I have often made the claim that everyone is innately creative, not because everyone can paint like Picasso or sculpt like Donatello or build fabulous buildings like Mies van der Rohe.
Rather, human beings are creative because it is the spiritual imperative of all human beings to create. This is a theme I have been exploring as a recovering creative and as a person who coaches others in creative recovery.
Claiming our own creativity is key to living a whole life, as it is just as much a part of our existence as our occupation is, or our relationships, or our families. People make very complicated arguments for this or against it, but I believe that the desire to engage the creative process is so strong that we can take very simple measures to jump-start it. It lies not far below the surface.
In honor of Mies van der Rohe's axiom, "Less is more", here are some simple suggestions to spark your own creative process.
1. Think of a boring task you do routinely. Ask this question of yourself: "If I were interested in this, what part of it would interest me?"
2. Buy a fruit or vegetable you have never prepared before and learn how to prep/cook/serve it.
3. Consider a vexatious problem or dilemma. Promise yourself that it will be solved, but that at the moment your job is merely to relax and breathe. Walk around the block, take a hot shower, or soak in the tub.
4. Consciously choose a different route to work or school every day for a week.
5. On a plain sheet of paper, draw or just make marks with your non-dominant hand. Do this non-judgmentally and without worrying about results. Breathe deeply.
6. Look through a kaleidoscope. Notice the colors, patterns, and changes.
7. With kiddie crayons, color in a coloring book, using unconventional colors for familiar things-blue hair, red trees, etc. Color outside the lines if you want.!
So that's one to try for every day of the week. I don't claim these will turn anyone into Picasso, but they will make you feel more like smiling and just might put you one step closer to realizing your creative potential. Happy birthday, Mies!