Saturday, July 4, 2009

Be Different, Do Different

Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Do you want to create something and you just haven't been able to do it? Here's the thing: If we want to experience something differently, or create something new, we need to get out of our regular routine. We need to expose our minds to different ways of looking at things. We need to mix things up. This is especially true if we want to stir up our creativity and hear our authentic voice. We need to be different, and to do different.

Here are some ideas:

• Try a new workshop
• Go for a walk
• Look at art
• Meditate
• Dance
• Travel
• Daydream
• Exercise

Get out of your normal routine and way of thinking to allow your creative mind time to gestate. Start exploring the options. Be proactive. Go online and do research, or tell a good friend about your plans, and listen to their ideas. Imagine where you might experience what you are currently searching for and put yourself in that situation. Start to give to others that which you wish to create for yourself. Be open to all the possibilities.

The physicist Fritjof Capra put it this way: "During a period of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight."

Joy and delight are the qualities of the creative mind. This is when the little kid inside of us comes out and plays. Freeing this part of us frees our creativity. The more willing we are to open to new experiences and try new things, the more we put the juice into our creativity machine.

Unfortunately, for some of us, we stop ourselves before we even begin. We've been given so many messages throughout our lives to "not look stupid or silly." It's important to face those messages, and the fear they create, and see them for the illusions they are. Whoever expressed those ideas to us was coming from their own limitations, which were placed on them as well. The good news is you can make a different choice.

Adopt a beginner's mind. To do that, we need to let go of what other people think. I don't mean don't care what your boss wants, or what your client wants, or what your spouse or kids want. I mean be willing to step outside of your own egoic concerns and don't worry about looking silly. No great ideas were ever conceived when there was a great deal of concern over what someone else thought.

Here's what Paul McCartney had to say: "I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone weird wasn't weird at all and that it was the people saying they were weird that were weird."

And T.S. Elliot: "Only he who is willing to go too far will ever find out how far one can go."

Every time I've been willing to do something that others might perceive as a little crazy, I've freed myself. And so can you. You will free yourself to experience life more fully and to create new possibilities in any area you desire.

So, go out and try something new. Be different and do different. This is the way to turn on your creativity machine and hear your authentic voice. Give yourself the gift of being childlike. If things don't turn out like you'd hoped, who cares? Just laugh and smile. It doesn't matter. Just learn, cut yourself some slack, and try something else!

Andrea Beaulieu is a professional speaker, author and coach, assisting individuals to become the people they always wanted to be -- themselves. She helps them engage their true potential to live, work, and lead in ways that are authentically theirs. She is the author of Ah Ha! 100 Flashes of Insight and Inspiration from Your Authentic Voice and Finding Your Authentic Voice: Seven Practices to Free the Real You and Experience Love, Happiness and Fulfillment, about her Your Authentic Voice® System.

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