Crazy Ideas, Monumental Results: 6 Rules for Maintaining Creative Sanity

Wilhelm Reich, a student of Freud’s and radical pioneer of early psychoanalysis, kept diaries of his observations of the world – often fascinating, often misunderstood – yet still able to influence a number of notable intellectuals from Saul Bellow to William Burroughs. A culmination of his journal entries, letters and laboratory notebooks,  Where’s the Truth?: Letters and Journals, 1948-1957, follows three other autobiographical installments making this book the forth and final collection of his work.

In a particularly thoughtful entry dated June 7, 1948, Reich attempts to distill the six conditions necessary for creative sanity. In so doing he reveals his own doubts and aspirations while painting an ideal portrait of a life with true purpose.

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The last principle is especially moving and an apt reminder that the promise of the “easy life” does not necessarily come from always treading the easiest path.

Things to Do Now That It’s Fall

Pumpkin, Chai, Cinnamon, Apples, Roasted Pears – get in my kitchen. The recipe pictured above nearly captures everything I think of fall to be: chai-spiced slow cooker pear applesauce. Oh, oh yes.

Southern California has the unique position of never experiencing a season. As a girl who grew up with a fair amount of weather, I have to admit I get nostalgic for it. Without leaves changing colors all around, I’m resolved to add a bit of fall into the everyday. Whether it’s clothes or what I put on a plate, this fall will be infused with a spectrum of warm hues.

Something about this time of year lends itself to song. So why not play along? I plan to break out the piano a learn a few new tunes.

We forget that there’s room for this in life. Let’s let fall be a reminder to get outside, get exploring, and to take ourselves a little less seriously.

Tea, coffee, cider, whatever it is – now’s the time to serve it up warm, curl your fingers around a cup, and enjoy.

The best ideas are often those that seem to crazy to be true. Here’s to believing and putting those wild ideas into action.

Seeking: moments that take my breath away. Must have a love of adventure. Possible suitors include parasailing, skydiving, motorcyling, and more.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Creativity: Our Natural State

Welcome back to the week folks. Here’s a little something to ease you into your Monday:  a wonderful reminder from Jonah Lehrer that our decisions profoundly affect those around us, even down to the smallest detail. Are you allowing yourself to be as creative as you can be?

As a kid, I remember relishing the times when we were allowed to draw in class. However, I distinctly recall the teacher coming by during this free art time to suggest colors to use or remind us that the “picture might look better if we stayed inside the lines.” I would comply, but as soon as I was home, I’d pour all of my crayons and pencils out onto the floor and see what would happen if I made a tree blue, or created my own shapes that I could color in with whatever hue suited my eye. After years of normative judgments on similar creative pursuits, we learn the safe and correct way to accomplish an “artistic” goal. But since when do the terms “safe” or “correct” belong in this creative realm?

We often stunt ourselves and ideas, or feverishly search for obstacles, or make some half-hearted excuse as to why we should not express ourselves to the fullest extent. Perhaps it’s more likely that we’re afraid of all that we’re capable of doing than of the challenges themselves. Doubt is the ultimate assassin – of dreams, of  relationships, of aspirations – but it doesn’t mean we have to submit to it. Next time you sense it sneaking into your thoughts, think creatively. There is rarely one correct way to do something, so no harm in challenging yourself to find an alternative avenue or two.