Ingenuity from the Inside

Ingenuity from the Inside

To paraphrase Adelle, “Hello from the {inside}!”

It’s Day ??? of quarantine. How you doin’? I think we’ve passed through some version of the grief spiral a few dozen times now in our home. We’re slowly starting to embrace our new reality, albeit reluctantly. And what I’m noticing – when I have the wherewithal to notice – is that some ingenuity is emerging from the ashes. Maybe you’ve seen it too?

I’m noticing creativity and ingenuity emerging as valued qualities in our society and community. Not only that – but people that haven’t historically felt free enough to explore their creativity are doing it now. People are being forced to do new things every day. And it is starting to show. They are not as afraid of putting themselves out there as they used to be.

Think of all the hilarious YouTube parodies you’ve seen made by people in quarantine. How about the beautiful images of Italians making music with and for each other from balconies? And there are so many amazing and inspiring works of art that are coming from all this time to explore our inner landscapes.

What about all the amazingly creative ways people are finding to help one anotherlike this boy who came up with clear masks for the hearing impaired, or this local distillery who has switched their production line from alcohol to hand sanitizer? You can see examples of empathy-inspired products, programs, and even new businesses sprouting up all over the world.

And there are so many innovations simply born from necessity – like trying to teach our kids at home. Think of the myriad of ways that parents are teachers are getting creative every day to make that happen! I know in our house, “home school” is an ever-evolving process – being designed anew each day on the backs of the previous days’ successes and failures.

And working from home is a whole new experience for many as well. Remotely accessing files, connecting with colleagues, and staying productive in a virtual environment is fraught with challenges requiring flexibility, versatility, resilience, and of course - ingenuity. Every day is a new adventure.

Could this virus be moving us into a Renaissance period of sorts?

In many ways since the Industrial Revolution, capitalism, speed, and technology have become the primary values in our world. And with each new technological advancement and every new money-making scheme, we’ve moved further and further away from our valuing of our own inner wisdom (intuition, instinct, inspiration) and our connection with the natural rhythms of the world. We have devalued creative expression so much so that we no longer teach art in most American schools. We’ve allowed other’s opinions and artificial intelligence to take the place of trusting our own innate wisdom.

But what I’m seeing emerge from the rubble of our pre-pandemic lives is the glimmers of hope offered by creative expression. We have been forced to slow down, explore our inner landscapes, and listen to our intuition again. Maybe you’ve been able to be still long enough to listen to your body and notice where it needs attention, listen to some whispers from inspiration calling you to play music again, or explore that interest you’ve always wanted to get into. Or maybe you’ve been moved by the creative way friends celebrated your kid’s birthday; or you’ve been inspired to help your elderly neighbor get her groceries.

Creativity and connection are hardwired into our DNA.

We may have strayed from it, but more and more, I am seeing this pandemic as an opportunity to return to it. And maybe with each act of ingenuity, we will all help the pendulum swing back a little the other direction and find a better balance.

Sending you so much love and gratitude. Be well!

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