The Creativity Workshop

Using the Tools of Creative Writing, Memoir, Art, Photography, Storytelling and Mindfulness

Play, Play, Play

Play, Play, Play

by Susie Ellis
The Weekender

Everyone is born creative. However, for many of us – whether it is from a fear of failure or from past criticisms – our innate creativity goes dormant.

The good news? It’s easy to wake up and get it going again! Learning some practical techniques to stimulate your creativity and imagination is the perfect jumpstart.

I learned this very important lesson when attending Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel’sCreativity Workshop in New York several months ago. The duo will be at the Global Spa and Wellness Summit in Aspen – offering aspects of their workshop to delegates who want to flip on their creativity switch. Personally, I feel as though this session is closest to the heart of our “Innovation through Imagination” theme.

In this Weekender, I will share some of my “ah ha” moments from the workshop:

  • We are all born creative, curious, and hungry to explore the world around us. The question is how to keep those qualities alive and flourishing as an adult.
  • Instead of looking at creativity as a product (like a painting, a piece of music, a poem, etc.) it’s better to look at it as a process.
  • Before you can get to innovation, you first need to have imagination and creativity.
  • There are practical steps one can take to spark creativity: give yourself time to play; start drawing (and toss away what you drew without showing it to anyone), tell stories, write creatively, take pictures, make visualizations, etc. Stimulate yourself by moving between these creative processes.
  • Establish a 15-minute creative practice a day to get the juices flowing.
  • There is brain science behind all of this: the right brain needs more stimulation and the left brain (for many executives) needs a little quiet time.
  • Creativity is a key to success in all professions. It also helps individuals feel more fulfilled, relaxed, and happier.
  • In Shelley’s words: “For a child, creativity is expressed in play and play is the way s/he learns. Life is just one big erector set that is to be snapped together and pulled apart in a thousand different ways. But as adults we often lose flexibility of mind and feel compelled to put away our toys as we acquire jobs, kids, and mortgages. We at The Creativity Workshop believe you can retrieve the child’s sense of wonder and it will help you live a richer, deeper life.”
  • Collaborating is another way of being creative; it can enhance one’s originality because it helps provide new ideas.
  • Quit thinking about creativity as needing to lead to something, like financial success. Enjoy the process for what it is.
  • Building on another’s creative – or even innovative idea – is a good way to take things to another level.
  • According to a major new IBM survey of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, “chief executives believe that more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision, successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.”
  • A recent Wall Street Journal article called “Doodling for Dollars” explains how putting down the Smartphone and picking up the crayons can spark creativity.
  • A 2009 study published in the journal, Applied Cognitive Psychology, found that doodlers retained more than non-doodlers when remembering information that had been presented in a boring context, such as a meeting or conference call.
Tamir Greenberg
Tamir Greenberg, Award Winning Poet and Playwright, Tel Aviv, Israel
“The Creativity Workshop in New York went beyond my expectations both times I took it. It really helped me to listen to my instincts and emotions ag...
Patricia Lancaster
Ph.D. Dean Emerita of the Hamilton Holt School and Professor Emerita of French, Rollins College, FL
“A perfect blend of relaxation and stimulation. The assignments fostered discovery and creativity, yet left us plenty of time to enjoy the wonders o...
Elvy Pang
Lecturer in the Business School, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
“The Creativity Workshop is brilliant! One of the most life-impacting learning experiences I have ever had.”