Living Creatively

By: Efrat Malachi  |  April 24, 2020
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By Efrat Malachi, Staff Writer

During these heavy days of Corona and quarantine, we’ve all been feeling extra dull and lacking a spark to start something new, something extraordinary. This doesn’t mean you must often overlook the horizon for inspiration or stand on the edge of a great mountain with your arms up to feel alive. Though I do believe, especially in times like these, there are exceptional stories seeking an author to write them, fresh ideas gasping for air, inventions struggling to break through. The art of creating is not merely for the skilled hand or smooth thinker, in fact it’s in every person’s rightful possession. Every person has the ability and tools to start living creatively; I may just take it further and consider this to be a human obligation.

Creativity is a necessity for human life and longevity in terms of birthing new, literal breath and the more subtle, but still significant, forms of it. It is the runway for solutions, remedies, and brilliant forces to catwalk down and into our lives. As recorded in the book of Genesis, G-d created something from nothing and said to the angels, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (1:26). G-d is the ultimate Creator Who has fashioned a creature unlike any other. He bestowed upon man a similar title and crown in order to be the supreme leader, creator of life on earth. This is not simply an account of what transpired back in the beginning but rather an ongoing invitation to mankind, placing on it a real responsibility to show up to the party that is existence.

The process of fully embracing and engaging in creativity unfolds in stages. The first stage is recognizing when there is a stillness in activity or a quietness present, creativity is called to duty and extends its hand to you. The second stage is accepting its partnership by shaking its hand back. The third stage is sitting around the conference table with it and conversing freely (rid of politics). At this point, you should not view it as a traditional transaction between businesses, but a type of alliance where you and creativity pledge to work in full honesty and flexibility with each other. This means not shutting down ideas before getting to know them or misleading efforts towards a project you’re not passionate about. This means settling into a mindset that makes space for the expansion of creative expression. It is diving into the colorful imagination more than it is the rigid laws of numbers and science.

The third stage is the deal breaker, but it’s not as serious as you might think. There’s a time and place for this attitude. You must be serious when it comes to committing yourself to the cause of creativity. Once you’ve signed your name on the dotted line and there’s a mutual sense of respect, then you should always take your work lightly. It should be playful and youthful to a degree, so that you don’t intimidate its colleagues (i.e. wildly new ideas) from entering the conversation. Don’t limit yourself to the practical, though it’s difficult because that’s what we’ve been trained to do throughout school. But if you want to be on the same page as everybody else (your creative thoughts) in the room, know that they live in the realm of the temporary unknown and impossible. You must be willing to learn the language and speak it to make legitimate progress — real change in your life and others. The best part –creativity does not come at any cost but time, though it’s the most worthwhile investment you’ll ever make.

The fourth and final stage is having hardcore belief in your collaborations, then communicating them for the world to see. It’s not about flaunting your abilities but about showcasing them with confidence. One of the toughest balancing acts to perfect is that of knowing you have everything, while having nothing at the same time. It’s the tension between humility and haughtiness. I think that right in the center of it, there is an ideal grey tint which understands how to hold both forces and bring them out when applicable. To nurture a healthy relationship with creativity you need to know when to push the box over and when to build it up again. Being human provides us with that pleasure rooted in our liberty — to choose between logic and creativity/art whenever we deem most fit.

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