Are you the kind of person who sees everything in black or white, or do you enjoy a variety of colors?
I remember a time in my life when I used to debate between two alternatives. Either I did one thing or the other, and when I chose a way, I’d forget the other and would see everything in white or black.
It was my therapist of the moment who said: “Miriam, in life there’re no only black or whites, there are many colors, and they even have shades“.
This was a huge discovery!
It turns out that instead of choosing between one way or another, if I tried to find more colors, many more would appear and, I’d be able to enjoy the multiple possibilities that life offered.
I just had to tell my mind to look for those colors.
Can you see the colors?
Who sees everything in black or white?
Our brain is divided into two hemispheres or sides.
The left one, which takes care of:
- Words inspection
The right one, is more specialized in:
- Artistic and musical skills
- Visual and sound skills
The limitation of seeing everything in black or white, is determined by our logical and analytical side, so if you want to see colors, you need to “unplug”, your left hemisphere for a while.
What is creativity?
Creativity involves creating something.
- New ideas
- Alternatives to solve a problem
- Different ways of dealing with a situation
- Idea associations
And as Proust says,
Creativity helps you see and face various possibilities for a situation, which means it helps you see the colors.
Learn to enjoy variety
The idea is for you to train your mind to get both hemispheres to cooperate.
And not make any decisions without having consulted BOTH.
You need to have a more global and less partial perspective.
Here are some examples:
Beach or mountain?
The analytical mind will probably choose just one: beach or mountain.
If you ask your creative mind, it may answer something like:
“What if we look for a small bay next to a mountain?“ (It’s possible in some places).
Teacher or researcher?
Black or white thought: there’s just one possible answer: teacher or researcher.
Thought with colors:
- I could research, and combine it with some seminars where I can visit as a speaker to present the results of my investigation.
- I could work as a teacher for half the time and a researcher for the other half.
- I could research for 1 or 2 years and then find a teaching job or vice versa.
Should I stay with my partner or break up with him?
Logical/analytical: I continue with him or I leave him (there aren’t any other options)
Learning to enjoy variety:
- If I have doubts, I can decrease my involvement in my relationship, while I clear up my mind.
- I could expound my worries and ask him for a time to reflect on them.
- I could talk to him and tell him my doubts about the relationship, but without making any decisions.
- I could ask him to see each other less, to share some things more, or less, etc.
- I could decide not to decide for a while.
Do you now understand what Proust meant when he said we should look at the same situation in a different light?
You have to see with your creative eyes.
I propose a creative exercise
As I mentioned before, to do this exercise, you’ll need to unplug your left cerebral hemisphere for a while.
No judgments, analytical thoughts, evaluations… no.
Now you’ll need to focus on FEELING and IMAGINING.
Get a blank sheet, and some color pencils.
First step: defining the current problem
Think about a problem or situation that’s currently worrying you, and with which you’d like to have a more creative perspective.
Draw your problem on the sheet.
You can’t use words. Just drawings, lines, shapes…
And use all the colors you want.
Try to express how you feel about this problem or situation NOW.
Stop reading this article and draw quietly.
Once you’ve finished this first sketch, hang the paper on the wall, if you can, or leave it on the table, but take some steps back to see the whole picture.
- What do you see?
- How do you see it?
Drawing your problem instead of thinking about it or explaining it, may let you see it in a different way.
Without giving it any logical explanation, ask yourself questions like:
- Is it a big or a small drawing?
- Have you used more of a particular color?
- What shapes have you drawn?
Second step: using creativity to enlarge your perspective.
Continue looking at the drawing, but now, allow yourself to FEEL…
- What’s missing or what’s extra in the drawing?
- Can you improve it in any way?
- Do you need to remove or change anything?
- What could you do in your drawing that could help you solve your problem?
Get your drawing again.
Choose a color that you HAVEN’T used yet, and use it in the drawing.
Let your imagination lose.
Draw shapes, lines, symbols, objects… whatever comes to mind.
And above all, DON’T judge anything of what you’ve drawn.
You’ll have time later to leave whatever isn’t useful behind, but right now focus on expressing everything that comes to you.
Third step: turning the drawing into ideas
Drawing is a big projection exercise.
If you’ve been able to add new shapes, lines, symbols… it means, that NOW you’re able to see other aspects of the situation THAT YOU DIDN’T SEE BEFORE.
You’ve been able to look through different eyes.
To see colors.
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out your drawing.
Of taking your projection and turning it into new ideas.
You can “re-plug” your left cerebral hemisphere.
It has some work to do.
Try to give what you drew a logical or rational sense.
- What did you add, remove or change from the drawing?
- If you could turn what you drew into ideas, what would you do?
- Is there any color or shape that reminds you of any aspect of your problem?
- How could what you’ve modified, help you in your current situation?
- Did any answer come to mind while you were drawing?
Turn your drawing into ideas.
Fourth step: from ideas to action
When you drew your projection, you may have thought about some things that could help you with the problem that worries you.
Now it’s time to turn that idea into a list of little steps that you can do to solve your problem, or face it in a different way.
These don’t have to be big.
Find small things.
It’s better to do a little action, than to think about a big idea and do nothing.
Don’t be afraid of being wrong.
Remember that in life not everything is white or black, there are more colors and, to be able to enjoy variety, you’ve to keep all of them in mind.
If you know someone that is still unable to see colors in life, don’t hesitate to send them this post to remind them.