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Creativity – Our Gateway To Inner Peace

Carol is an artist & an award winning short filmmaker; OTHER (RIMA 2005) assisting communities in the UK & internationally, creating bespoke interpersonal & intrapersonal projects & experiences that explore & stimulate the many shapes of wellness, awareness, life solutions & reflection through creative mediums.

 
Executive Contributor Carol A Cumberbatch

This image is an example of one of my creative expeditions I created & named Savanna La Mar Vines, 2007 © Carol A Cumberbatch. They are wall sculptures I made from recycled wood & their name comes from my mother’s birthplace in Jamaica.


Savanna La Mar Vines

Daily life can feel heavy at times, sometimes we can feel like we are in a state of constant flux; affected by unpredictable health, work & income & or relationships with family, friends & partners. Then there’s the world at large, external to our emotional ecology that can add a complex yet captivating kaleidscope of cultures, conflicts, contrasts & confluence, its no wonder that at times the converging personal & global factors can rob us of inner peace.


But there is a solution, because we all have access to creativity.


Many of us may feel that we don’t have the academic or experiential credentials to claim our creativity rights, but creativity is a natural quality we all possess, even if we don’t recognise it.

 

Creativity is a habit, or a pattern of behaviours that we can all access in our own unique ways, it’s not just an admirable expressive skill of famous artists of the past, present or future, its an innate gift that can create a pathway to inner peace.

 

I have always been creative, the kind of child that could get lost in the process of making rose perfume from freshly picked rose petals. This was always very shortlived perfume, that only lasted a day at most before the natural order of decomposition would play its role. Nonetheless, it was a natural biological transformation that I accepted in my formative years after the first pungent reveal, a rapid transformation that didn’t dampen my innate enthusiasm to make more!

 

As a child I just loved making things with my hands, whether that be combining different larder (pantry) contents; jams, spreads & seasonings, like a scientist exploring flavours & textures on crackers & bread. Or randomly, from paper into books, from material into clothing for dolls & miniature interior design ideas or outside gathering branches, leaves & dirt to make dens. It truly felt like a special & personal gift, the imaginative creativity that most of us have a version of during childhood, one that I could immerse myself in, away from the many seeds of latent vulnerability that existed within my home, family & schools, creativity was a foundational & lifelong safe space.

 

Creativity is a holistic approach to life & development

Creativity encompasses the whole person as we make our entrance into life - mentally, physically, emotionally, socially & spiritually. Consider how we develop as babies to school age, with variable degrees of curiosity at its purest form as we climb in age; a natural drive to know, to explore through the senses; sight, sound, vibrations, textures, flavours, temperatures, feelings, colours, light & dark - so much to learn & share, a self-perpetuating instinct. The early foundations of language are born from hums, to shrieks, to babbling, to the magical transformation into articulation. Our development from birth is a process that is completely unique to every individual, but in our own ways we learn about our environment, our world & ourselves through self perpetuating functions of creativity that continue to expand our knowledge, horizons & motivations. This expansion does not end with childhood, if we look back at previous decades of our life journey we are often surprised by choices of our past that we wouldn’t make today, because we have grown beyond what we once knew, we expanded, we grew, as a result of experiences.

 

Creativity is synonymous with self communication, when we become comfortable with ourselves, our culture, our history, our traditions, we can stand confident in our communication with ourselves as we see ourselves, which develops one of our other superpowers - vulnerability that enables us to communicate & interact with others.


I am reminded of the Jamaican saying ‘dance a yard before you dance abroad’ which emphasises that we need to tend to our personal sense of self, our emotional ecology before we can begin to overstand & interact with the external energies (people, places, things, events, naratives) we inevitably encounter on our life journey.

 

My creativity has not always been accepted by external eyes, firstly within my home, where I was verbally lampooned by siblings as cheap, when I chose to make birthday & Christmas gifts & cards by hand, or create entertaining experiences to celebrate special occasions in my mind, like a Saturday afternoon! Eventually, my creativity became suppressed & inspired to go underground, only making appearances at appropriate times & places, like art classes at school, where it was often misunderstood, lost, broken or defaced. These disappointments defintely impacted my sense of self, but I also recognised that these actions were external to my natural enthusiasm for creativity. Ultimately, these disappointments only strengthened ny relationship with my creativity, even though I didn’t define it as such until I was an adult, I just thought it was one of my main quirks. The rhythm of a neurodivergent making sense of a world seasoned with contrasting cultures & landscapes of hostility & awesome wonders.

 

Mobile phone metaphor

My journey with creativity, got me thinking, with so many of us as owners of mobile phones which, according to ‘whatsthebigdata.com' in Jan 24 informed us that there are approximately 6.84 billion smartphones globally, which accounts for around 85% of the 8 billion population. When we consider that smartphones/mobile phones are a modern resource that were only introduced 30 years ago with the `dyna brick phone in 1984. Three decades is a considerably short lifetime of technological changes. It is reported that technology has developed faster over the last 20 years than other industries in 100 years.

