All the qualities and experiences that make us unique also make it impossible to pin down what "normal" is, especially when it comes to mental health. Often, the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors we're inclined to label as "crazy" turn out to be really normal and adaptive ways to respond to the environment. Adaptation is one of our most basic creative instincts and I recognize it as a sign of wellness.
Rather than dictate with any certainty when and how creativity shows up, I assume creativity is always present, even if it is hard to see, feel, or understand. I am curious to learn which creative patterns my clients find nourishing and which are draining. In this way, I approach relationships with a curiosity about curiosity, always wondering what conditions would support a person’s curiosity about their relationships and environment.
C O N D I T I O N E D V S . U N C O N D I T I O N E D
Conditioned states of consciousness are conditional—if this then that; gotta do this so that; must not do that or else, etc. In contrast, unconditioned states of consciousness are permeated by perception and receptivity and are often experienced in little moments at a time. These passing moments feel at times like release from the pressures of agenda or identity, or as a wash of wholeness—there is something very empty about these states, and also something very fulfilling. The presence of unconditioned awareness is what I look to as the "healer" in us all.
Conditioned creativity is also very valuable. It helps us survive in a world where we must constantly adapt to our circumstances. At the same time, we may feel stuck in undesirable patterns and long for change. We may learn that conditioning from culture and family requires intentional modification in order to feel true in ourselves. My philosophy is rooted in the belief that when we come into relationship with unconditioned creativity, we come into relationship with our capacity for change—a power that is our birthright and the champion of wellness.
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