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Using Your Sensitivity As The Pathway To Creativity.

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“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him.

He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” ~ Pearl Buck

I was a deeply sensitive child, who has grown up to be a deeply sensitive adult.

Not sensitive in the sense of placidity or meekness, but sensitive in the way I respond to the world. My sensitivity means my intuition is on high alert whenever I am in a social environment and I can absorb the energies of those around me, soaking them up like a sponge.

It means I feel emotions and sense sounds, smells, tastes, sight and touch on an intense level; I detect every subtle change in vibration of human, animal and environment.

I fall in love with any living being that ignites my spirit and nature brings me to my knees in appreciation; the idea of the vastness of the universe paralyzes me with awe, and music often reduces me to tears and stirs emotions so powerfully that, for a minute, I transcend reality.

An unresolved argument with a loved one feels like an infinite nightmare from which I’ll never awake, a harsh or rude remark stings like a sword to the stomach.

Violence and hatred shake my foundations and make me feel sick, unfairness and injustices in the world make me howl with sadness and I ache with the suffering of humanity, animals and the planet.

Because of the overwhelming nature of sensitivity, I often find myself retreating away, to be alone, rest and re-calibrate. Over time, the way I have learned to deal with this world is to write; I see the world in words; I breathe in metaphors and I dream in poetry.

Writing is no longer a hobby or pastime, it is a survival technique. Writing is what once saved me and continues to save me every day. Without the act of writing, I would die; that is not an exaggeration. Words are my lifeline, my oxygen supply, without which I would wither.

I know my creativity stems from my sensitivity to the world. My sensitivity means that from an early age I experienced all my emotions in a highly intense way, and this has shaped me into the person I am.

As soon as we enter the world from the safety and warmth of our mother’s wombs, we are forced out into a world that is demanding and scary.

We are ripped from a world in which we are in beautiful symbiosis with our surroundings, suspended in perfect comfort, and we are thrown into a one where we are a foreigner and we have to forge our own tentative way.

We are forced to prove ourselves as valuable; we are asked to show up for a life that can be overwhelming. Unexpected events knock us sideways and shake our worlds apart, and we must piece them back together again in the only ways we know how.

Our duty is to transform this sensitivity into something beautiful and useful. Those who felt somewhat different from the rest of the pack, misunderstood, overlooked or frustrated, often escaped away to the solace of our own worlds where, in our imagined realms, we would create and dream.

I dreamed of faraway lands and mystical things, conjured up creatures and kingdoms and other worlds within this world. These ideas took on a life of their own and they morphed and grew into tangible things; they became words which fell onto pages like the crumbs from my hungry mouth.

They danced and swam and sung together, making shapes until they became art.

It was in these worlds that I came alive; these stories were the bridge between worlds, the path which allowed my dreams to creep out onto paper and sit mysteriously, like the markings on the walls of ancient ruins. Only I knew their origins were the secrets of my heart.

Our hearts have been beating their truths from the day we entered into the world, screaming and searching. We have been seekers our whole lives… of truth, of justice, of meaning, of love. We look for the reasons beyond the answers, we live in the questions.

The ordinary does not interest us; we are fascinated by the unfamiliar, we are seduced by the sacred.

I satisfied my hunger with books and gorged on them like sweet cakes. I scribbled the intense longings of my teenage heart into diaries and carved my desires into the walls of my soul. Now I’m older and I’m still turning this sensitivity into poetry and these questions into stories.

I am finding ways to alchemize my experiences into art, somehow.

Sometimes the right words won’t come and they sit stubbornly inside my head like the child I once was. Sometimes the words come like floodwaters breaking the riverbanks of my soul as they pour out into the world. Sometimes they drip like cold brewed coffee, off the end of a pen, or fingertips.

Sometimes my words are painted onto the canvas of the world using the brush of my heart, dipped into the technicolor of my mind.

We create because there is no other option; there is no other way. All roads lead to our art — to here, to now. All our experiences have led us to this point — all the good, the bad and the damn ugly; nothing has been in vain, everything had its purpose. Our experiences are the messengers of our truth.

It is our job to decipher the message and translate it into a recognizable language and then share this discovery with the world.

These secret scrolls found deep in the darkest caves of our consciousness were always meant to be found by us; we expose them by delving straight through the center of our pain and reaching into the blackness to retrieve them and bring them into the light and into the world.

We are then faced with a decision: do we let our pain define us, or do define our pain within the outlines of something beautiful? In our sensitivity there lies a blessing; the ways in which we process the world might be unusual, difficult, overwhelming even, but the calling to create unites us, and, like the battle cry of a thousand men, cannot be ignored.

Our sensitivity is the pathway to a greater understanding of the world; our job is to heal our own wounds and in turn, help others heal theirs. Our sensitivity is a blessing because it demands of us that we listen to our own bodies and understand their wisdom, through the deep feelings we experience.

Our sensitivity allows us to channel guidance, like fine-tuned radios, and to communicate these truths via our hearts and our hands. 

It is not a choice, it is a necessity — an absolute and unwavering demand to create from somewhere beyond our understanding. All the times the world seemed so foreign and strange, it now becomes fodder for our creativity.

Each time we are knocked down by overwhelming feelings of love, fear, joy and pain in our lives, we are inspired to turn these experiences into something infinite and timeless; the stories of our hearts become the stories of our collective evolution — suspended in time, transformed into art.

Throughout my practice, I have encountered a connection between highly sensitive people and their own creative impulses. This characteristic does not discriminate between painter, actor, or musician — they all appear to have one thing in common: they experience the world differently than the average individual.

Creatives often feel and perceive more intensely, dramatically, and with a wildly vivid color palate to draw from, which can only be described as looking at the world through a much larger lens.” ~ Lisa A. Riley

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