Last week I conducted another workshop with the staff members of Manzil Center for Disabilities in Sharjah UAE on ‘creativity and flow’. I visit them once a month and we select different topics each time. We have covered from a range of ‘compassionate communication’ to ‘Power of choice’ over the past few months.
The workshop started with a short, guided meditation to recharge and switch on the focus button for everyone. It was followed by an experiment I invited them to participate in with play dough. They were given free hand to make anything they wished within one minute with no pressure or compulsion to show to anybody what they made. This exercise was to play and explore for themselves. There were fun and excitement in the air and everyone was smiling with hands on the play dough. Most were ready before time. When I enquired if they were pleased with what they made, most of them agreed. They just followed their hands and allowed the form to take place. It just flowed and they carried on having real fun with it.
I asked them to repeat making something with the same play dough in a minute’s time. This time the majority felt they had a better outcome as they had previous experience and wanted to improve from the previous form. Most were happy with the previous outcome as well and had fun both times but this time there was flow with some more awareness. As they did not have prescriptions to follow, they explored and came out with unique solutions and had fun and imaginative outcomes. They used their wisdom and instinct to create. When I asked them if they were to show and explain what they made would it be the same creativity flowing? Most faces became serious.
The moment we put competition and judgment as the end result, our performance gets affected. We discussed when we pressurize ourselves doing our best we unconsciously block our creativity and performance quality. Instead of trusting in our own instincts and wisdom we follow the guidelines in such a regimented fashion that we stop having fun and our work begins to get mundane.
We spoke about how our own judgments, fears of failures and rejections prevent us to bring out creativity and expression which is unique for each one of us.
It was an insightful workshop and I feel grateful for the opportunity to conduct it for the very positive and vibrant staff members who do such an amazing work, nurturing, supporting and valuing the challenges of special needs children.