Whenever we’re challenged to jumpstart our creative process the old technique of brainstorming or collaborating with others who are also struggling to be creative on demand, isn’t going to cut it.
The world is changing rapidly and people and workplaces need true innovation ideas. Trying to “figure out” what to do can waste valuable time because in an ordinary state of consciousness, you end up relying on outdated formulas and patterns. When we’re in this state, it’s as if our mind’s Wi-Fi signal is too weak for the really big ideas to load. That’s when we need the strongest creative force there is, which is what I call core creativity.
Core creativity is the creativity that comes from the very center of your being – the unconscious mind. You are accessing this deep, core creativity when the ideas are flowing and you feel as if they aren’t even coming from you but from a source that is infinitely abundant. When your mind opens the portal, core creativity can download like the ultimate software program for achieving ground-breaking creative ideas.
I’ve been coaching clients and executives, treating individual patients in my Los Angeles institute, and doing workshops and presentations to the public and organizations for decades. Recently, I was speaking about mindfulness and creativity to a hundred staffers at a tech company, and I asked, “How many of you are here because you want to become more creative?” Almost everyone raised his or her hand. Then I asked, “How many of you are here so you can learn to concentrate and focus your mind?” About half raised their hand. What good is focus and concentration if you don’t know where to aim it—if you have no creative vision?
We were been taught to think that creativity is only for the chosen few—“creative types” with “an artistic temperament.” Well-meaning adults in our lives taught us to shut down our imagination and get serious about our futures very early on so we could conform to systems that were created long ago. Now those systems are changing dramatically. We’ve got people microdosing, taking very small doses of hallucinogenics to jumpstart their creativity at work.
The Beatles and Steve Jobs both took LSD, but they stopped after recognizing there were safer, more accessible pathways to the deepest creativity and this portal is within. One of those pathways is core creativity, which reconnects you with your creative self and can lead to profound, radical transformation.
The three-part core-creativity process is like an Internet connection far superior to any that has yet been experienced. Core creativity allows you to progress far beyond surface-level tinkering that comes from the limited resources of the everyday mind. The three states of this process are Open Mind, Absorbing Mind, and Generating Mind, and to access core creativity, you progress from one zone to the next.
We first access core creativity through Open Mind. This is a state of consciousness that can be thought of as the room where core creativity appears, and ideas and insights are downloaded into your consciousness. However, the big, breakthrough “aha!” doesn’t necessarily come to you the first few times you go into open mind consciousness and download core creativity. It takes a little practice and patience, but then a sense of expansiveness and vitality arises.
After entering the state of Open Mind consciousness you then transition into Absorbing Mind – a mind state of receptivity in which images, words, and ideas come to you. To be in a state of absorbing mind the self needs to be receptive to all the phenomena they are aware of during the day as well as to look, study, and analyze their dreams. For example Paul McCartney was asleep when his unconscious mind received the melody for the hit song “Yesterday” from his Absorbing Mind. To understand the creative messages from the dream state write down the dream and then free associate by journaling the feeling, texture, and/or color of it that immediately comes to your mind.
Once you have absorbed the ideas you then transition into Generating Mind. Here you’re not just “playing around with ideas” but instead enter a flow state of generating ideas and insights that seem to be channeled directly from a consciousness much wiser and a source more creative than your own. When we enter into Generating Mind we can access states of core creativity and bring forth new and original concepts or ideas.
All three of these states can be accessed through a mindfulness practice—sitting meditation and other forms of meditation such as walking meditation in nature, mantra meditation, chanting, and tai chi. They can all lead to a download, and in pouring of core creativity. For more strategies read my article 6 Steps to Ignite Your Core Creativity.
This formula for creative innovation can be adapted by anyone—whether or not they consider themselves “the creative type.” I have seen single mothers of limited means use the core creativity process to reinvent their lives. As well I’ve seen my clients through the core creativity process breathe new life into old ideas, renew success, and even go far beyond the original benchmarks that they figured could never be recreated much less surpassed.
Excerpt from the forthcoming book “Core Creativity” by Ronald A Alexander, PhD (copyright 2018)
Dr. Ronald Alexander, PhD is a leading Executive and Leadership Coach, and Communication and Core Creativity Consultant with a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Monica, California. He is a member of the Advisory Council of The Insitute For Transformational Thinking, a founder of the Open Mind Training Institute, and author of Wise Mind | Open Mind: Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. To learn more about Ron, visit http://ronaldalexander.com/