Pulse May 2018 | Page 40

convERSATIonS WITH DR. VICTOR SHAMAS BY KELLY HEITZ CREATIVITY FUELS EVERY BIT OF WORK WE DO— whether that’s designing product labels or coming up with a weekly schedule that fits all your employees needs. However, we’ve all experienced those moments where the juices would no longer flow, and we just felt stuck. Dr. Victor Shamas is a Ph.d. psychologist and researcher at the University of Arizona with over 30 years of experience in the field of creativity. His research focuses on the experiential aspects of creativity, including intuition, insight, and inspiration. Shamas’ new book, Deep Creativity: Inside the Creative Mystery, integrates art, psychology, philosophy and mysticism to offer a radical new view of both the creative process and the human condition. He shows readers that creativity is not just thinking outside the box but living outside it. In this month’s Conversations, we asked dr. Shamas about the creative process and what you can do to tap into it to not just be creative, but instead live a life full of creativity. Pulse: standard work environments don’t bode well for creativity. How do you suggest people tap into their creativity at work? Shamas: Look for opportunities to nurture your creativity, which are not always easy to find. The work environment tends to be highly structured, yet creativity thrives where there is less structure and more openings for new possibilities. To tap into creativity, you must find gaps in the structure: momentary pauses in your schedule when you can have some quiet, alone time. Also, you need physical space—a bit of elbow room where you can spread out, move around or stretch your body. Creativity is a full-body experience, but not all workplaces have made that discovery yet. Until they do, you have to nourish and protect your own creativity by making the time and space for it. P: explain to our readers what a power pause is. S: A power pause is like a power nap. You take a short break from your activity level, which ends up paying huge dividends 38 PULSE ■ May 2018 in the long run. Suppose you are working on a creative project when the flow of ideas feels like it has run dry. What do you do? Your first temptation might be to get frustrated, especially when a deadline is fast approaching. You might call this experience a block. I prefer to think of it as a pause. Creativity has a certain rhythm and flow to it. If it were as simple as pressing a button or flipping a switch, then anyone—even a machine— ORDER DR. SHAMAS’ could do what you do. Think BOOK AT of this pause as an oppor- victorshamas.com tunity. Meet it with excitement and anticipation of ideas yet to come. What you do with this pause can make all the difference. If you use it wisely, your productivity will just explode. Then you end up turning what could have been an uncomfortable and self-destructive creative block into a power pause. It is simply a matter of doing the right things—or at least not doing the