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I’m going more eccentric to prove my weirdness.

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Below are snippets from a very long and  interesting report about  Creative People on the Scientific American website.  I’ve chosen snippets (in italics)  for my personal commenting pleasure and humour. The snippets are not a summary of the report which is written by a professor and author who specializes in creativity.   For those interested in scientific studies, do read the article.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-unleashed-mind&page=5

The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric

Highly creative people often seem weirder than the rest of us. Now researchers know why

By Shelley Carson  | April 14, 2011 |

…may believe in supernatural phenomena such as telepathy… Not all schizotypal people have a personality disorder, however. They are often very high functioning, talented and intelligent. Many of my students at Harvard University, for example, score far above average on schizotypal scales, as well as on creativity and intelligence measures…

Yes, my creative and adventurous friends… we may all be schizotypal. Who knew there was a name for us that sounds like a psychosis because we can get overwhelmed by all the information we process, and we believe in ♫ wooo wooo♫ more in life than what we can physically see and prove?  That pretty much covers everybody I know.  Wait a sec… maybe if we know things like telepathy are true, rather than just ‘believe‘, we fit in some different category that probably still sounds like a psychosis.  (Yes, there’s a telepathy game at the end of this post)

… found that study participants who score high in a measure of creative achievement in the arts are more likely to endorse magical thinking—such as belief in telepathic communication, dreams that portend the future, and memories of past lives. These participants are also more likely to attest to unusual perceptual experiences, such as having frequent déjà vu and hearing voices whispering in the wind.

They nailed me!  And my god, the studies are finding our poor ‘disinhibited’ brains are the cause of all this!  I suspect in India, they don’t do this sort of study. I suspect all of this scientific  research in North America is our left brain society trying to get back to our true nature of magical thinking in a way that they can justify, quantify, and linearize. Sadly, ‘justify, quantify, and linearize’ just aren’t the tools that find magical thinking.

(participants of a study were asked:) Do you often feel like a square peg in a round hole?” Participants who score high on the Creative Achievement Questionnaire have answered “yes” significantly more often than those who have low scores in creative achievement. In fact, one participant—a Hollywood screenwriter—answered “no” but then wrote below the question: “I don’t feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I feel like an octagonal peg with conical appendages.”

In my coaching practise, it’s a rare client who does feel like they fit.  The following is the author’s final paragraph.

Square pegs (and octagonal pegs with conical appendages) no longer have to work so hard at fitting in. It is high time. Indeed, we all owe a deep debt of gratitude to those whose creative work has been accomplished at the expense of square-peg feelings of alienation and ostracism. The creative efforts of eccentrics add richness, beauty and innovation to the lives of those of us who have fit somewhat more comfortably into our round holes.

Yes!! I do wish she had blurted out, “Creatives, don’t try to fit in anymore!”  That would be more empowering for creative readers who might otherwise think “but I do have to work hard to fit in, what do you mean it’s no longer so hard?”

And as for me, I do work at ‘fitting in’… not in all ways, but I watch that how I present myself online, professionally, etc, isn’t so out of sync with the norm that people won’t pause to learn more.  This article makes me think I ought to explore more eccentricities.. beyond wearing my oldest beat-upest slippers while coaching in person.

But alas, all my weirdness in its full glory is in my novel…  Almost done. Focus, Janet, focus… and in the meantime, I may just practise the art of eccentricity a little more.

Dang, don’t you just love being a creative, soulful and weird schizotypal?

 

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About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach (KMCC), empowerment workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Healed from breast cancer using her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization to speed the healing, and ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

2 responses »

  1. you are thinking of a red circle 😛

    I have noticed that I have creative storms, when i have so many ideas in my head that I cannot write them all down fast enough…and they are not all about art, they are about building things, about alternative power sources, about new business ventures, about spinning yarn, about collages…about a zillion things…and then i might have a dry spell – my sister read a book, which i skimmed called Touched by Fire, which looked at many creative geniuses thru history (van gogh, michaelangelo, davinci etc) and ventured educated guesses about what types of “mental illness” they may have had…which puts the whole concept of mental illness in a whole new light…my sister is bipolar, and a soul stirring poet, but when she is on her meds, she can’t write…all very strange, this concept of mental illness- maybe not something to be ‘fixed’ so we are like all the other round pegs, huh? 🙂

    Reply
    • Let’s see how many more people take guesses before I say more.
      Part of my passion for what I do is fueled by knowing how many infamous genius’, and the not-so-infamous were/are diagnosed as having mental illnesses, add, adhd, etc, and drugged to ‘fit’. Even without a diagnosis, the limiting beliefs and lack of confidence that so many creatives have as a result of growing up in our left brain dominant world is.. well, that alone is overwhelming for the individual. Way more fun to find ways to get past those and bask in the overwhelm of too many ideas! ha! As I read your post, I had this image of ‘your’ journal like Davinci’s, all these notes and sketches of great ideas… unfinished, bur fascinating none the less. Do you know that apparently DaVinci never actually finished anything? Enjoy your brilliance.
      hmmm…your sister..I wonder if there might be a way for her to show up to her writing..something different that can get her there. A really good tool is to “write something small and crappy.” Permission to do crappy is a ‘trick’ to get past the reasons that are stopping. And it’s fun.
      Thanks for following my blog!!

      Reply

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