Creativity is a highly sought-after quality. Whether you’re in finance or business, art or music, have children or want to find your inner child again, creativity is a pathway to expressing the essence of being human.
So why does it seem so difficult to access once we cross that threshold to adulthood?
Sarika Sehgal, director of the Khel Centre for Creativity & Inner Peace, has spent her adult life looking at this exact question -- and creating an approach that bridges that gap.
It starts with play.
She wonders why it has to be that complicated. “I think society is really scared of play because play is pleasure and we’ve been told that pleasure isn’t good. You were taught to work hard, and to be serious but tell me, has that worked out for humans? We are more stressed and anxious than at any point in human history. Hard work needs to be balanced out with play for our health and sanity. I think it’s this idea that play seems so abstract, like what are you going to do with it? That would imply that maybe you’re not as productive, maybe it’s a societal issue that relates to this taboo about playing.” But is it all about productivity? Is that what we’ve boiled life’s meaning down to, something that can be measured?
If so, Sar says, we’re in trouble.
“It’s funny, I read somewhere that you can never measure creativity and that’s a good way to put it. You can never really say that creativity goes from here to here or that it looks like this. The only way to truly understand it is to feel it. It’s such an expansive feeling, it feels like you’re touching true joy and that’s where I think divinity comes in.” Touching the Divine: that is what is missing from this hyper-productive approach to living. Can you find the Divine in rigidity?
She doesn’t think so.
“Creativity opens the heart, something that’s much more wise and intelligent than our brains. And it’s blocked in our societies and devalued, it really is, because I think people are afraid of this unknown force. Creativity is a feminine trait. It’s so gentle, so sweet, it’s a really beautiful thing.”
Opening this doorway can also be an invitation into deep self-inquiry and reflection: accessing the heart space, opening to the unknown, and allowing a curiosity to arise: “The root meaning of creativity means to grow. So, creativity is a form of self-discovery, it’s a way of tapping into who you are. After taking years of photographs, I realized I was really attracted to certain things, why was I attracted to them? You can find out so much about yourself, it is truly one of the most fun meditations out there. It’s not serious at all, you can have a blast and you get to find out so many things about who you are. Albert Einstein said that Creativity is intelligence having fun. I bet you all the angels and gods, this is what they do, I have a feeling.”
They create, and learn about themselves.
How can we mortals find access to this magical power?
“There’s a wonderful Chinese proverb that says, ‘how beautiful it is to do nothing and rest afterwards’. Slowing down is the gateway into your creativity. I think if society is worried we’re not doing enough physically, there’s no need to worry so much, through play so many good ideas come up.” Simple, says Sar. “Creating doesn’t mean creating a piece of art, it means also creating an idea, creating a solution to a problem, that creative energy is necessary for solutions and to know that solutions are always out there if your mind is clear. It’s all just finding the right answer, and the right answer comes from play, so, just relax and the answer will come, there’s no need to worry about it.”
So if you’re ready to find your inner child again, go for it! And if you need any help taking those first steps, Sarika will happily guide you in the right direction.
Sarika Sehgal is the director of the Khel Centre for Creativity & Inner Peace. She is an artist, a meditator and a facilitator of the feminine. To see upcoming retreats, visit the Khel Centre's retreat.guru page or their website here.