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The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

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The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

570 pagine
8 ore
May 26, 2015


Everyone is creative—even you! You have three intelligence centers, which serve as distinct sources for creativity. Each one is equal in capacity to deliver breakthrough results. Learn how to take advantage of each source in your own creative process: Your head, heart and gut intuition. The goal is for one source not to suffocate the other two sources, but to unite and create intersections bringing forth synergistic new creative life.

This is not another book about theory or someone else’s prescription for creativity. It is about your own unique brand of creativity. The Three Sources of Creativity contains a self-assessment, exemplars (modern and ancient), many illustrations and exercises/applications tailored to you. It offers a new way of looking at creativity, and takes a long view of approaching your creative life. You learn about how the three sources of creativity work in your life and the iconic characters’ lives. This candid evolutionary view opens new windows for revolutionary creative change.

You complete a three-center self-assessment and learn about your composite creative process, through your head, heart, and gut centers. You learn which center is: most dominant, supportive, and which is least used or "hidden." This composite significantly impacts your creativity. Unlocking your undervalued/underused center is key. By proactively building your three centers’ awareness, you build muscle memory and can multiply your creativity. You will explore a chosen problem/opportunity that you have passion for throughout the book.

In Part 1, three distinct ways to tap into creativity are explored to gain creative self-confidence. In Part 2, we apply the concepts of the “three sources of creativity” to our lives. We learn about the six creative patterns naturally flowing from the three sources. We observe the intersections between the three intelligence centers (synergistic and contradictory) and how these impact creativity. Our exemplars demonstrate how they dealt/deal with their creative sources. We connect with their deep center struggles and triumphs. Likewise, we learn about our own creative patterns.

Inspiration comes from: Einstein’s genius experiments (and greatest blunder), the reluctant revolutionary Charles Darwin, King Solomon’s glory and demise, Thomas Edison’s gut in overdrive (and Nikola Tesla’s “head” reaction to him), Meryl Streep's secret, Antonio Gaudi’s Cathedral from heaven, J Paul Getty’s mysterious kouros, Wayne Gretzky “improv” skating, Jackson Pollock’s dancing art, LBJ and MLK’s unlikely gut collaboration, Craig Ventor’s versus the Gov’s human genome wresting match, St. Peter’s gut-filled reactions, Navy seals, Eckhart Tolle’s power of now, President Lincoln’s extraordinary heart fruit, Steve Job’s heart driven i-creativity, Mother Teresa’s anguished higher calling, McCartney & Lennon’s harmonic heart songs, Seinfeld’s anti-heart sitcom, Lance Armstrong’s tormented heart, the social entrepreneur Eleanor Roosevelt, musician King David, and many more.

Authentic creativity happens when what we think, feel and what we do intersect. Readers learn about how to apply the six natural patterns, and different intersections to their lives and problem/opportunities to gain breakthroughs.

In the last chapter Brandt addresses organizations as having three centers too, influenced from the top down. Examples include: Rick Warren’s Saddleback church’s BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), Apple Corp., and how creative “flow” applies to organizations' centers too. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei shows how creativity at a higher level can/will change worldviews.

The manifesto is always trust your three ways of knowing, all equally important as sources for your creativity. These distinct paths build your creative confidence. Honor their mysterious strengths and strive for breakthrough intersections often. Experience the joy and fulfillment this brings... because you are enough!

May 26, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Betsy Brandt is a geoscientist and consultant. She has served many industries required to “create something from nothing” using her head, heart and gut as sources of creativity for proven breakthrough results. From discovering major oil and gas fields offshore to fostering creativity in international teams... she is a recognized authority on creativity. Follow-up at She has degrees in Geology and Organizational Development at Texas A&M University and Fielding Graduate University. She worked extensively in the Far East for Exxon/Mobil and the largest Laboratories in the U.S.

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The Three Sources of Creativity - Betsy Brandt



Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

Betsy Brandt


Smashwords Edition

Breakthrough Publishing, LLC


Copyright ©2015 Betsy Brandt

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.

