Why Dyslexia is a GIFT to Creativity

Why Dyslexia is a GIFT to Creativity

Dyslexic people do not think in words. They do not filter their experience of life through language, but rather through images and feelings in the first place. This holistic process is not steered or predetermined by the linear or sequential constraints of language.

Noticing more than others or seeing things differently than others makes dyslexics unusual, unexpected, off-the-wall at times and always creative. 

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A Quick-Fire Guide to Managing Stress and Anxiety

A Quick-Fire Guide to Managing Stress and Anxiety

Successful stress management is easier than you think but we often need reminders when we are in the midst of it. 

This guide has been created to do just that – to remind you of things you can do to calm down, get your needs met and connect to others and yourself when you're feeling stressed.

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Is Self-Doubt Getting the Better of You?

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Anxiety is Part of the Creative Process

Does your anxiety spill over into self-doubt? Does it stop you moving forward? 

You may be one of those ‘what’s the point anyway' type of people, or perhaps you’ve become good at displacement and procrastination allowing yourself to get caught up in all the daily distractions as they come flooding in without getting down to what really matters to you?  

Maybe you seek constant affirmation?

We need to learn how to balance the anxiety of self-doubt by accepting the doubts and embracing the mistakes to provide a greater sense of joy in the creative process - and this is what I want to explore with you now... 

 Why not make this the time to face the facts?

Let’s accept that creativity and anxiety are constant bedfellows for most of us. We worry when we do and we worry when we don’t.

Self-doubt is like an exposed, curious and tentative child who first steps into a busy playground, without the comfort of a familiar face.

We want to fit in, belong and told that we are OK! Yet, it becomes the fate of many a creative to carry on feeling the outsider, whose words and ideas can fall on deaf ears, get dismissed or laughed at. After all, van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime.

Nature has paradoxically wired us up to connect and belong, as well as to be separate.  A reasonable dose of self-doubt therefore is vital to your survival in the group - your audience - and yet, too much of it kills off your very essence.

Ambiguity is the birthplace of new ideas.

Yes, it often feels very painful and exposed too.

Those glorious and inspired moments when an idea ‘comes to us’ require openness, a state of receptivity. Check it out yourself. Certainty on the other hand can be the death of thought.

How do we ‘lean into the unknown’, as Pema Chödrön puts it?

How do we balance the anxiety of self-doubt with a sense of joy and fun?

Perhaps these two challenges can help you move through your doubt:

1.    Fully accept your doubts and acknowledge the vulnerability they bring, while getting on with things anyway.

Act normally in other words. I like to imagine what ‘acting normally’ looks like on the outside.

Remember that the worry also provides the fuel and edginess needed to move and make; it gives the poignancy and individuality that your creativity deserves.

Don’t wait then, to start making friends with your anxiety.

2.    Look forward to your mistakes.  

Pema Chödrön quotes James Joyce who saw mis-takes as portals of discovery, or opportunities to see things in fresh and new ways. Mistakes are part of the process in other words; they are not failures to be avoided at all costs.

Pema’s new book uses Samuel Beckett’s words in the title:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

I would encourage you to do the same.

So, since ‘perfection is for the gods’ after all, I hope these signposts will help you emerge more consistently and unapologetically as yourself!

Enjoy the journey - and please do leave me a comment, I would love to hear if this resonated with you.


About Renée

Renée van der Vloodt ( M.A. , FHGI ) is a psychotherapist and coach – and has had a private practice for over 20 years, which is now based between Woodchurch (Ashford), Kent and the Elysian Centre in Rye, East Sussex.

Renée is the author of the CD Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind and works with children and adults as a coach and therapist to help them overcome life's challenges and emotional difficulties including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or addictive behaviour.

 
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How to Improve Your Focus - and Get More Done

How to Improve Your Focus - and Get More Done

So many of us end up feeling that we are just skimming across the surface of things and rarely rejoice in a sense of engagement with what we are doing or a sense of accomplishment. Here is what you can do to focus the distracted mind...

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Creativity and Anxiety - What's the link?

Creativity and Anxiety - What's the link?

Have you found yourself worrying about blushing in public, saying something odd or out of place to your colleagues, needing the loo too often, or perhaps not even being able to make it there in time? Social anxiety as a debilitating illness is on the increase - here's are some tips to deal with the symptoms... 

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Creative children - how can we support them?

Creative children - how can we support them?

What can we do to support our creative children to keep them in touch with their inner compass? What can we do to help them build resilience and minimise risks of stress, anxiety and depression? Read this blog to discover some helpful tips on how to support creative children... 

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Creativity and Depression - is there a link?

Creativity and Depression  - is there a link?

