Creative Types – Are We All a Wee Bit Crazy?

2 Feb

As both an artist and psychotherapist, I have long been frustrated by the myth that in order to be creative, we have to be just a wee bit crazy. First off, I don’t like the word “crazy” because it’s stigmatizing. It lumps mental illness into one big stereotype and marginalizes those who suffer from symptoms of a disorder. But besides that issue, why the belief that in order to be creative, we have to suffer from emotional instability or mania?

It is my firm bias that we are all inherently creative. We simply live in a world that beats this impulse out of most of us. We stop drawing when we’re scolded for coloring on the wall or are told that the dog we drew looks like a space ship. Or we’re told to become an engineer and not a writer because writing won’t take us anywhere… Not to mention that art and music programs are the first to be deemed irrelevant and cut from school budgets.

I also have a strong bias that if we are suffering from any type of adversity, creativity helps affirm life.

So perhaps here is where the myth comes from. Creativity is a fire energy. It’s strong, active and borders on manic properties. But like all fire, it needs to be channeled for constructive use. The high voltage is of no use to us if it blows out our system. Rather than sensationalize this phenomenon, glamorizing it as a necessary ingredient in the creative process, what if instead we learned how to channel it for its most effective use? What if we mastered the art of integration, bringing it into balance with all other facets of our lives?

Creativity is a balance of fire and ice. Yin and Yang. Ideally, we want to soar to great heights while simultaneously staying grounded. What is crazy is to mute that divine life force. But what keeps me grounded is to remember where that force actually comes from. Thoughts? What keeps you both grounded and creative? What gives you divine inspiration + motivation?

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