First Printing: 2015

ISBN-13: 978-0-9864013-1-2 (SC)

ISBN-13: 978-0-9864013-0-5 (EBK)

Breakthrough Publishing, LLC

3600 Cerrillos Road, Suite 1106A

Santa Fe, NM 87507

Ordering Information:

Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, educators, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the above listed address.

U.S. trade bookstores and wholesalers: Please contact Breakthrough Publishing, LLC Tel: (800) 360-1040; or email

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This book is dedicated firstly to my husband, Wolfgang and my mom, Mary. Thank you for being long suffering and for your loving encouragement and prayers in writing this book. Angel dad thank you for your guardianship always.

Secondly, I dedicate this to all first book writers. I know your joy, pain and determination and say: Never, never, never give up. You’ve got three sources to draw upon; each is deeper than any of us know.



INTRODUCTION Why another Book on Creativity?

1 Your Three Sources of Creativity

2 Everybody is Creative– Even You!

3 Exploring the Centers with Five Probing Questions

4 Your Head Source of Creativity

5 Your Gut Source of Creativity

6 Your Heart Source of Creativity


7 Your Creative Patterns & History

8 Creative Center Intersections: Synergy & Contradictions

9 Organizations Can Enable Creativity


Chapter References

About Betsy Brandt


Thank you to my cyberspace team at: Smashwords, Elance, Fiverr, and 99Designs. You are first book writers’ best friends. I could not have done it without your resources and communities. Special thanks to: Sherman, Phaedra, Jeevan, Nat and my cartoonist mac10.




Why another Book on Creativity?

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."

Sylvia Plath

America loves competition, effectiveness and efficiency. The coffee drinks we suck down are extra hot and foamy signs of a culture demanding instant gratification. We’ve become multitasking maniacs to achieve the impacts we want from our lives and work. Unfortunately, efficiency and multitasking are powerful enemies of creativity.

Nonetheless, we crave creativity in ourselves to make meaning in our lives. Many of our workplaces demand it from us, now. We are told to just do it. However, studies show America’s innovation is significantly declining relative to other countries worldwide; the U.S. ranks #6 in innovation and we desire to do better.¹

Global Innovation Index 2014,

There is also the disturbing fact of the world's data doubling every two years. To put this in perspective, the entire human genome (810 megabytes worth of data) can be put on a one-gigabyte flash drive.² The BIG data explosion is driving monumental transformational change. But what is it doing to our ability to be creative? It is eroding our self-confidence in our creative selves.

Why do we Crave to be Creative?

Author Hermann Vaske questioned creative professionals, from actors, artists, musicians and filmmakers to writers and politicians, asking them why they are creative?³ Their responses included: I discover my identity and my heart’s song; as a way to survive an (**#!!#*) average world; out of fear I might end up as a dentist; as a chance to defeat fear and ultimately death, because the creation can outlive the creator; because it is a compulsion; I was born this way; because it is a gift to me; because I can be naïve again; to be relevant; to birth something. These reasons can be traced back to our three centers of intelligence, our head, heart and gut.

Frits Ahlefeldt, Out of Energy,

We want to be creative, but we often feel uncreative. We might feel like the screenwriter (Nicholas Cage) in the movie Adaptation,⁴ frantic and lost, seeking inspiration and hoping caffeine will help. Or maybe something crunchy or fattening? Nagging, self-mocking thoughts echo in our heads. We are untalented, or frauds. We are getting old and stupid. No one is minutely interested in our brand of creativity. We may as well quit, the voice tells us. We can’t seem to shake our own lack of confidence about being creative.

My research confirms we aren’t confident about our own creativity. Furthermore, having the right tools and/or processes scored dead last as a way to promote creativity factor. As an organizational consultant, I was surprised by this… and wanted to know what does help spark creativity?

Confident Creativity

Its no secret self-confidence has a snowball affect in our lives. It can snowball us in either a positive or a negative direction. This book is about how to fully leverage your creative sources, which naturally results in greater confidence. To be confidently creative is the goal.