 

When we cast our attention to the various models of mobile phones over the last 30 years we can testify to changes in shapes, sizes, functions & costs from mobile/smart phones that started out as bricks & now resembling chips.

 

However, if we were to cast our attention to our own personal last 3 decades, or 3 years, what would we see?

 

Do we see slow, incremental or rapid changes in our ideas, moods, directions, relationships, career? More importantly can we reflect on our access to peace for ourselves during these timeframes?

 

If mobile phones are little computers that so many of us carry around every day, creativity to me is a secret garden of healing possibilities & gateway to inner peace that we also carry around with us each day!

 

Creativity is a place to go to when life’s challenges overwhelm, pressure & hinder our window of tolerance & in turn it strengthens that special A simple decision that can transport us through a series of exploratory stages of problem-solving, connecting to self, cultivating self compassionate muscles through the action of allowing ourselves time & giving ourselves permission to immerse ourselves in our imagination.

 

Yes its a decision that may take us back to our younger selves, but just because we are adults doesn’t mean that our inner child is redundant & no more… Reacquainting ourselves with the imaginative limitlessness of our fondest childhood memories can boost our happy hormones in simplistic ways.

 

So, how much creativity have you gifted yourself over the last 30 years or 3 years, 12 months or 1 month?

 

To locate, access, nourish & strengthen your pockets of peace in this life of stressful challenges & contrasts, we need to gift ourselves with creativity regularly, at least once a week if not once a day! When engaging in creativity, we are engaging in self-compassion synonymous with self love. I often hear a lack of confidence with personal creativity but when we keep in mind that creativity is as unique & diverse as we are & not a competition or something that has to be studied, but a natural quality that lives within each of us with transformational attributes to navigating life in enjoyable ways, producing happy hormones along the way. through drawing, doodling, painting, recycling something, building with matchsticks or recycled materials, sewing, knitting, crochet, cooking, juicing, moving, making music, listening to music, gardening, decorating, designing on paper, writing-poetry, stories, jokes - the possibilities are endless but all start with our imagination, doesn’t have to cost a lot or involve others or have to be shared with others if we choose not to, its about the creative journey that we embark on that matters…

 

Discover the jewels within words to unlock your inner peace


  • Connecting: to ourselves in simple ways fuelled by imagination, equates with self-compassion & self-love, spending time to imagine, a natural ability not just for the young but lifelong…

  • Rituals: of practice, problem-solving, recycling- taking something & reimagining it using what

  • you have, invites you through stages of exploration, consideration & completion whatever you choose completion to be.

  • Energising: your emotional ecology in postive ways of making & doing, in a world where so much is controlled & decided for us, thees acts reaffirm the value of your presence.

  • Agency: actualising sense of self without judgement, acceptance of self through the various stages of creating, building faith in self when ideas work or don’t work as imagined but remaining flexible & thus developing psychological resilience.

  • Transforming: ideas into action is an empowering experience when accompanied with self-celebration, acceptance & appreciation.

  • Intuitive: spontaneity to try different approaches, materials, mediums & or ingredients can feed the natural instincts & fluidity of life experiences.

  • Vitality: fuels our capacity to live & develop with exuberance & safety outside of the mundane responsibilities that can come with adulthood.

  • Into: participating & showing interest in bringing thoughts & ideas to life through creative practices.

  • Tactile: taking time to celebrate through exploration & appreciation of our sensory world in limitless ways.

  • Yielding: exercising our flexibility & adaptability by gifting ourselves with opportunities for creativity.


Go on, treat yourself to the gift of creativity & enjoy reacquainting yourself with your personal pockets of inner peace!


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Carol A Cumberbatch, Creative Life Solutions Consultant

Carol is an artist & an award winning short filmmaker; OTHER (RIMA 2005) assisting communities in the UK & internationally, creating bespoke interpersonal & intrapersonal projects & experiences that explore & stimulate the many shapes of wellness, awareness, life solutions & reflection through creative mediums.


A self confessed social media hermit, Carol is passionate about the natural learning environment, with an innate apetite for personal development, which she has enjoyed cultivating over many years after being deemed not equipped for higher learning as a young person.


Regardless of the pessimism of this early narrative, Carol has consistently created her path, resulting in decades of experience designing & facilitating innovative holistic journeys (parallel to post graduate studies) for individuals & groups in education, community settings, NHS, Creative Industries, alongside private practice as a Dramatherapist, Creative Clinical Supervisor, Cultural & Diversity Consultant & University Associate Lecturer.


Supporting others to discover their unique path to improved experiences amidst complex journeys.


Carol self-published a book of her art & poetry, called Gezellig Heart, in 2023.

 

References:

 

  • Dan Siegel (1999) Window of Tolerance Na’im Akbar - African Psychology (2003)

  • Keith.R.Sawyer (2012) - 8 Stages of the Creative Process whatsthebigdata.com

  • Oxford languages googles english dictionary languages.oup.com Robert.J.Sternberg (2012) Assessment of Creativity

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