Of Resilience and Creativity

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
The Artistic Personality

In the post below I mentioned that there was a time in my life when I was so hypersensitive that every action around me seemed to land directly on my soul, and that this period did not last long. The ability to bounce back from such a state is essential to life and living it, as well as essential to our creativity. What’s interesting is that the relationship between resilience (the ability to overcome adversity) and creativity is circular: resilience allows you to continue to be creative and being creative allows you to be more resilient.

While research shows that mild negative emotional states can increase creativity, excessive negative emotions can hamper creative problem-solving as well as artistic creativity. The ability to acknowledge and navigate to the other side of these emotions and their causes brings you back to a place where you are open again to creative inspiration and action.

Conversely, thinking creatively to come up with solutions to what is dragging you down will help you get back on track. What’s more, doing something creative (e.g., painting, writing, landscaping, etc.) gives you confidence in your abilities to create. This confidence can translate into belief in your abilities to take action that will take you to where you want to go, building your resilience.

For me, turning how I felt into abstract short stories with unexpected positive twists helped me take the energy I was turning against myself into work I took pride in. It also gave me a new perspective of my situation. This was a big factor in getting met back on my feet and back to what’s important in life.

(Link to ways to build resilience)


Today’s 4 Minute Writer

The White Rose

I stumble upon them on the side of the snow filled trail. Somehow, through the months of cold and wind, they have remained, sticking their stalks and heads out, daring to hope for a bit of sun. They are so vulnerable, but don’t bother to notice- theirs is to continue the task of showing Beauty to the world. I am drawn to them. They remind me of the group of youth in Germany so many years ago who named themselves after these delicate flowers. The White Rose. In the face of the cold, death-producing regime of their time, they also stood strong, believing that Beauty would always prevail. Even as they were led to death by hanging, they maintained this impossible view. Though they were not permitted to see it, when the cold was driven out and the winds stopped, the world discovered that they were right.

Monday’s 4 Minute Writer topic: Data Entry

Use the comment field to suggest a topic, submit your writing on tomorrow’s topic, or to comment.


Filed under Creativity, Free writing

6 responses to “Of Resilience and Creativity

  1. What a stunning piece of thinking and writing. The two link so subtly, that need for those of us who are artists to have a tough and resilient attitude to failure, and the story of those who stood white against the darkness of a great evil. It occurs to me that their resilience was steadfast beyond their deaths, simply because they persevered for a greater good which prevailed.

    It was a privelidge to read this beautiful post. Thank you:-)

    • Thank you for your humbling encouragement.
      I am haunted by stories like that of the White Rose movement. I wonder what I would do in the situation these students found themselves in. Would I have the courage to stand white against the darkness as you say? And when my courage was all gone would I still stand on the side of good? I think about how I respond to far lesser trials and I wonder…
      As this is a new blog there is still so much room to play with its structure and I would love for readers to help shape it. Your comment on the link between the two parts of the post inspires me to make this connection each time. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull it off but will give it a try starting on Tuesday. Thank you for your fantastic perspective.

  2. V

    I suppose then that one could begin to see adversity as a positive thing, a challenge (positive or negative) that would produce a benefit to the artist, something no longer to moan and groan about.

    I would also add that perhaps this is WHY we face so many trials and tribulations — to inspire creativity! After all, were we not created by The Greatest Artisit of them all??

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