Finding your creative strengths leads to big impacts on self-esteem and achievement by increasing your confidence. Does confidence lead to creativity or vice-versa? It is a continuous, virtuous cycle of creativity--> confidence--> more creativity--> more confidence--> even more creativity. Capitalizing on our resources to be more fully creative will build our confidence.

A virtuous cycle is a condition where favorable circumstances or results give rise to another, which subsequently supports and builds upon the former. These cycles tend to be self-reinforcing loops. This is how I view the relationship between creativity and confidence.

We can use many excuses for not being creative: The permanent white water, aspect of our lives, Information overload, or social overload erodes our capabilities. We can choose creative growth. What if you had the single-minded purpose of being more creative?

What is Creativity Good For?

An extensive educational study found, when individuals find their creative strengths, it can have an enormous impact on self-esteem and on overall achievement.⁵ Such activities as dance, music, drama, and visual arts are basic to the human experience and necessary for survival. If they weren’t, why would they have been part of every civilization from the Cro-Magnon cave dwellers to the urban citizens of the 21st century?⁶ Being creative has a lasting and transforming effect on individuals, neighborhoods, communities, and entire generations. Our sense of identity and purpose changes through creative acts.³

Creative ideas are necessary to thrive. This is proven by the human race’s problem-solving history of invention, from creating fire to artificial light to storing ice and energy efficiently. Remarkable ideas made modern life possible. Brain research confirms the plasticity and enrichment coming from music, dance, and visual arts are on equal standing with science, languages, and math. Arts can no longer be called a cultural add-on.⁷ Creativity has played a crucial role in the brain’s evolutionary development.

We deeply connect with our three intelligence centers when we are creative. Creativity requires stretching ourselves: It uses imagination (head source), exploration (gut doing source), and connects us to problems/opportunities we care about (heart source). Creativity is shrouded in mystery. When the a-hah moment emerges, so does sheer joy. We use all of our selves in an intriguing way. Sometimes it's a fearless union of our intelligence sources and other times it's the disunion creating the new idea. This keeps us alive (in a problem-solving way) and we flourish.

By enlarging our lives through creative acts we see and feel life more powerfully. Creativity reinvigorates and re-contextualizes our lives. This makes our reality larger, more vivid, and intensely felt.

What is the Answer to Being More Creative?

We don’t hit targets that we don’t aim for; it takes intention and attention (and humor helps). I have spent many years in creative industries, creating something from nothing. My learning model is we have three distinct sources of creativity, our head, heart and gut intelligence centers. One of these centers of intelligence, whether it’s thinking, feeling, or doing, dominates our pattern of creativity. We begin by understanding what our distinct pattern of creativity is from the three centers. Then we begin to further develop our lesser-used centers in our creative process. I guide you with tailored approaches to build your confidence in the three centers’ abilities to be creative. You’ll learn how to be intentionally creative about things you care about.

Finding a four-leafed clover is supposed to bring us fame, health, wealth, and happiness. They are not found often because a four-leafed clover is actually a mutation of the common shamrock, which is a three-leafed clover. This mutation occurs to only one in approximately 10,000 shamrocks.⁸ I much prefer the common shamrock to the lucky four-leafed clover. The regular shamrock is a symbol of creativity for me. Unabashed and unapologetic, the shamrock grows everywhere. Just give it open space and fertile ground and watch it spread.

The shamrock is like us. We don’t need a mutation or luck to be creative! We all have creativity within us; however we aren’t confident about it. We doubt it and think it’s only for the special few. We seek creativity outside of ourselves, in the lucky .01%. Creativity takes practice and work, failing, and then more practice and work, and more failing. Creativity is the 99.99% contained within us – no mutation required. We don’t need to imitate some genius or expert, or follow someone else’s prescription, or find some special tool for it. Yes, the Leonardo da Vinci’s and Van Gogh’s represent the .01% four-leafed clovers of creativity. But this is no excuse not to practice our own three-leafed brand of creativity.

