What is inner creativity

Creativity can be learned: Date with the inner child

The fact that the term "inner child" became so popular in the 1990s and paved its way out of the psychotherapeutic discourse into the mainstream is not least thanks to the author Julia Cameron. In 1992 she wrote "The Artist's Way" (translated in 1996: "The Artist's Way"), a bestseller that is still considered a standard work for all those whose profession calls for creativity.

Because precisely here lies a contradiction that causes problems: creativity cannot be demanded. On the contrary. The sentence "Now be creative!" is the surest way to stifle any spark of innovation and originality.

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Child and creativity

Creativity is in each of us. And what's more: each of us has been a great artist - be it a painter, a sculptor, an actor, etc. - we've just forgotten or forgotten it.

  • As a child it was natural for most of us to implement creative ideas. "Draw a kite who has measles" or "Play a polar explorer lost in the Sahara" was never a problem.
  • But as I grew up, so did my inhibitions. Every time a teacher attested: "It doesn't look like a dragon at all!" (or "The perspective is all wrong").
  • Every time mom or dad were of the opinion "What nonsense, polar explorers don't belong in the desert!", We became more cautious - and a little less creative.

The child we once were withdrew. It was hidden behind thick armor. In other words, we grew up.

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Growing up is good

Growing up is a good thing. You can buy your own chocolate. You can stay up as long as you want. Above all: you become a little more resilient. The armor helps. Just as our immune system learns to deal with pathogens (adults are much less sick than toddlers!), Our psyche learns to deal with emotions. If our favorite chocolate is sold out, we no longer have to throw ourselves on the floor and cry like a three-year-old - we just buy another variety and can live with it.

In short: a child's sensitivity would be very stressful in an adult world. And not very effective. Or do you yell at your boss, "You are soooooo mean"? Just.

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The dilemma

So as adults we live in an adult world. This is the only sensible option in everyday life. The armor is a friend, not an enemy. He lets us endure the broken coffee machine as well as the annoying colleague.

But then someone comes and says: "We need a text for occasion X and a solution for problem Y. Be creative!"
Shit, that doesn't work anymore. The creative child in us is so walled in that it can hardly move, let alone speak up.

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What to do?

So the aim is to square the circle: stay a child in order to be creative - and at the same time be an adult in order to cope with everyday life. The path that (not only) Julia Cameron suggests for this is very charming: Give the "inner child" time.

How to do it:

  • Get to know your inner child first. Think about what it looks like, what it likes, etc.
  • Find out how old the child is: It works without much thought. Most people can answer this question on the fly. Three? Five? Nine? Take the first number that comes to mind.
  • Think about what happened at that age. So, if your answer was "five years," think about whether there was a major event in your life when you were five years old. Strictly speaking: "Incisive" for yourself. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering, but it is very likely that it impressed you back then and did something to you. We're not doing DIY psychoanalysis here. If no event pops into your head, that's fine as well. But if it does: it is simply an interesting piece of the puzzle to help you understand yourself better.
  • Give the child time. At least two hours a week. These two hours must be undisturbed throughout (i.e. four times half an hour does not apply!) And belong only to you and the child.
  • Defend this time like a mother lion against external attacks. It doesn't matter whether Aunt Rosi announces that she is going to have coffee. She is welcome to do that, but not in the time that belongs to your child.
  • Listen to yourself, take your inner child by the hand and let him guide you for two hours.
  • Only do things that are fun for the child, do not censor the suggestions.
  • This can be a walk in the park or looking at the shop windows. Baking cookies. To go swimming. Knitting. To sing. Visit to the zoo. Looking for shamrocks. Pinball. Feed birds. Everything is possible.
  • Don't take friends with you. This is a date just for you "both". Like a real child, your "little one" is also happy when it has your undivided attention at least once a week.
  • Turn off the phone.

Make this date a dear habit. You may feel a little strange at first, but once the ritual is established, you will find that everyday creativity is easier for you. (Incidentally, also good if you are currently working on your thesis and cannot get any further ...)

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Tried out?

Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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