Defining Head Hand and Heart
You may ask, what is head hand and HEART all about?
Well, at its most essential, head hand and HEART is a program that explores the fundamental nature of the creative process,
head hand and HEART expands what it means to be creative and how that applies to our life as individuals and as a collective species on the planet.
Head hand and HEART provides an insight in to the creative process that will enable you to experience a richer, deeper life, one in which creativity plays a bigger, more meaningful role.
When we think about a program in creative development it is very easy to imagine that we are talking about familiar creative things like painting, drawing, singing, dance, poetry etc. And that’s largely because there is an easy fit between the things we label as creative with the things we traditionally label as art.
Well, head hand and HEART does employ some of these more traditional creative media but head hand and HEART is much more than an ‘art class’, because creativity is so much more than art!
Creativity is one of the fundamental building blocks of what it is to be human. Our creative approach and our creative output as a species are some of the key things that distinguish us from the other species on the planet.
But let me ask you this, do you see yourself as a creator?
Do you see your life as a canvass and you as the painter?
Do you think of your life as a blank page and you the author of an amazing unfolding story?
Do you see as, Shakespeare said, that your life is a stage and you are the scriptwriter, director, set designer and actor?
Do you see your life as an amazing journey of potentially infinite creative expression?
Humans are abundantly creative. Look around; everything you see that is not directly from nature, everything that is man made, is created. Our homes, cities, parks, cars, furniture, entertainment, communication devices, businesses, political and economic structures, scientific theories, books, movies, music, schools, universities, even our relationships. All of these come into being and are constantly being transformed by some form of creative process.
What’s more, we are living in a time of unprecedented creativity. When we talk about the pace of global change we are literally referring to the pace of creative change – because some form of creativity underpins all technological, economic and social change. Change, that is more and more responsible for the environmental changes that are of increasing concern to many.
What’s fuelling this and what does it mean for us?
Well, the information revolution and the associated easy access to information and social networks are creating an ideas bonanza from a very fertile and diverse, creative hothouse. Practically everything that’s ever been documented is being digitised and is becoming available through Google, Wikipedia and the like. What’s more, practically everyone who’s engaged in any kind of research or creative development, from primary school students to experienced masters, are almost as accessible as the nearest internet portal, email, Skype or Facebook site.
Very creative, intelligent and inquisitive minds are hooking up together with a virtual gold mine of information to fuel their knowledge, enterprise, imagination and creative exploration.
What’s more, the manufacturing power that is the legacy of the industrial revolution makes production and reproduction of the new ideas in material form easier and cheaper than it ever was. Magazines and books that once took weeks and a team of typesetters to set physically in lead type are can now be digitally designed and manufactured in a few days or in some cases produced in hours for distribution on iPads and digital reading devices.
There are a number of important impacts from all of this.
- A decentralisation of the means of control and production – particularly in information rich media – from broad cast to pod cast to you tube
- A democratisation of the media – everyone is a media magnate with You Tube!
- A massive increase in consumerism – whatever your need someone out there can meet it and if you don’t have needs a good marketing campaign will create them for you!
So how does this relate to head hand and HEART?
Well, doesn’t it strike you as strange, that with so much creativity going on all around us that we are so naïve about what creativity really is, how to engage in it as adults and how to make it something we more consciously employ in our lives?
Isn’t it odd that we have wealth seminars and real estate seminars and relationship seminars?
But, we very rarely stop to examine the very process that is at the heart of the success of each of these areas – creativity?
And while creativity is proliferating all around us, on another level many people are losing touch or have lost touch with what it means to be creative.
With so many very talented people creating and with such easy access to the goods and services they create, it is no longer practical, or viable for us to be creative across the broad spectrum of our lives.
I don’t want to exalt the idea of the ‘noble savage’ or call for a return to simpler times, however if we travelled back in time 100 years or more, or if we travel to less ‘technologically advanced’ communities (where these still exist on the planet) and examine the lives of people in those times or places we often see that their lives involve creativity across a whole realm of areas.
For example people in these communities may well be involved in building and maintaining their own homes, creating their own music, interacting creatively with the social and spiritual fabric of their community, creating for the next generation through training, apprenticeships etc.
Where once we hunted or placed our hands in the earth to grow our food, now we now have specialist supermarkets that bring us an almost endless proliferation of precooked ‘ready to eat’ food choices.