We need to fully embrace the truth that we are all creative – yes, even you! We don’t need to be slightly crazy, or to be struck by a bolt of lightening to be creative. We need to change our thinking and feelings about it. Creativity does not exist only for the special few. Our creativity flows through our three intelligence centers, available to be tapped 24/7/365. It need not lay dormant within us.

In the early 1900’s, the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud argued man’s primary motivation was the desire for pleasure. But a famous psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, differed with Freud by saying man’s primary desire wasn’t for pleasure but for a deep sense of meaning. Frankl explained that when a man can’t find a deep sense of meaning, he distracts himself with pleasure. We can find deep meaning through our innate and distinctive inner creativity.

For example, as a writer, what deep meaning can I find through writing? Besides serving as a creative outlet, writing is a journey that facilitates making sense of my diverse experiences, how they may tie together (good and bad) into an integrated tapestry. I want to share my unique learning. It allows me to leave a mark in our universe. I was more than a consumer bystander.

What about you? Can you find meaning in your creativity? It has been estimated that about eighty percent of Americans feel they have a book in them. They think about writing it. Coincidentally, there has never been an easier time in history to write and publish a book. Yes, we are easily distracted, especially by our digital connectedness. The act of the creative process is clearly challenging. Sometimes I hate writing! However, the finished product usually brings feelings of solid accomplishment. The same applies to a visualized picture when finally painted onto the canvas, or when a musical score is written, or an elusive dance movement is nailed, or a mathematical formula is completed.

Not a Typical Self-Help Book

This book offers a different way of viewing and approaching creativity. It is not a typical self-help book with one, two, three, and do this steps. Instead it takes a long view of your creative life and the iconic characters’ lives I’ve chosen to showcase. By studying their breakthroughs, you learn about your own creative evolution. This evolutionary view will open new windows for building revolutionary creative change in your life.

This is a practical book of observations and experiments using your three sources of creativity to generate new ideas applicable for both personal and business purposes. In Part One, I explore three distinct ways to tap into creativity: Your head, heart and gut. Three conduits of intelligence for this purpose are far better than one. Confidence is generally described as: A state of being certain; it is a situational expectation–an expectation of a positive outcome.⁹ Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. To gain self-confidence we need sources of creativity—we have three we can readily rely on. I ask you: What do you really care about (from the heart)? What are curious about (from the head)? What do you have a hunch about (from the gut)? Are you ready to solve it creatively? We will use five probing questions for each intelligence center to explore how we use it to fuel or to block our creativity. And you will consider many novel exercises for a problem or opportunity you most want to solve creatively.

In Part Two, we apply the concepts of the three sources of creativity to your life and our exemplars’ lives. We learn about the six creative patterns naturally flowing from the three sources. We observe the intersections between the three intelligence centers (synergistic and contradictory) and how these impact creativity. Our exemplary characters demonstrate how they dealt/deal with their creative sources. We connect with these icons’ deep center struggles and triumphs. Likewise, we learn about our own.

When these distinct sources (or paths) intersect and dance together, the result is often a surprise. In the last chapter, we consider applications of the three sources of creativity for the workplace and organizations.

Triple-Resilient Creativity

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."

John Powell

You have creativity in a triple-resilient dose. These three indisputable and unique resources, our head, heart, and gut, equate to thinking, feeling and doing. They are three ways of knowing and equal in capacity to serve as sources of creativity within us. Known since the time of Plato, we hardly think about them as resources—or even as an entertaining trio.

I researched creative individuals in different environments, both modern and ancient. These characters are exemplars of gut, head and heart-based creativity. Each icon is a mini-story of inspiration. We observe how their sources of creativity evolved over time and the resultant impact for each. These characters include: Darwin’s head-based fear, King Solomon’s supreme wisdom, Thomas Edison’s gut in overdrive, Craig Venter’s genome mud wrestling match, Steve Job’s getting fired over beauty, Mother Teresa’s anguished heart… and many more. You will marvel over the integrity, evolution, and revolution of their three creative sources. And you will be enlightened about your own. We can depend on these distinct sources, period. Their unique offerings may be lying dormant within you, but now is the time to change this. You already have all you need. You are enough already!

