Episode 1: Unleash ULTRA-CREATIVITY with Barnet Bain
“Only through CREATIVE ACTS can we rise above our conditioning.”
In this episode we explore:
- How to rewire your brain to unleash ultra creativity
- The 4 biggest obstacles holding you back from your creativity
- Creativity in relationships
- Harnessing the two forces of creativity: inspiration and action
- And why EVERY ACT in our life is creative
Barnet Bain is an Oscar-winning producer, director, author and creativity consultant.
He produced the Oscar-winning film, “What Dreams May Come” starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. and wrote the screenplay for “The Celestine Prophecy.” He also wrote the screenplay for a film called “Jesus” which has been translated, at last count, into 848 languages and according to The New York Times, is likely the most-watched motion picture of all time.
Barnet is currently on location in Canada working on the film “Milton’s Secret” based on a children’s book by Eckhart Tolle.
Barnet also consults and trains business leaders and private clients who are committed to high performance. Through his creativity workshops, Barnet guides people of all ages and walks of life to expand their vision of what is possible, step into their purpose, and contribute their gifts and talents with passion.
In his most recent book “The Book of Doing and Being” Barnet reveals guides readers to unlock the raw power of the creative self.
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OBSTRUCTION TO CREATIVITY: WHAT’S STOPPING YOU?
“Obstruction often comes up in opposition to the things that we most want to create and most want to do. Obstruction tends to occur when we are taking big steps toward evolving to the next greatest expression of ourselves.”
BARNET: when we move towards our heart’s desire, we are almost always stepping out of our contracts. We’re stepping out of the agreements that we make with ourselves and with others about what our place is and what our capacities are, what our abilities are and what our talents are, what is safe for us, and what is unsafe. And when we step towards what our heart’s desire is, now our heart’s desire is always outside of what we have settled for. We approach the boundary of what we have settled for, all of our wounds, all of our old disappointments, all of our old traumas are reactivated. The closer we get to the boundary of our complacency, or of our settlement, the closer we get to stepping beyond it, the more activated becomes all the parts of us that were either traumatized into submission or that we made agreements of settlement with.
SARAH: So when we take the plunge and step into that unfamiliar space, does it become more comfortable after a while? Do you get used to it? Is it that initial step that’s the hardest, or is it always just feel like you’re bumping up against your old wounds and your old vulnerabilities if you’re in that space?
BARNET: Well I can speak only personally about that. I am at the edge of my comfort zone, and I’m frequently beyond it into areas that are approaching my heart’s desire, well outside of the agreements that I’ve made with myself and others to stay safe. What happens for me, is that I am increasingly aware that I am hearing, I am feeling, I’m hearing the voices of my traumatized self, I’m feeling his feelings, and I am able to relate to them and not to react to them. I don’t feel they’re mine. So when I have those thoughts and those feelings, when I have that kind of stress that comes up when I begin to feel the panic, I don’t think it’s me anymore, I think it is a version of me, a past version of me, and I have certain tools at my disposal to respond to those parts of me, to respond to those parts of me that are really ghosts of the past, I’m being haunted by ghosts from my past, and I treat them as living entities, and I respond to them. I hear them, first of all, I understand that they’re there and they’re not me, and that allows me to love them to comfort them.
BARNET: That allows me to dialogue with them. That allows me to assure them that I am going in places beyond their comfort zone, but it’s not beyond my comfort zone. It’s beyond their comfort zone and I will take care of them.
SARAH: Well, how do you distinguish between your authentic true voice and these old, old, crazy voices that no longer serve you.
BARNET: Which one has the love? And which one has the capacity to extend love to the others? By love I mean comfort and healing. So the true self is the one that is capable of holding the greatest love.
HOW TO REWIRE YOUR BRAIN TO INCREASE CREATIVITY
BARNET: There are lots of exercises that support us in redrawing some of the habituated neural maps. And it’s important when I say talk about neural maps, I’m talking about the neurons in the brain that wire and fire in certain sequences. And those neurons when they are wired and fired habitually and in patterns, that is another way of referring to memory. Memory is absolutely the product of certain neural maps that are continuously revisited. And when we engage in various practices that encourage us to move off of the frequented neural maps and to begin drawing new neural maps, we are firing up brand new virgin creativity.
RE-ENGAGE CREATIVITY: PICK SOMETHING AND DO IT DIFFERENTLY
BARNET: I know a woman who taught me to open bananas from the bottom not from the top. First of all I was tickled by that, and then I began to understand how deeply consequential that was. And then I also discovered that it’s actually much easier to open a banana from the bottom than it is from the top. You just pinch the end and the peel falls open.
So even as little as opening a banana from the bottom turned out to be a surprise, and doing that with consistency draws entirely new maps in your brain. So you may say, “Well, what good is a new map on my brain having to do with opening a banana from the bottom?” And I’m not advocating it for the sake of opening a banana from the bottom. But I am saying that when you begin to fire your brain and to use your brain in ways that are brand new, those maps find other ways to be useful, and they scan for ways to be useful.
BARNET: So the more that you do something in a new way, sleep on a different side of the bed, mix up the side of the sink where you put your toothbrush. The more you do habituated rote behaviors in a new way consciously, the more you are creating whole new networks of neural maps that will begin to interact with each other, and will create a fertile environment that is always scanning for ways to express itself in more and more ways. So that may end up being the neural map that allows you to approach a challenge to life in an entirely innovative way. It may be the confluence of neural maps that gives rise to the thinking and feeling and doing and being that allows you to see something in a different way, in a different light.
THE 4 CREATIVE ANESTHETICS – self pity, blame, guilt and control
“They’re inventions of the mind that numb us from feeling real emotion that caused us discomfort in the past. Ironically, the anesthetics are almost always more painful than the feelings they are numbing. Unlike anesthetics, real emotions always dissipate when felt.”
BARNET: They’re not authentic emotions. They are thoughts about emotions, they are ‘thinkings about’ emotions. So they aren’t actually emotions in their own right. And what happens when we have a “Thinking about,” Emotion is we never let those go. So we said earlier, you want to experience an emotion intensely and by intensely I mean not in the future, not projecting stories about the future, not ruminating over past experience, intense means in the present tense, in-tense.
Self pity doesn’t exist intense, in the present tense. Self pity only exists when we make stories about the past and the present and how I will be, how I’ve been misunderstood, unappreciated, problems too great to bear. These kinds of self pitying and blaming, these kinds of pseudo-emotions are thoughts about emotions but they’re concepts about emotions, they’re stories about emotions, that we think about them and think about them and think about them and then we begin to scare ourselves. But they’re not actually intense because they’re not actually happening now.
BARNET “I’m gonna lose my job, I’m gonna lose my relationship or I’m going to lose my finances, I’m going to… ” What if, what if, what if, what if. Many people, certainly most of my life, I lived believing, thinking that those were legitimate emotions. I did not know until relatively recently that emotions are not experienced in the head. And false emotions are primarily experienced in the head. We work ourselves up into such a lather that we can start to trigger chemical dumps and stress and adrenaline and all sorts of things that we feel in the body, but primarily these are head trips. Real emotions are not experienced in the head at all, they are experienced in the body.