Once we joined with our neighbours to design and build our homes, dwellings made from the natural materials of our region built to a design system that we inherited from our forefathers. Now we invest in property, employ specialist architects, builders and property maintenance managers.
Once we entertained ourselves with our own music, song and dance, now we download movies, music and art.
Rather than train ourselves we employ specialist fitness coaches and trainers.
Children once learned their life lessons as apprentices working alongside us. Now we send them to specialist institutions for years to learn how to succeed in their specialist niche.
In technologically developed communities most people specialise – that is to say they focus their creative effort in one area of their life and ‘outsource’ the rest. We employ architects, landscape designers, teacher, lawyers, accountants, each specialist creators in their own field.
It has become increasingly difficult for any one person to master the complexity in any one discipline of creative endeavour required to ‘compete’ in any given field – let alone across a spectrum of disciplines. To be competitively successful in we recognise the need to specialise and those that do it best are often those that succeed.
So, from this perspective we have moved from living a life as ‘generalist homo-creators’ to a combination of ‘narrow specialist creators’ and ‘hungry homo-consumer’.
What’s wrong with that you might say. Isn’t specialisation the basis of our profligate wealth and success as a species? But at what cost? What is it we ache for when life becomes all work and no play? Are we reaching a point where we have quantity but not quality of life?
Well, I believe, founded much more in my own experience rather than hard science, that something is very precious is being, has been, lost in this process of specialisation and consumption.
What’s lost is a deeper sense of what it means to be human, a sense of great satisfaction that comes from knowing that we are creators – masters of our own destiny.
So here we begin to enter the realm of what it means to be successful or fulfilled in life.
When people seek to develop personal success strategies the masters will tell you that balance is paramount. Success coaches help people look at, balance and achieve across the various dimensions of life…
- Spiritual Development
- Social Engagement
It’s rare these days however, to hear coaches talking about creativity as one of the fundamental dimensions of life – a dimension that is just as critical to well being and success as any other.
Research shows that one of the causes of depression and certainly of helplessness and hopelessness is a fundamental disconnect between a person’s beliefs and aspirations and their perceived capacity to realise those dreams – to be the cause that brings those dreams into being.
Well, creativity is precisely that process, the process of imagining (‘image’ in ing) something new and bringing that which we imagine into being.
To be truly creative is an amazingly empowering experience. Talk to performers after the show. Talk to the artist, the architect or designer when they reach that point that their creation is finally taking form. Talk to the scientist when, after weeks of incubation, the flash of insight arrives bringing a new understanding into being. Talk to the songwriter, poet, and musician as their piece comes together capturing the unexplainable story, emotion or mystery. Talk to the creative team as the synergy of their diverse ideas combine and ignite into something of great value! Talk to the entrepreneur in that moment of insight when a whole new business takes shape in their imagination. Talk to the social entrepreneur when, in the face of overwhelming challenge and adversity, they see clearly and pursues a better way for humanity to be.
These are often life changing, world changing experiences and creativity is at the heart of it all.
Another related aspect of this whole creative dimension, that increasingly takes a back seat, is the notion of ‘creative play’.
We have become obsessed with success and with the purposeful activity that leads to success. The success masters teach us that we need to be focused, clear on our vision, dedicated to action and relentless in the pursuit of our dreams. Time is money.
We measure every thing, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. We seek to eliminate anything that is redundant and does not contribute directly to our success. Our new communication devices keep us up to date and online 24/7. We master delayed gratification in the pursuit of a better future and lose touch with the here and now.
We measure the value of our homes not in terms of the quality of life that we may enjoy in them but rather by their commercial value and capacity for capital growth.
But this is not the world inhabited by some the most creative people on the planet – our children!
Computer Generated Painting - Tornado - Josua Jackson Macklin - Age 5
Have you ever noticed how connected kids are to the here and now, and, how amazingly creative they can be.
I was watching our five year-old, Joshua, drawing the other day and I was amazed. As he drew a whole drama was being played out in the process.
Joshua was engaged in creating a space scene complete with a range of wonderful flying contraptions that launch rockets and shoot fire, lasers and all manner of amazing devices. But what was interesting was that throughout the drawing and creation process Joshua was telling the world the story of what was happening in his imagination and on the page. Drawing, drama and creation all spontaneously improvised in the moment.
