Hello people! Here is a new post that I have been meaning to write for the past few weeks. Starting this month, I wanted to make sure I persevered with my idea to start a monthly book club focused on creativity and other topics that also could be helpful for creatives. The backstory for this idea was my reading for many months now about creativity and coming up with messages and notions that I thought could also be useful for other creatives or anyone interested in the topic. I asked you through my Instagram Stories if you would like to join me in my readings through a bookclub 📚and I got a positive response to it. So I decided to initiate it by reviewing a book that you can read throughout the course of that month and finishing with a recommendation for the next month. My purpose is to share all that knowledge we can get from books, give you ideas to apply it on our artistic journey –or any other journey to be honest– and open up a door for you to leave questions, comments or thoughts that those books might trigger. Most of the books I will read and post about are available through local libraries so that they are also hopefully easy for you to find. Sounds cool? I would love it if you would join in, I promise it won’t disappoint you. Alright, want to see the first suggestion? Keep on reading!
Book #1| Creativity: Unleashing the forces within by osho
I found this book literally by researching through the libraries in Edinburgh for the subject of ‘creativity’. As eager as I am to learn and discover new approaches, I immediately went for it. I knew nothing about its author and his whole background being a somewhat controversial spiritual leader from India that landed later in the US. I have to say that it was a rather intense book for me and quite repetitive in his messages but nevertheless I felt there were some ideas still worth noting. It’s biggest drawback for me was the religious content. I totally feel that creativity is connected –at least from my perspective– to something that transcends and it can definitely have spiritual meaning but Osho’s take on creativity is riddled with many religious references that can initially put me a little off. I don’t mean to offend anybody, it’s just that for me spirituality is personal so I prefer a more neutral approach. As contradictory as I myself can be, I am open in any case to getting to the core messages the author wants to convey regardless of his approach. That being said, let’s move on to what I really got from this book and what I believe anyone can benefit from.
Top Messages: One of the most interesting aspects of the book for me was the definition of creativity itself and how it doesn’t just apply to arts but it is part of our whole human experience. “Anything can be creative” as the author points out was already a notion that I had and it is the first thing that I remind of people when they argue that they are not creative. This book is an invitation to forget or to question everything we have been previously taught about creativity and redefine it in a more meaningful way:
“Creativity is a very paradoxical state of consciousness and being. It is action through inaction. […] It is allowing something to happen through you. It is not a doing, it is an allowing. It is becoming a passage so the whole can flow through you. […] It is becoming a hollow bamboo, just a hollow bamboo.”
From that mindset, creativity can be more playful and flexible, not something you have to force. Also, it is definitely something to consider when we let the trap of perfectionism get in the way. For instance, I would get frustrated many times when an illustration is not turning out “as good as I want it to” and that attitude causes the whole experience of painting to go haywire. More importantly, I miss out on all the joy and the whole purpose of creating. I often think about how athletes and artists should have the same approach in terms of considering artwork as training and focusing on being consistent. When the outcome is creative, we tend to forget that it needs that building process too but the “allowing” component is very powerful as well.
As the book progresses, it aludes to 5 obstacles and 4 keys in relation to creativity. Most of those concepts spring from the previous definition. As blockages, Osho discusses essentially perfectionism –as I was just mentioning– and different aspects of being too self-centered or self-conscious. In other words, letting the ego rule you which can have an impact in everything you do. The solutions he proposes are being more open, connecting with your inner child, focusing on learning and changing your beliefs around creativity. Definitely something to keep in mind as our journey progresses.
Other considerations: Another notion that I found interesting or at least that I connected with was his explanation on the purpose of creativity and how it has a much deeper meaning than we might think it does. I would like to specially refer to this quote:
Life in itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create meaning. Meaning has not to be discovered: it has to be created. You will find meaning only if you create it. It is not lying there somewhere behind the bushes, so you can go and you search a little bit and find it. It is not there like a rock that you will find. It is a poetry to be composed, it is a song to be sung, it is a dance to be danced.
I thought that this was particularly liberating if one is searching for a bigger purpose or significance in life. Instead of looking for answers outside, this is again an invitation to create meaning from the inside. That is a beautiful approach in my opinion and one I try to follow as much as I can.
Final score: 📚📚📚(out of 5)
NEXT MONTH’s READING: BIG MAGIC BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
I have heard mixed reviews about this books and I am eager to find out what my own thoughts are. I have heard Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast for a while and I enjoyed them very much so we’ll see what’s in store with the book that inspired them! Would you join me? 😃
As always, these opinions are personal and might not be the ones you have. It would be lovely if you would join me in reading these books and continue the conversation in the comments below. If you have also read Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within, I would love to hear your thoughts about it. If you also want to share it, don’t forget to use the hashtag #CreativityBookClub and reference me so that I can see your opinions. I would love that! ✨
Thank you for reading!