This past week, I was interviewed by Tim Tyler on his "Tucson in Review" program. Our 30-minute discussion covered a wide range of topics related to Deep Creativity. I have broken down the interview into four audio files. Here is a link and an overview of the questions addressed in each:
PART 1: What is creativity? Where does it come from? Can creativity be taught? How does Deep Creativity differ from other approaches? What has been the reception to the book so far?
PART 2: What are some of the more controversial ideas in Deep Creativity? How does one "live outside the box"? What role does self-transcendence play in the creative experience? How does one transcend the self? And what is Repose?
PART 3: How is Repose pertinent to creativity? Why is it such an effective tool? What can be done to make classrooms more conducive to creativity? How do we nurture creativity in children? Why is play important? What is PlayHaven? And how did it originate?
PART 4: Can Deep Creativity benefit people who do not consider themselves creative? Why focus on the creative experience? How can these ideas make a difference in people's lives? Why does the book deal with the topic of unconditional love? How is love pertinent to creativity? Where is the book available? And what resources can be found on victorshamas.com?
In 2013, the United Nations declared March 20 to be the International Day of Happiness. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I have set out to find a universal symbol of happiness. What I am looking for is something that makes people happy, regardless of their nationality, culture, religious beliefs, or political affiliation. I need your help with this task. Please vote for the image that is most likely to evoke happiness in you.
Here are your choices:
1. Bubbles. Everyone loves bubbles. The sight of someone blowing bubbles tends to fill our hearts with delight. I have met a few people who have made this their spiritual practice. Every day, they go to a nearby park or beach and release giant bubbles into the air, just for the fun of it.
2. Rainbows. There is an undeniable thrill when you spot a rainbow. A double rainbow is even better. As a scientific phenomenon, rainbows are fascinating. But you do not need to know a thing about the science of rainbows to feel a sense of wonder at the sight of one.
3. Laughter. Nothing is more infectious—or mysterious. Why do people laugh? What is it that causes this rhythmic expulsion of breath? Certainly, there are other ways to respond to a humorous or amusing situation. But spontaneous laughter is such a joyful release.
4. Sun. What is more beautiful or awe-inspiring than a sunrise or sunset? When the sun peeks out from behind a cloud, it can be exhilarating. And seeing rays of sunlight filtered by clouds can feel like you are looking at a religious painting.
5. Play. The UN website for the International Day of Happiness features pictures of children playing. Could this be the ultimate symbol of happiness? You just feel better when you watch the playful spirit turned loose.
6. Fire. Have you ever spent hours staring at a fire? Something about it is so compelling. The warmth and light are irresistible. And fire connects us with something basic, earthy, and primal in ourselves.
7. Smiles. In 1963, an insurance company employee named Harvey Ball came up with the now-famous smiley face. He did it to raise morale among his employees. The company paid him $45 for this image, which took him 10 minutes to design. Today, the smiley face has spawned thousands of different emoticons, all of which are intended to convey a sense of happiness.
8, Beaches. What do you feel when you see a picture of a beautiful beach? Do you imagine the joy, relaxation and luxury you might experience there? If you are like most people, the very idea of a beach vacation can trigger feelings of excitement and happiness. Knowing that someone else is spending time at the beach without you might make you feel a bit jealous, too.
9. Kisses. The idea of two people sharing a passionate kiss can make you feel warm and tingly inside. That is a very good thing! A kiss is an expression of pure love, whether it be a grandparent kissing a child, old friends greeting when reunited, or the romantic bond between two lovers. Kisses make us happy, which is why Hershey’s had the brilliant idea of naming its chocolates after this most rewarding pastime.
10. Mountains. Why is a mountain view so desirable that people will pay top dollar for it? When you look at mountains, you tend to feel good. A snow-covered peak can seem majestic, awesome, and breathtakingly beautiful. Few sights are more inspiring.
11. Moving water. Who doesn’t love waterfalls, fountains, ocean waves, or ripples on a pond? The gentle trickle of a stream can be soothing, whereas the power of a raging river can be exhilarating. In any case, watching the movement of water never gets old.
12. Light shows. How do you celebrate festive occasions? If you are like most of us, you light candles, adorn your house with holiday lights, or set off fireworks. Light shows are a sign of intense and profound happiness.
13. Flowers. Nothing warms the heart like the sight of flowers, whether it be the beautiful arrangement of a floral bouquet or the vibrancy and color of a spring wildflower display. Painters like Monet and Van Gogh have found their greatest inspiration in depicting the magnificence of flowers in bloom.
If you had to choose just one of these 13 icons to convey happiness on a global scale, which would it be? Please post your choice in the Comments section below. And feel free to share the reason for your choice. In the meantime, I want to wish you a very happy spring equinox and a most inspiring International Day of Happiness!
This morning, a national news story ran on over 200 internet sites. This story, entitled "New Creativity Book, Deep Creativity, Author Dr. Victor Shamas Shares Five Ways to Sustain Creative Inspiration," has drawn extensive attention to the ideas in Deep Creativity. In fact, if you do a Google search for "new creativity book," you will find the article on the front page of the search, as shown in the following screen capture.
Deep Creativity was also featured on the most recent installment of Arizona Spotlight. You can hear the interview at the -8:05 mark of the program audio file. And if you go to the radio program's Facebook page, you can also hear a brief excerpt from the book.
An interview I did with Chicano author Antonio Solisgomez just came out on La Bloga, the oldest established Latino literary blog. In this interview, we discussed some of the ideas in my first two books, The Chanter's Guide and The Way of Play. There are also links to two videos featuring chants performed by members of the Global Chant community.
And I've also been receiving extensive feedback from my presentation at last weekend's Tucson Festival of Books. The pic of Maria Mendola and myself taken immediately following my TFOB talk has gotten as much response as anything I have ever posted on Facebook. Thanks to my dear friends and followers for all your love and support!
Today is March 6, 2018. This is the official launch date of Deep Creativity: Inside the Creative Mystery. For me, it represents the culmination of a 30-year journey, and so I am thrilled! But I am also excited for anyone who cares about creative inspiration. because I believe that Deep Creativity is the first book ever to take readers inside the experience of creative inspiration. Why is that important? Most people want to feel inspired: in their creative work, relationships, and personal lives. Yet there have been no good answers to even the most fundamental questions about inspiration: What is it? Where does it come from? How does it work? The ideas in Deep Creativity will open up new avenues of inspiration for the next generation of writers, painters, designers, innovators, and peacemakers, which can lead to breakthroughs in virtually every field of endeavor.
For too long, I have heard creativity researchers say that inspiration is not that important to the creative process. Huh??? If you talk to artists, as I have for the past three decades, they will tell you that inspiration is the juice of the fruit. It is why most of them have devoted their lives to a creative pursuit. I have had several artists tell me over the years that they would immerse themselves in the creative process even if it never resulted in single work of art. In the creative act, they undergo a transformation that fills them with wonder and delight. Tenet #2 of Deep Creativity states: "All creating is becoming." To become means to come into being as something you have not been before. In the moment of inspiration, we come into our own as an embodiment of the Creator-creating-creation. That is one of the profoundly joyous experiences of life. And it happens to be the reason why I have given so much of my own life to the pursuit and understanding of creative inspiration!
I want to hear from you! Please share your questions and comments. And sign up for my newsletter, where I will pass along the insights, ideas, and inspiration that come my way.