Inspired Living: Creativity and Its Impact on Our Minds, Bodies, and Souls

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This new series of articles will explore what creativity is and isn’t; its relationships to art, innovation, imagination and artistic expression; and the importance of creativity as an essential element of inspired living.

I’ve always wanted to do a series on creativity. The problem has been that even though I have always harbored a creative spirit, I never really took the time to explore the topic deeply or meaningfully. And at various times in my life when I allowed life’s demands and pressures to get the best of me, I almost let the creative fire within me become extinguished. But that has changed. Since my retirement from full-time psychology practice, I’ve been doing a lot of research on creativity while simultaneously trying to better nurture my own creative inclinations. Part of that effort will include sharing some of the insights I’m certain to have as I continue the effort to explore and develop this somewhat hard-to-define phenomenon we call creativity.

Many good books and articles have been published on creativity. And there is so much information available that it would be impossible to do justice to the topic in just one article. Hence, today’s post is but the first in a series of articles on the subject.

One might ask what purpose it could serve to devote so much time and effort to this task. I can only answer for myself. For me, life without creativity is close to living death. There have been times in my life when I became so caught up in the mundane and mechanical rigors of daily living that my soul literally screamed for an opportunity to innovate, imagine, fashion something unique, or otherwise create.

In the upcoming series of articles, I plan to discuss such issues as what creativity is and isn’t, its relationship to art, the difference between innovativeness and imaginativeness, the difference between creative thought and artistic expression, and most significantly the importance of creativity as an essential element of inspired living. I’ll be learning as well as sharing in these articles because simply musing on the topic is itself a highly creative and inspiring process, and because I’m hopeful that the articles will spur some inspired comments from all the “artists” out in cyberspace.

Creativity has been studied by philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, mathematicians, and even religious scholars. Even artificial intelligence experts study creativity in an attempt to give our most sophisticated but “sterile” computing machines a more human quality. I dare say that the upcoming series of articles certainly won’t represent an exhaustive or comprehensive treatment of the subject. But I’ll make every attempt to explore the most essential aspects of creativity and what its presence means to the human experience.

Eric Maisel, Ph.D. has written some books on creativity. In Creativity for Life, Maisel explains that the inspiration for the title came from the fact that there are at least three different ways that creating and living are inextricably related. The first way is that a person can be creative or imaginative in the manner in which they approach life issues, plan events, enjoy life experiences, etc. The second way has to do with wanting things that involve creative expression like art, music, inspiring things, etc. in their lives. The third involves what kind of unique creations people bring into the world with their work, personal endeavors, communications, etc. Maisel’s work appears geared to helping folks nurture their inner “artist” and realize the joys of “artful living.”

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Other than my doctoral dissertation, I had never written anything of substantial merit until the publishing of In Sheep’s Clothing. The sterile, rigid, and unnecessarily esoteric style of journal article writing has almost always been close to revolting to me. But I was moved to write about what I came to learn about through inspiration and creative thinking. In my daily dealings with people, I found that the perspectives I’d been trained to adopt — both to view and intervene in their problems — were lacking and that adopting a new and innovative approach made a big difference. The unbelievable response I eventually got once I decided to express my insights in writing not only emboldened me to innovate further, but eventually gave me the resources to retire and to give some much needed attention to my starving inner artist.

So, let the creative process begin! The forthcoming series will be not just for you but for me. Who knows what insights, innovations, or as yet unrealized aspirations will be reached in the process? We shall see.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

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