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BEING ~ NOT BEE-ING

TO PRESENT, TO FEEL, AND TO CREATE

When asked how you are doing, how often do you hear yourself reply ‘Fine…keeping busy’?


FOCUSING ON STATUS THROUGH ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Granting us status, we feel that we matter when focusing on our devices and accomplishing Important Things. But maybe not just by existing. Yes, we matter.


WHAT WE ARE TAUGHT

Granting us status, we feel that we matter when focusing on our devices and accomplishing Important Things. But maybe not just by existing. Yes, we matter.


CHALLENGES WITH CONVENTIONAL EDUCATION

School schedules, group teaching in classrooms, workload, and deadlines, as well as culture and advertising that dictate our appearance and consumption, contribute to this issue. Furthermore, social media encourages us to ignore or replace our physical sensations with immediate solutions or distractions. From a young age, we learn to offer insincere responses (‘being polite’), spend a lot of time sitting, and suppress our urges to move, speak up, or play.


Kids in a classroom

BABY MONKEY


THE JOY OF STORYTELLING

As a young child, I loved to tell stories, both fictional and non-fictional. I made them up on the spot. My classmates would beg me to continue with the next part during long bus rides.


REPRESSION OF CREATIVITY

After class Teacher said she wanted to ‘have a word with me’ (and as all British people know, that sounds like trouble…). She told me I was lying and it would hurt the teacher’s feelings and I should confess to this teacher that I had spread rumors about her and I was sorry.


THE CONSEQUENCES OF TRUTH ONLY

After class Teacher said she wanted to ‘have a word with me’ (and as all British people know, that sounds like trouble…). She told me I was lying and it would hurt the teacher’s feelings and I should confess to this teacher that I had spread rumors about her and I was sorry.


THE SUBSEQUENT SUPPRESSION OF CREATIVITY

This experience really suppressed my storytelling. I chose not to share my poetry and stories anymore but wrote them in a secret diary locked with a padlock. I confined myself to an invisible place. As I got older, the stories got more personal and were about feelings I had through lived experiences – both good and difficult. Writing enabled me to process what I was going through.


UNLOCKING CREATIVITY

Only years later, when I started university, did I slowly learn to share stories again by singing them. At the same time, I used mostly my head that my body just happened to be attached to. This way, some stories that needed to be shared were avoided.

I suffered from back pains and headaches. I did not connect this in any way to my hidden stories. This experience really suppressed my storytelling.


Baby Monkey

CREATIVE BODY


THE NATURE OF PLAYFULNESS

Playfulness is in our nature – discovering the way something works by testing and trying, failing and returning, combining and crafting.


CREATIVITY THROUGH PLAY

Through play, we nurture curiosity, we don’t accept things at face value, we dig deeper – we explore learning beyond what we think we know. And by doing so, we invite the body to participate. We switch our senses on. We get our hands dirty and we ‘get into it’.


COMBINATORY PLAY AND CREATIVITY

As Maria Popova (founder and author of an inspiring newsletter titled The Marginalian) so aptly writes ‘The task of creative work is to weave something new and wonderful out of the tattered threads of culture and convention. On the enchanted loom of the mind, our memory and experience, our personal histories and cultural histories, interlace into a particular pattern which only that particular mind can produce — such is the combinatorial nature of creativity.’

In describing the machinery of his own mind, Albert Einstein called this interweaving “combinatory play.” It cannot be willed. It cannot be rushed. It can only be welcomed — Creativity’s task is witnessing the weaving.


HEALING THROUGH CREATIVITY

After I allowed myself to express some of my inner stories again through song, poetry, and art, my feeling of being ‘stuck’ slowly shifted. I discovered my fear of not being good enough, of not being competitive to avoid looking better than anybody else, for fear of being seen as arrogant. I worked through much of that, with the help of mentors and coaches. And on the way, I learned that the body keeps the score*.


EMBRACING CHANGE AND CREATIVITY

There’s a lot more to share about this creative journey, but I’ll save those stories for when we meet. The point of writing this blog was to let you in on a bit of the themes we will come across in the workation titled Let’s Evolve! , where we invite you to embrace change and evolve. To be aware of your senses and your responses. To allow your body to guide your decisions and to invite creative expression (back) into your life. How often do you allow yourself to play?


PRACTICING RECONNECTION WITH THE SENSES

While I feel grateful for having access to education, I also experience sadness regarding how the school regime impacts our connection to our nature and ourselves. Learning to reconnect with our senses, and sharpen our awareness is a practise. It’s becoming aware of our coping mechanisms and ‘automated responses’, being curious about them and replacing old habits with other behavior. You can start practising with us


Awe Academy book

*I highly recommend reading the book by Bessel van der Kolk


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