Special Features Distinguishing this Book

• Why creativity is a mystery and not the same as innovation.

• A new learning model includes why our three centers of intelligence are equal in capacity to serve as sources for our creativity, and how to leverage them in your own creative process.

• A three-center self-assessment helps you discover: Your most dominant center, your supporting center, and your underused or hidden center. This is key to understanding how your intelligence centers serve as sources for your creativity.

• The creative mystery is honored in five stages and how the three centers of intelligence are involved in each stage.

• Targeted and practical exercises for a chosen problem/opportunity you want to solve.

• Diverse exemplars (contemporary and ancient) enlighten the three sources of creativity including: breakthrough artists, scientists, athletes, business people and personal oil stories.

• Six natural creativity patterns defined with iconic exemplars.

What You Will and Won’t Get

Will Get:

• New discovery of your own unique creative process.

• Strength-based appreciation of your three sources of creativity inspires more risk taking.

• Proven approaches, self-assessments, and exercises tailored to you with follow-up available at:

• Neurobiology supports and builds confidence in your creativity.

• Strategically leverage your creativity in your life, workplace, and community.

Won’t Get:

• A typical one, two, and three-step one size fits all self-help book

• Lack of scientific studies/facts or case studies

• Not using proven approaches & latest neurobiology

• How to play it safe and be complacent

• Undervaluing your creative strengths by using one size fits all prescriptions

• Keeping your creative sources’ blind spots blind

Symbols Facilitate Your Journey:

 Key Concept

 Center Muscle building exercise

 Reflection question

 Something cool on the internet to check out

 Fun Facts


Your Three Sources of Creativity

"It turns out that creativity isn’t some rare gift to be enjoyed by the lucky few... In too many of us it gets blocked. But it can be unblocked. And unblocking that creative spark can have far-reaching implications…"

Tom Kelley

Lets begin with a reflection exercise. This is the Three Ways of Knowing Exercise.

Think about a time when your three intelligence centers were experiencing conflict. For example, I recently interviewed a job candidate whose references, work, and credentials on paper were excellent. The person was likeable enough, but my gut was apprehensive. My instinct had a different take on this candidate. Think of a situation where you had a difficult time making a decision due to this kind of felt conflict. Then complete the summary below.

Which centers were in conflict and how so? Which center(s) did you ultimately listen to/act on?

What are the natural resources of the: Head/thinking? Heart/feeling? Gut/doing? What are the highest purposes of each intelligence center?

Can you give an example of how you might misuse one of these centers?

There have been three centers of intelligence observed in humans dating back to Ancient Greece. All three centers are active in each person, and are necessary for survival. However, we don't access each of them equally because this is part of our brain’s conditioning. For example, I’m primarily a gut-based person. This means I operate mostly out of my gut reactions first, with support from my heart and/or head. Others describe themselves as primarily heart based, with support from their gut intuition and/or head. We all know thinkers who predominantly operate from the head center because their internal thinking is deeply valuable to them.

Clearly, our centers need each other. They independently and interdependently bring out our creativity. The slow hunch from our gut needs to be nourished. Even if it’s a flash of insight from the gut, we need the head center to prove it and the heart center to nourish it. To befriend our total experience is to accept all of our responses. To allow information to flow without judgment from all three centers and experience events, good or bad, painfully or joyfully, is to be truly alive. Our task is to consider every moment, and our reaction to it, as potentially interesting, challenging, and revealing to our creative process. To be fully creative we need an open heart, open head, and open gut willingly befriending each other. We need to be aware when any of our centers are closed or blocked. We need self-confidence to solve problems or exploit ideas creatively. You absolutely can develop the self-belief and confidence in your own creativity by experimenting with and trusting in your three intelligence centers as THE sources of your creativity.

