Letting your creativity bubble up!
I invite you to spend the next few weeks developing the ability to quickly access a state of deep reflection that will allow you to become consciously aware of ideas bubbling away in your unconscious.
Thanks to Dr. John Grinder and Dr. Stephen Gilligan for influencing my thinking in relation to consciousness and effective meditation/trance experiences.
You can do this for as little as 5 minutes a day, 15 minutes would be great – integrate it with your routine –in the office alone early in the morning, a train journey where you can feel comfortable, just before you go to sleep at night – anywhere you can have a moment to yourself.
This is a meditation, or self-hypnosis, in a way that is creative and precise.
Repeat each task as many times as you need to until you have achieved the conditions described; then move on to the next task.
Task 1: Breathing
Breathe in deeply and hold for a second; then breathe out deeply and wait for a couple of seconds before breathing in again.
Do not push the breath out; just allow the air to fall from your body by letting go of all tension. Allow the out breath to be twice as long as the in breath.
Do this breathing exercise for 5 minutes without interruption. Imagine the air swirling in, around and out of your body. Notice your ‘state’ changing as you continue to breathe deeply.
Repeat this task until you can breathe deeply and evenly without effort, and without tension or fluctuations in the breathing.
If your attention goes to the conscious narrative: “What’s going to happen in the meeting this afternoon? What’s my bank balance? Has the rent gone out? What did he/she mean by sending that email? – That’s fine, allow these thoughts in and let them swim around a bit, just continue to pay attention to the task.
Task 2: Expanded visual attention
Set up the breathing pattern as per step 1; breathing deeply and evenly without tension or fluctuations in the breath.
Become aware of something that you can see in front of you. Then, without moving your eyes, become aware of something you can see to your left, and then, again without moving the eyes from the centre, become aware of something you can see to your right.
Become aware of all three things simultaneously; the thing to your right, the thing in the centre and the thing on your left.
Continue to pay attention to your breathing throughout. Repeat this exercise until you can hold the expanded visual awareness – continue to pay attention to the breathing.
Task 3: Body scan
As before, set up and maintain the deep, even breathing. Set up and maintain the visual attention on 3 things simultaneously.
Then, maintaining the two previous conditions; slowly begin to scan your body from your toes to your scalp paying attention to anything you can feel. When you notice a feeling, simply notice the qualities of it. If you become aware that it would be more comfortable if you moved slightly, then move. Let go any tension by becoming curious about how it would feel if the tension were just a little bit less. Once you have managed to reduce it a little bit, you will be able to begin to let it go more and more.
The intention here is that, with practice you can gain awareness of your kinaesthetic senses – it is important not to label the feeling. Just hold it gently in your awareness.
Task 4. Practice a state of curiosity
As before: Breathe – 3 point visual attention – body scan, and then become deeply curious about what your unconscious will begin to show you…
What will pop into your awareness? What pictures? What thoughts? What feelings? Be patient. Do not control or guide the process. Become the observer.
Let go of all opinion or judgement; it’s not good or bad – just be curious, “Why that thought? Why that image? What is it showing me?” Be more and more curious…
This is like using a ‘mantra’ in meditation, but far more ambiguous and utilising everything as relevant. Simply repeat to yourself the words “Show me more…”
5. Introducing the creative challenge
Breathe – 3-point visual attention – body scan – curiosity – then introduce the creative challenge and check for changes in the breathing, or feelings.
If you notice changes to the smoothness of the breathing, or feelings of tension, move the creative challenge away and re-establish the breathing, and relaxation. Then introduce the creative challenge again.
Continue until the creative challenge can be introduced and your physiology remains free of tension.
Continue to be curious – Think, “Show me more”
You may notice – for many creative challenges, that a variety of ideas and alternative approaches will begin to emerge at this stage – or you may choose to add another condition…
6. Working on the creative challenge
To gain more flexibility and push the boundaries, be curious about the consequences of changing your own attitude in relation to the challenge:
Imagine being more playful – cheekier – funnier – more energetic – more alive – more enthusiastic – more extreme
Imagine being more determined – more committed – clearer – more confident – calmer
Imagine being more open – less defensive – gentle – accepting – frank – positive – affectionate – transparent
As soon as you have reflected on all three for a few minutes each, cycle between them – more open, more self-determined, more playful… etc.
Please share your comments / experiences below…