“…again out of destruction a new spirit of creativity arises.” ~ Werner Sombart.
A workshop participant recently shared a wonderful story. She was participating in a family day with her sister and many children. The children had spent a lot of time diligently preparing a very large bowl of chocolate pudding. When it was time to eat it, one of the children proceeded to take the bowl out of the fridge. Suddenly, the bowl slipped out of his hands and the pudding splattered all over the floor. Now as the adult in this situation it is easy to react with shock, upset or even reproach. However, the wise sister had a much more creative response. Without missing a beat she shouted, “Finger painting!” Of course the kids, excited as they were, quickly forgot that they spent a lot of time preparing this pudding and that they would not be eating it. They were too engrossed in play!
We just need to turn on the TV, or look at our life and the lives of our friends, to see a lot of spilt pudding. With messiness becoming an increasingly ubiquitous theme on our planet, the spirit of Yes And, that so many of you have heard me speak about, is needed more than ever.
Yes And means playing along. It also means creating from. A mess shows up in our life – something not working, a deep pain or sadness, a loss of some sort – and instead of unconsciously resisting or reacting out of fear, we consciously make a creative choice to transform the mess into art.
People find their life purpose in their suffering. This is where the saying, “You teach what you need to learn” comes from. A person who struggled with illness since childhood may become a healer. Someone who didn’t get to play much, like me, creates workshops on play or becomes a daycare worker. Instead of resisting our pain, we transform it into a purposeful life that serves our Self and others. We become creators instead of victims, creating our life into a beautiful piece of art.
Joseph Schumpeter coined the term Creative Destruction to denote a “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” GM is a good example of this. Within its collapse is born what they are calling their “Re-invention”, which is a commitment to adapt to new energies of sustainability. Their old energy approach was not self or globally sustaining. Like the fires that naturally regenerate a forest by consuming dead, decaying vegetation, clearing the way for new growth, GM has walked through its own fire of transformation. It is finding a deeper sense of purpose in its most recent struggles – to serve humanity’s transportation needs while serving our planetary needs (Yes to profitability And sustainability).
It is the nature of life to continuously evolve and grow, and re-invent itself. How we adapt, how we say Yes And to these changes, is up to us. Eventually we will all need to. Aspects of your life will fall to ashes. It is our opportunity to rise like the Phoenix with a new sense of self and life purpose, and fly in a new direction.