“Rocket Man fired up his rocket suit”
“And then the Rocket Man shot fire at the aliens”
“And the aliens put up their force field and used their water cannons to defend themselves”
“But then the other aliens brought in their master ships and shot out their biggest fire cannon”
“We are the invaders, we will win”
“Then everything caught on fire, fire, fire, fire”
His drawings were detailed, spontaneous and quite masterful. Up until the last line I was in awe of his drawing skills, the amazing detail, his creative uses of shape and line and various visual action devices.
However, as he talked about everything catching on fire, he literally started to cover the page in red pen. I was shocked, all the beautiful (by my standards) rockets and space ships began to disappear under the ‘scribble’ (my standards again) of the fire. From my very adult perspective I watched in disappointment, as his ‘work of art’ become a scribble page.
But here’s the thing, Joshua was completely unconcerned about what the end result looked like.
He had no expectation about what a ‘work of art’ should look like and was not trying to create one.
He didn’t see his drawing as something to exhibit, sign or sell (very adult concepts of art). He was one hundred percent absorbed in the moment, in the drama, in the story, in the action. He was on an emotional roller coaster ride of heroes and villains, caught in the pathos; director, producer and actor all rolled into one.
This was Joshua at play!
How long since you’ve allowed yourself to play like that?
How long since you’ve allowed yourself that unrestricted creative freedom?
Can you do that as an adult and not feel embarrassed, guilty or like you are wasting your time?
Think back, can you remember those magic moments when time stood still for you and you disappeared into the song, the dance, the drama, the painting and the story? When ideas flowed through you like a river of inspiration!
Remember back to those days that disappeared somewhere between breakfast and lights out mucking about in creeks and tree houses playing pirates, or tea parties, or school or mums and dads?
Even if you can’t remember, it’s worth noting that this state of play is the natural state of childhood!!!
When children feel safe and protected in their physical and social environment, they naturally play and the look for others to play with. Quite often, because we are so busy as adults pursuing success, they turn to the next most creative thing to interact with – these days the computer!!!
By the way, this state of creative play this is the very state that the most creative of our enterprises on the planet are beginning to create for their workforces. Why, because they know the future is up for grabs for those that create it and that play is the access to powerful new and undiscovered ideas, innovations, inventions and possibilities.
Yet who of us really understands or is regularly engaged in that amazing creative process?
Where do we go to find out how creativity works and how we can expand our mastery of it across the many dimensions of our lives?
How does all of this relate to head hand and HEART?
Imagine experiencing the joy and wonder of creative play once again, free from any thought of judgement or performance anxiety.
Imagine understanding the creative process and how to step into the ‘creative cycle’ at any moment.
Imagine being able to ‘switch on’ your creative mode at any time and in any situation.
Imagine using the creative processes of drawing, painting, writing, movement or photography to gain a deeper understanding of who you are.
Imagine using the creative mode to gain insight into your purpose, to unlock your voice, your song, your story and feeling confident and capable of bringing that to life as a gift to yourself and others.
Imagine expressing your purpose, your songs and stories in graphics, movement, writing, or drama.
Imagine feeling more confident and capable of expressing yourself in a whole range of creative media; drawing, writing music, photography, drama, movement, architecture, design or relationships
Imagine expanding your ability to imagine, to dream and see possibility.
Imagine being more able to tap into your intuition as a source of creative inspiration and guidance.
Imagine feeling confident enough to say... ‘I am an artist, I am a creator, I can draw, I can paint, I can sing, I can dance, I can truly express what I think, what I feel and who I am.’
Imagine knowing that your creative expression can make an amazing, positive, creative contribution to the lives of your friends, family, colleagues and community.
So fundamentally, head hand and HEART seeks to do three things…
- Firstly help you rediscover what it means to be creative. To understand on an intellectual level and to experience on an emotional and practical level what the creative process is, how it operates and how it can be applied across the whole range of the dimensions of your life.
- Secondly, it will empower you to be a confident creator and to derive deep satisfaction from being creative.
- Finally, it will help you use creativity to gain insight into your purpose and vision and to feel powerful, confident and capable of bringing that to life as a gift to yourself and others – to make a difference in the world.
Reconnect to creativity. Join us for head hand and HEART November 20/21.
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st
8am - 5pm
Australian Technology Park
Eveleigh - NSW
$295 per participant donation to Tabitha
$230 early bird discount
booked before October 22nd