Humility And Creativity

Humility And Creativity - HSP Health Blog

Marlith-Flickr

Creativity and creative people are often revered especially in the arts.

Unfortunately, we often put creative people on pedestals when creativity is natural to all of us.

If we realize how important humility is to the creative process we might find that being creative is something that is available to all of us.

How Creativity And Humility Are Related

The minute you step into your creativity you are also stepping into your humility – which is actually quite wonderful when you think about it.

Creativity is a very different way of living because it is a different way of engaging with life.  It’s a process which includes

  • trial and error
  • curiosity about what we do not understand
  • openness to the many ways life can manifest.

Creativity is a natural part of us that is activated by our curiosity and sense of wonder. When we wonder, we become open to that which we do not know.

Humility has an important place in our creativity because it helps us be receptive to new information and ideas. Humility helps us wonder about how something might be different.

Creativity works best when we are open to options – not when we have the door of possibility closed. We can be more effective when we do not operate from simple, fixed answers or demands for “output” or productivity. The creative process has a life and pace of its own. We do better when we are humble enough to be in tune with its natural pace.

Creativity is evolutional and in sync with the constant evolution of people and the universe. It is about the learning and growing. When we recognize that, we can see that creativity requires that we are relaxed about it. We are going to make mistakes because we are supposed to.

The Humble Baby Steps Of Creativity

When we are in our creativity we participate in the incremental nature of life moving forward in baby steps. Those baby steps which we take with the rest of the human race become our connection with others as well as our past. The universe and the human race is a giant work in progress.

Once we realize that all we have to do is become a part of that progress, we are then free to give our best to what we do without concern for outcomes. When we become one with the ongoing invention of the universe we again move into our humility because we are not doing it alone, we have had the help of centuries of human effort and an intelligent universe.

The Challenge To Let Go Of Outcomes

One of our difficulties in letting go of outcomes is that we live in a world that measures us. We are measured on outcomes and often only outcomes.  As a result, our ability to survive can be dependent on those measurements and we can be reluctant to let go of them. To simply let go and humbly give our all to whatever is in front of us can seem dangerous.

Outcome based measurements are measurements of “productivity” or output. They are not really measurements of our creativity. So if we are creative we can be at odds with our culture if we pursue creative goals rather than quantifiable output goals. It may seem like splitting hairs, but when you are “producing” you are a cog in a wheel. When you are creating you are engaged differently, collaborating as an equal with the universe around you. Creativity engages all of our skills and abilities from both an equal and a humble place. It is a magnificent arrangement!

When you align with the creative universe you are a friend to our ongoing evolution which means to all people and creatures.  With the intention of highest possible well being for all – a humble intention – you are freer to give your all to your work and let go of outcomes.

The creative way is a humble way and a generous way. It may be hard to do but it is worth embracing since it really is the way of the universe and the way to our greatest fulfillment.

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Is Humility A Taboo?

Is humility a dirty word?  It seems we avoid it, and I think it is important to ask why.

My hunch is that humility and humiliation are closely connected in the minds of many people although they are very different.

Humility is gentle; humiliation is aggressive. Humility is often considered a social position of one down. while humiliation is often used to reinforce a superior position. Humility has a generous sharing quality; humiliation is an assault on our dignity.

Humility is more about service than domination. Unfortunately, service carries an association with servility and subservience.  Hierarchical organizations which dominate our society reinforce the idea of superiors and inferiors and our winner-take-all competitive structure creates many situations of loss. It is no wonder that humiliation can become the typical experience of many people.

In an individualistic and aggressive world, humble work is often done by those who are providing others with a stepping stone to success.  Rankism which is abuse based on rank often accompanies humble work. Most if not all of us have experienced the condescension and nasty treatment of someone who “outranks” us and it is not a pleasant experience.

Humility has great benefits. In particular it enables us to be open to possibility and therefore our own creativity. Wabi-sabi is an ancient and smart Japanese philosophy that values that which is humble. Humble is where life is since nothing is permanent. The edge of existence is where life happens.

Humility keeps us in that moment of constant change and becoming, and in doing so makes it possible for us to be a part of the larger journey of life. Humility keeps us in the ongoing creation of the universe.

Humility and wabi sabi are the antithesis of aggressive individualism.  They are the opposite of control and status.  There is no veneer or pose to protect in humility and wabi sabi.  Their gifts to us are honesty and authenticity and real relationship and the opportunity to live in our creative selves.

A Holiday Wish

christmas stars © by mararie

It has been a strange holiday season this year.  Perhaps because of the mercury retrograde or perhaps because of all the change in the air. For me, it has been a season of thinking, this time about appreciation.  No, not the why don’t they appreciate me whine.  Something different.

I was thinking about our current messed-up state here in the United States, and I was remembering that back in the 50′s and 60′s there was an idea that we were entering a new age of leisure, that we had such sophisticated machines and they would do everything for us. We had it made. Whatever our demands were they would be satisfied.

That thinking has stayed with us for at least a half century.  It inspired an IBM ad not too long ago about an on-demand world. Just snap your fingers and it will be done.  In just snapping our fingers, we have also closed our eyes to what it takes to deliver on our demands, and what it costs us and our environment to do so.  Our natural empathetic natures became unnecessary, unwanted and even in the way.

The cost has been much higher than we imagine. Our on-demand world has cost us a grounded relationship with process: natural process, manufacturing process, all process.  It means that we have lost relationship, the art of working things through, and the ability to know how to direct ourselves in response to the dynamics of living. Our desires and demands have made all of that irrelevant?

Our disengagement from our world behind the shield of entertainment doesn’t protect us from reality.  Pushing a button is not wisdom in action. Our disengagement means that we do not know what to appreciate or why.  We have delegated our lives and without the experience of living in process how do we begin to take them back?

There is one group of people who does not have the luxury of acquiescing to the current system.  Our humble and creative HSP’s are more engaged with process than any other group.  We take in everything and have to deal with it and are often alone in doing so.

Highly sensitive people have a capacity for appreciation that is exceptional.  All the processing of sensory information, thoughts, feelings and experiences gives us a library of information for working with a dynamic world. HSP’s are the people who can lead us back to a groundedness with our world.

It is my wish for HSP’s this holiday that they take a moment to appreciate themselves, as the stars in the tree that hold the light we need to bring us to a new communal understanding.  You are truly special and worthy of very high regard. Please celebrate your gifts to the world in this holiday season.