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Creativity and the permission to be

My wife works with children.

This morning she told me about a little girl who offered to do her hair.

My wife, not really sure what to expect, said “sure.”

The little girl picked up a toy car and proceeded to use it as a hair roller.

My good friend, Isaac, is a father of three.

One day, while everyone was sitting at the dinner table, his 4-yr old son, Nolan, asked “Dad, can I go flying?”

Isaac replied “go for it!”

Nolan closed his eyes, spreaded his arms like wings, made airplane sounds with his mouth for two minutes, and then he thanked his dad for letting him go for a flight.

What strikes me most about both of these examples is that the display of creativity was more the product of open-minded resourcefulness rather than angelic visitations and muse-inspired messages.

Contrary to popular misconception, our sense of wonder and imagination never leaves us. In fact, all our fears and self-doubts can be traced to the mistrust we feel towards those innately human qualities.

If we suffer from a loss of any kind, it is a loss of the permission we once gave ourselves to experiment with our ideas and impulses without justification.

As we grow older we tend to assume the overrated occupation of showing others that we are not as stupid and irresponsible as we fear they will think.

Self-imposed censorship, not incompetence, is the true enemy of our ingenuity.

Here’s today’s two cents:

Creativity is not unleashed through the attainment of exotic ideas and mystical powers, but through the practical willingness to treat those things that are already within us and around us as genuine resources.

Creativity is not acquired. It is accepted.

It is not DIScovered. It is UNcovered and then REcovered.

It is ironic that in the Judeo-Christian creation myth, the first act of creation began with the words “Let there be light.”

To me, the message seems clear: new worlds are not coercively pushed into existence by power, they are organically allowed into existence by permission.

Within every one of us, there are possibilities waiting to be actualized.

All we need to do is let them be.

In the absence of resistance, creative action will run its own course.

At least that’s the way I see it.

What about you?


T.K. Coleman

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  1. I just wrote about this childish connection the other dayโ€”out of the (minds, hearts, and) mouths of babesโ€”springs creativity, the creativity that already exists. Wondrous!

  2. I love this! Yes, all we have to do is watch children and listen to their ideas (without crushing them with our adult logic) to see the creativity inside ourselves. They aren’t rational or boxed in, so they are free to explore a myriad of ideas without judgment.I see it in our boys’ art, too. No boundaries and limits. Great post…

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re right on the money. while I believe reason and logic are very valuable tools, it seems that we learn at a very early age to use those tools against ourselves. When we can make reason and logic the partner of imagination, our thinking truly becomes limitless. Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚ T.K.

  3. TK – I first came across your philosophy via an interview you had with Isaac Morehouse “How to Be Free When You’re Not”. I have always felt I am resonable and logical. Maybe if I partnered up with imagination I would think more like you – more often. That would be a good thing.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Well, I’m humbled and honored by those words and I’m sure that I could learn a great deal from you as well. That was a fun interview with Isaac and I’m glad you reached out to connect. Cheers to our creative freedom and continued evolution. -TK

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