Does creativity really make us more vulnerable to depression? I am no scientist but I am keen to offer my take, based on 20 years of experience, working with creative people. 

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Permission for some You Time

Permission for some You Time

A promising young actress friend was assessed recently, following the success of a play she was in at her prestigious drama school. All the praise aside, she was also admonished for not spending enough time alone. I was thrilled to hear this, for those are wise words indeed. 

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What do you do when things change?

What do you do when things change?

Change can mean a lot of different things, and many changes to our lives and circumstances can be positive. However, sometimes a negative change or indeed simply the way we handle a shift in the balance of our lives can have a huge impact on our emotional health.

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"Calm the Chaos" CD giveaway winners announced!

"Calm the Chaos" CD giveaway winners announced!

Many thanks to all of you for your support of the Children’s Mental Health Week Audio CD giveaway! I am delighted to let you know that the winners of ‘Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind’ have now been announced...

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FREE GUIDE: 22 Practical Tips to Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind

FREE GUIDE: 22 Practical Tips to Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind

Following on from the success of Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind Audio CD, I am delighted to announce the launch of my free mini e-book ’22 Practical Tips to Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind’.

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Creative Minds - Just What Society Needs

Creative Minds - Just What Society Needs

Our human minds are uniquely precious and civilisation would not have developed, if it wasn’t for our ability to imagine, create and wonder at our place in the universe. Listen to a chapter of the CD and hear why creative minds are just what society needs. 

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Time to Talk - Interview on Mental Health and the Creative Mind

Time to Talk - Interview on Mental Health and the Creative Mind

Today, Thursday February 5th, is Time to Talk Day - an initiative led by Time to Change and other organisations, to encourage us to take just 5 minutes to talk about mental health.  In this 5 minute interview, I discussed the state of creative people in the world today, why we need you and one small thing you can do this week to improve your own emotional health.

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FREE AUDIO: The Constant Paradox of the Creative Mind

FREE AUDIO: The Constant Paradox of the Creative Mind

Creative minds are often buried under stress symptoms such as depression or anxiety. The talents are not recognised and people are confused about the contradictions. For instance, why can someone be in the zone, utterly absorbed one moment and yet distractible, forgetful and shambolic the next? Partners or parents lose patience, and creative minds themselves struggle through life tormented by feelings of guilt.

Listen to this extract from the CD, 'Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind' to learn more.

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Make 2015 your year of patronage to the Creative Mind!

Make 2015 your year of patronage to the Creative Mind!

I, for one, would not have been here today if it hadn’t been for my patrons along life’s way: these special people who noticed me, singled me out, took a risk and cheered me on. Some of them opened doors to undreamt of opportunities, for me develop, find my way and earn my keep. Read this post on being a patron of the Creative Mind in 2015. 

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How to Help Creatives Thrive

How to Help Creatives Thrive

There is a 60-year old Los Angeles architect who has managed his thriving and successful creative journey for several decades. People have turned to him for years to have their living spaces designed and embellished.

How did he do it?

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Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind

Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind

Creativity needs consistency and focus to flourish and manifest itself.

Too often the person with the creative mind isn’t even recognised under the clamour of stress, anxiety, depression, anger or other drama of daily life.

 Today I discuss 3 vital pieces you need as a foundation upon which to start building your future success. 

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How Human Givens Coaching and Therapy can help Creative People

How Human Givens Coaching and Therapy can help Creative People

Human Givens teaches us about the central role of creativity in human existence, how to nurture it and rescue it. When creativity is well harnessed, it is one of our greatest resources!

Find out what a creative person can expect from Human Givens therapy.

Image: melanmagrippan 3 People Talking 

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Are you sound sensitive?

Are you sound sensitive?

 Have you ever turned the radio on, determined to listen to the news or weather forecast, and next thing you know it’s over - and you didn’t take in a word. A nuisance maybe, but quite painless otherwise.

Creative people - think dyslexia, AD(H)D, autism - are known to struggle with the written language: reading and writing.

We are less aware of quite how sound sensitive they can be. This they have in common with HSP (Highly Sensitive People) and strongly affects how they process sound.

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“What is wrong with you?!” - The Highly Sensitive Person

“What is wrong with you?!” - The Highly Sensitive Person

Recent research findings by leading experts in the field show that HPSs - or highly sensitive people - manifest more neurological brain activity when exposed to other people’s feelings, or pictures of emotions in others, than the average person.

About 20% of the population 'suffers' - and often quietly so - from these high levels of sensitivity. Growing up as an HSP can be difficult and confusing. Over-sensitivity and the fussing that can go with it, is seen as a flaw in western culture.

Find out more about Highly Sensitive People, tips and further reading in this post.

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