity and imagination continue to flourish.
“For me a painting is like a story which stimulates the imagination and draws the mind into a place filled with expectation, excitement, wonder and pleasure.“
– J. P. Hughston
What is one recent hobby that lights up your creativity?
Share in the comments below👇