Lets build an awareness of where your fire comes from regarding your ideas or problems. Does it originate from your heart, head, or gut intelligence center? In what proportion is the fire burning to solve problems from each center? From your heart/head/gut’s perspective is it 80/10/10 or 34/65/1 or 33/33/33? To facilitate this awareness, you’ll complete a three-center self-assessment.

Why a self-assessment and not some kind of creativity test? The answer is because creativity is not simply a set of personality traits or skills. It’s not familiarity with a set of behaviors that facilitate pre-fabricated strategies. Creative people are inventers; they invent both problems and solutions. Creativity happens when a person with the right set of skills and knowledge (from the head, heart, and gut) invents or finds a meaningful problem that cannot be solved using any existing approach. The problem is solved creatively only by the person uniquely executing their own set of experiences (from the head, heart, and gut). Who knows who is going to hit the jackpot? Only people who have chosen to embark on this quest. I can’t teach creativity because it is a very personal quest. My quest is to facilitate your creative quest.

The Three Centers Self Assessment It will automatically tabulate your scores.

Three Centers Self Assessment is not a test but a reflective inventory for you to consider:

• With each statement, please avoid rushing. Listen to your head, heart, and gut specifically for honest answers based on your current experience, not what you think it should be.

• There are no right or wrong answers.

• Respond to each statement with a number as shown below:

Responses: 1 = Never 2 = Seldom 3 = Occasionally 4 = Frequently 5 = Always

The self-assessment helps you determine your dominant center by observing how you filter reality.

• If your head center is more dominant, you usually process information inside your head first, generally thinking before you act, having a keen built-in mental antenna.

• If your gut center is more dominant, you usually act immediately in the now. Your body reacts in the present. This usually results in acting before thinking, meaning you have an acute physical/environmental antenna.

• If your heart center is more dominant, you usually move toward emotions, feelings, and judgments first. You are more influenced by what others think about you, which means you have an astute emotional/social antenna.

• The self-assessment also reveals your second most-used center or support center, and your least used (valued) or hidden center in your creative process.

What do I mean by hidden or least valued center? Psychology researchers Hurley and Donson theorize that one of these three intelligences becomes wounded.¹ The result is that every person loses significant confidence in one of these centers. Slowly, this intelligence center stops developing/maturing at the rate the other two centers continue to develop. The other two centers can take control and attempt to compensate for the wounded center. The wounded or hidden center tends to be underdeveloped and/or undervalued, and therefore under-actualized.

Where Does Your Creativity Come From?

Post your total scores for each center on this diagram. Take your total number tallied for each and divide by 50 to get a percentage for each center. It is a rough estimation of the degree you utilize or depend on that center’s gifts. Please note your percentages for each center on the diagram.

As an example, shown above is my own self-assessment result. My favored and most dominant center is my gut. My supportive center is my heart. I tend to act in the present with the support of my heart intelligence, with my head center being 3rd in order. Please note, just because my head intelligence center is third does not mean I’m dumber in that center… My mental capacity to perform in the academic world confirms this. What it does mean is I have learned to lean more on my gut and heart intelligence and have undervalued my head intelligence (to some degree) relative to the other two centers.

Through the years I’ve gained more confidence in my head center intelligence and realize I can more fully utilize its gifts. This is especially true in the planning and implementation stages, which are at the very front and back end of the creative process.

Now that you have completed your three-center assessment, please take a few minutes to reflect on your results. On a scale from one to ten, please rate how much you trust each center’s overall abilities to be creative. Trust means an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of this center to the utmost. A ten means a complete reliance on this center to create. A one means you rarely use this center in your creative process.

Think about each intelligence center as a muscle. Stretching each center (or muscle) beyond what we are accustomed to can be uncomfortable. Like stretching a muscle in your body, it creates stress that can cause dis-ease; but it is only by stretching each center beyond its current capacity that it will learn to grow. The incremental usage eventually builds each center (or muscle) to be stronger, and when repeated enough, creates automatic memory.

