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How to use the Dark Sides of Creativity

Updated: Apr 5


Understanding the Dark Sides of Creativity


Creativity is often seen as a beacon of innovation and expression.

But have you ever wondered about its uncharted territories – the 'dark sides' that lie within?

Well, that's what I would share with you in this article.


By the end of this article, you'll have a clear understanding of these hidden facets and how to harness them to improve your life.


Now, before we dive in, let's get on the same page.

What exactly are these 'dark sides'?


And to be clear, I am not talking about Voodoo stuff. I am referring to the inner workings of the MIND.


I remember a time when I first became aware of my own subconscious mind. I found myself confounded by a realization – a realization that seemed like a superpower.


I once rushed to my therapist, expressing my concern about potentially manipulating others. I literally told her that “please I do not want to manipulate anyone”.


And her wise words became my guiding light that calmed me:

Her response was;

“Akinwale, you're not manipulating anyone; you're becoming more emotionally intelligent and mindful.”


The realization that I could detect another person’s deepest fears and use that information to nudge them to a particular direction, or create something that exposed that fear surprised me.


That period kick started my journey on developing this part of creativity and insight.


So, think of these dark sides as the innate skills, characteristics, and insights that dwell in your subconscious. They're the aspects you might not be fully aware of or haven't fully tapped into yet.

To grasp this concept, let's break down the three levels of the mind –


They are the conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious.


At the conscious level, this is where we actively think, decide what to wear or eat – it's where our awareness resides.


Next is the subconscious.


Here, your brain stores information you've learned but don't always need to consciously access, like riding a bike or typing on a keyboard.


And then, there's the unconscious –


This is the deepest, most hidden level. This is where your brain houses fears, phobias, dreams, and desires that often go unnoticed."


You see these levels of the mind contain vital information. And yes information is power. Well, that’s if you have access to it.


Tapping into the Subconscious


So, how do you access these hidden treasures of information?


Begin by engaging in practices that heighten self-awareness.


Now there a lot of exercises that can help in increasing self-awareness, but my personal favorites are;

Mindfulness, Journaling, and Meditation.


These activities act as keys, opening the door to your subconscious and unconscious.

Mindfulness


Mindfulness is like slowing down time and being fully present in the moment.


If you take a critical look at the current hyper connected world, people tend to be in a hurry, there is a lot of information, notifications, indications.

Being fully present in the moment is a skill that you would have to cultivate to be in control of the internal workings of your mind.


When I started practicing Mindfulness, I started practicing with eating.

So instead of just eating in a hurry, I tried to be mindful while eating by paying close attention to the aroma of the food, and then as I take in a spoon into my mouth, I pay attention to the various flavors and tastes.

Then I transfer my mind to how I was chewing the food, taking note of how the chewed food got tossed from one corner of my mouth to the other.

And then I paid attention to how it traveled down my mouth into my belly.


Basically the keynote here is paying attention to those little things that you would usually overlook.


Because “The future depends on what you do today." — Mahatma Gandhi


Mindfulness helps you train that mental muscle of paying close attention to little details.


Journalling


Journalling is my personal favorite.


The process of journalling is like having an intimate relationship with yourself.



A quote by a fictional character created by Bram Stoker says that;

“Journaling is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time"

Mina Murray in Bram Stoker's Dracula


Imaging writing love letters, memos, instructions, affirmations, thank you notes, queries, and observations to yourself.


Journalling is like a gateway to self-expression in its rawest form. And it gives you the opportunity to take note of hidden emotions and thoughts that lie within your inner world.


Meditation

Meditation is like mindfulness but with hyperfocus.


The act of sitting still and focusing on your breathing trains your mental muscle to get familiar with the corners of your mind.


When I started meditating, I found it difficult to bring myself to focus. Also, it took a while to get results. At some point I found myself wondering if I was doing it right. But over time the result compounds and you start to feel the calm amongst all the chaos.


Albert Einstein touched on the importance of this inner insight;

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed”.

Albert Einstein

Beyond Continuous Practice & Ethics


So, open your eyes and peek inwards, and as you practice these activities, overtime the results are incremental. You would start to become more aware of yourself, your surroundings, and of other people.


You would start to notice little details, get familiar with your emotions and those of others. and also start to see yourself and the world differently.


Most importantly, you would be more intentional about what you consume.


The kind of information you expose yourself to. Because you wouldn’t just want any negativity getting into your subconscious mind.


And just like a garden, you start to nurture your subconscious mind with positive information that would ultimately feed your creative outputs.


For me, overtime, I got better at talking with people. I got more confident. I could read a room when we were in meetings full of people.


I could read unspoken emotions when I glazed through emails and letters.


The effects were significant across the various areas of my life.


So, practice these exercises. Be patient with yourself. Honestly these things take time.


And when you start to be exposed to these hidden insights, use them ethically, morally, and responsibly.


Use the knowledge to understand yourself, protect yourself, to improve yourself, and to contribute positively to those around you.


According to Nietzshe;

“No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trials and bridges and ddemigods who would gladly carry across; but only at the price of pawning and forging yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!”

Nietzshe

So, take the leap of faith of journey on the path of self-discovery.





Interested in unleashing your creativity with our online Creative Journaling Course for beginners?


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