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We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it!’

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

‘We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it!’

I was thinking about this quote by Creativity Expert, Sir Ken Robinson, and what struck me was two things; firstly, how true this statement really is, and secondly…how easy it might be to overlook its significance, especially if you’re not what society might label as ‘arty,'

In this case, you could assume that there’s no great loss, really, in having let go of that innate creativity that childhood, by its very nature, seems to cultivate.

What I’ve discovered, however, is that it’s actually those segments of society who DON’T identify as ‘arty’, that are maybe suffering most from the consequences of age-acquired creative deficiency.


Because creativity isn’t just painting, drawing, sculpture or performance, for example.

‘Artists aren’t the custodians of creativity’ - to quote another writer's (who's name sadly eludes) thoughts on this topic.

Creativity is also the hidden engine behind a healthy psyche, and the basis of one particular type of meditation, that less people know about, than probably should.

This type of meditation relies not so much on the shoehorn of ‘quietening the mind’, per se, but rather on harnessing the power of the minds-eye (ie. visualisation ) to beneficial effect.

What I liked about this concept initially, was that it leans into the trademark busyness of the over-thinkers mind, rather than endeavouring to silence it.

Granted, it seemed somewhat ironic, at first, that a mental wellness technique could work by harnessing the one habit that 'living in the moment' persuades us against.

That is, to forgoe the here and now, and descend instead into the complex depths of one's 'own little world.'

Here, though, is where 'Visualisation Meditation' tells us the magic happens.

Here - I can be a bad-ass, sassier version of my real, self-doubting self.

I can be a confident driver.

A published author.

A contestant on Strictly!

A confident public speaker... even!

Granted, none of it is real.

It's 'delulu', the cool kids would say.

That said, I can see how the school of self-fulfilling prophesy thought, might well say otherwise.

Also, where would the 'channel your inner....' advice be without these nuggets of imaginary gold?

Thinking about it, I've deduced that maybe part of the reason this technique works, is the same reason that age-old confidence hack of picturing your audience / interviewer/ intimidating boss naked is so widely sworn by...and prescribed?

Once thought, the image just can't be unseen.

By a similar vein, all those mental Polaroids I've snapped during my brief foray into 'Visualisation Meditation', all of myself in various states of 'bossing it'... they've well and truly stuck!

Apparently (according to my teacher) the technique works best of all, if you really niche down on all the details of what the minds-eye comes up with in these precious 'free range' moments.

From the clothes you’re wearing, the make up, the hair style…the various nuances of who, when, where, why.

This person - this imaginary version of self - it's important also to name him/her, for optimum efficacy.

This in itself... it demands creativity, I realise.

My imaginary, all-conquering alter ego's name, quite instinctively, was She-Ra!

These days, I'm pouring myself more and more into She-Ra, and the idea of using visualisation as a way of challenging both my perceptions, and my responses to them.

What I've concluded (so far,) is that this is a trick not to be missed, and especially if (like me) other forms of meditation have proved a challenge.

This form of meditation - it doesn’t mandate squirming in the silence that never comes naturally (or pleasantly) for life's born over-thinkers.

Instead, it demands doing the one thing that as a collective, we're probably already pretty good at.

That is, asking 'what if?'

What if this...?

What if that...?

The three words have, admittedly, been a hallmark of my everyday inner dialogue for the longest. The problem was, however, that they'd been hijacked by catastrophy!

What if... a plane fell onto the house?

What if... a car careers onto the pavement?

It makes for pretty bleak reading, let's be honest.

The goal, therefore, was to try and re-calibrate my 'what if' compass, so that it was ultimately less likely to lead me down the rabbit hole of doom by default.

This involved, in part, trying to speak the words anew. With intonation, and maybe a cheeky pause, for dramatic effect, like a character out of a children's movie... who's finally hit upon the lightbulb moment that will ultimately save the day, and secure that mandatory happy ending!

'What if... I could re-become my former, self-assured self?'

'What if... I could write a book?'

'What if... we could move house one day?'

What if.... my time-worn habit of constant what'ifing ISN'T the self-destruction tool I've always thought it was, but instead a useful force for restoring long-lost creativity, and ultimately, perpetuating that thing we like to call *cringes slightly*... growth?

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