Elliott Fienberg

Unlocking the Creative Body

If you had a pet, would you attempt to lock it up for most of its life? Would you starve it and tell it it’s not worthy of being let out of the cage? Would you call it nasty names when no one is looking?

Sadly this is how many people treat their creative self, or what I call the Creative Body. Suppression and abuse in the confines of your own home.

I base this term on Eckhart Tolle’s concept of the Pain Body which is likely the force that suppresses creativity – usually boiling down to issues surrounding fear, lack and emotional weakness in general. Seth Godin refers to it as the Lizard Brain, which identifies it from a different angle, calling it out as a prehistoric reflex from a time when humans were constantly searching for threats.

The modern version of a threat is our reputation, or ego. While we were ok with going up on stage and tap dancing in the elementary school talent show, this awesome behaviour is eventually reserved for a small percentage of society as we get older.

So today I propose that you treat your creativity like you do a pet. Buy it a luxury winter coat that has a name like Canada Pooch because you wouldn’t dare see it a little chilly in the Canadian cold. Go out of your way to buy it expensive treats that you wouldn’t even spend half as much money on yourself. And most importantly, give it daily nourishment, water and fresh air outside the house.

In short, the Creative Body needs a voice and space to exist.

So the next time you feel empty, and you see that musical instrument on the other side of the room that hasn’t been played in a month, or a colouring book that has no marker in it, realize that you might have locked your creativity up. Because if you free it, you might just free yourself.

p.s. I believe that Morning Pages are one of the best tools for freeing the Creative Body from the grip of the Pain Body. Read a short post where I explain them here.

p.p.s. My latest release, God Works for Spotify in the Complaints Department is available on Bandcamp.

p.p.p.s Pictured in the photo above is our dog Sadie, and her cousins Sassy and Magic who we occasionally babysit. All three have done time as show dogs in their youth.

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