Creativity is the spark that ignites the fuel of our internal combustion thought processes to give us energy, ideas, passion, artistic license and continued youth. Gandhi once stated that “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
I have noticed in all of the people that I have come into contact with since studying and working in the field of Gerontology, that the people who act the youngest and look the youngest are the ones who in essence are able to continue doing creative things. I am talking about painting, sculpting, writing, acting, dancing, playing music, singing, comedy, and any other form of self-expression. Norman Cousins, who wrote the Anatomy of an Illness many years ago, made some remarkable discoveries about the powers of recovery and rejuvenation based on laughter, but also on his observations of elders he knew, such as Pablo Casals, the great cellist. Casals had severe arthritis that was crippling and disfiguring. Every morning he would rise and play his cello for an hour before breakfast. Cousins’ defined the continued zest for life and the “child-within,” so to speak, by alluding to the energy that Casals had after playing his instrument…expressing his inner passion, if you will. Many great artists, like Picasso, Vladimir Horowitz, to name a few, continued their passions well into their 90’s.
I think that the passion created by the inner spark I speak of is always there, in all of us. I can define it as our inner child and we need to keep it focused and in the forefront of our minds so that whenever we feel the pull of gravity on our thinking processes, or the forces of nature interfering with our moods causing depression, we need to call upon our intrinsic sense of child and nurture it by being creative.
There are no boundaries to creativity. We can create anything we can imagine. One might say then that human potential is infinite and indefinable for the most part. Most all of us as humans are capable of personal growth and the achievement of higher states of consciousness; especially by identifying our inner strengths.
Aging is a natural phenomenon. It will happen whether we like or not. Getting old is a state of mind per se. We choose to be old, we don’t choose to age, it happens without our choosing. So in light of this physiologic wonder, it is inherent for all of us to get in touch with those things that make us happy, those activities that nurture our inner-child, and allow us the pleasure to create for ourselves and for other’s who may wish to be pulled along by our magnetism of sorts, helping them to create as well; both in their abilities to appreciate what we continue to do and their own ability to follow suit.
One may ask, “What is it that gives us these ideas to be creative?” I think just being able to appreciate the few things around us that life has to offer, in effect, bringing us comfort, food, clean water, joy and peace, in the face of illness, despair, depression, financial concerns, stress of any kind, and being alone or lonely. If we can hone in on our assets, our “gifts,” if you will, and give them away at times either through our creativity or our generosity in helping other’s altruistically, we will find that happiness and creativity will follow.
I like to tell my clients to live life to the fullest, live with no regrets and as if there were no tomorrows, only today. Try it, you’ll like it. Be creative and be alive……