Trusting a center we don’t frequently exercise might even produce some damage at first. For example, suddenly trusting your previously underused gut may result in some less-than-optimal decisions. You don’t have a good gut barometer yet. If you don’t have a trustworthy gut yet, then your only option is to exercise it into shape. Exercise, trust, and allow your gut to make mistakes through experimentation. Soon with this stretching it will get stronger and more dependable.

This scenario is true for each of your underused centers. It will likely draw ridicule from your dominant intelligence center, such as, I can’t believe you trusted your random gut! Or, Your stupid bleeding heart! Or, Your critical head… Remember to draw upon your other two intelligence centers for support and not abuse.

 You’ll need to continue to ask yourself, which intelligence center needs more attention? Which intelligence center needs to just shut up? Which intelligence center is blocking the others?

These trust ratings will be your starting points for each center as you work your way through the exercises in this book. Expect your confidence levels to change in a good way! We will revisit these ratings later.

Your Creativity Metaphor

"Metaphor… touches a deeper level of understanding than ‘paradigm,’ for it points to the process of learning and discovery– to those analogical leaps from the familiar to the unfamiliar which rally imagination and emotion as well as intellect."

Anne Buttimer

Some personalities are drawn to creativity like a moth is drawn to a hot light bulb. You’d rather burn up in the beauty of your creativity—as compulsively as the moth—than live a long life. You are at one end of the spectrum.

Another may believe they don’t have a creative cell in their body, but wish they had some passion for something—like that moth. Lets start with wherever you are on the spectrum. I only ask that you experiment with your beliefs and assumptions about your creative capacity.

An intriguing way to start is with metaphor: It is a figure of speech or picture where a word, phrase or image meaning one thing, is used to describe an object or idea that is not literally applicable. Metaphors require a different way of looking at the world. They involve trying on fresh tactics to problems.

Modified from Jeanette Sugar.

Some might view metaphor with disdain, even when they find themselves obliged to use it. Some might think it is intellectually sloppy or reflects an inability to be rigorous (even if their gut tells them otherwise). If you fall into this category, please suspend such thoughts and develop your capacity to use metaphor anyway.

If you prefer being systematic, use the example of a tree. It has both internal (root system) and external dimensions (through photosynthesis it absorbs our carbon dioxide and releases oxygen back to us). What are our metaphor’s internal and external dimensions? Any metaphor can be an unexplored resource or potential revelatory opportunity. It only needs to be significant for you and symbolically evolve as you proceed through this book.

Metaphor Exercise

With the results from your self-assessment, please develop a personal creativity metaphor. Think about the aspects of each intelligence center, one at a time, that you are good at, and how they relate to your metaphor. Next, think about how your three centers interact with each other. Are they friends or enemies? Can you further develop your metaphor based on the three acting as friends? How does your metaphor change when the three become enemies?

My creativity metaphor, the common shamrock, helps me remember there are 10,000 ways to be creative and no mutation is required. A shamrock isn’t elegant with one-leaf (one center) or two-leaves (two centers), but needs all three leaves (centers) to be its grand self.

Exercise: Close your eyes now and think of a time when this triple conduit of energy was completely unrestricted and flowing for you. For whatever reason your three centers were dancing in harmony with each other and were fully alive and appreciative of each other. What did this feel like for you? How did it manifest itself in your body? What did you think about it?

For me, it was my first twelve formative years. I wandered the desert hills around the rural town of Roswell, New Mexico. I remember those years vividly. They were creatively full of exploration and discovery. The desert and I became soul mates. I ran barefoot uninhibited through the tumbleweed stickers, feet callused and unable to fit into new school shoes after long summers. I thought of myself as Pippi Longstocking. She was a scrawny Swedish girl cartoon character I related to: Sun-freckled, unconventional, assertive, and superhuman. In my enchanted hills, I was a tomboy extraordinaire, scavenging for anything unusual. This included

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