Everyone probably would benefit from having more creativity in their lives, as well as an improved ability to use the creativity that they have.  Dreams are incredible sources of creativity, enough to fuel your creative spark, whether you are a parent, student, writer, product designer, engineer, marketer, manager, teacher, or artist. Integral Deep Listening is a powerful tool for accessing not only the creativity in your dreams, but alternative, broader perspectives for solving the problems that are most important to you.  Learning how to access you own creativity is one thing; then you need to learn to visualize its applications so that you can put it to use in the world. Before you can do either, you need to recognize and neutralize the ways that you sabotage your access to your creativity and block its useful expression in your life. The following IDL interview is one example of creativity in action in tackling these challenges.

Karen had a very interesting issue to bring to the interview: “Releasing my creativity; just thinking about it makes my throat close up.”

Those feelings brought up the color blue, which turned into a hammer. Here is what it had to tell her:

“I look like a claw hammer, I’m just waiting to knock down the wall that keeps her from putting into action the very creative things that she thinks of. I am patient and I am always ready. The only weakness I have is that I may not be big enough to knock down the wall that she has erected. So if I could change, it would be only to be big enough to knock down the wall. I represent the part of her that can do what is needed, her courage. I score myself a ten in confidence becauseI know I can do what is needed of me. I am a ten in wisdom because I know and understand everything I need to know and understand. I score myself a ten in acceptance because I know that things are the way they are until they aren’t. I am a ten in inner peace because I know what and who I am, and that’s all anyone needs to know to be at peace. I am a nine in compassion because I can always be more compassionate towards her, and a nine in witnessing because every once in a while I want something to happen. If I scored tens in those qualities as well I would be stronger, and I wouldn’t have to wait for her to realize that she has already begun to break down the wall that keeps her from being creative; I could do the job that I am here for.”

“If she scored as I do she would be very confident in her own abilities, in her own creative process, in her ability to help herself and others. She would live her life with more poise, confidence, and by doing what she knows are the right steps to take. The wall would be gone, she would be doing all the creative things that she wants to do with confidence and success, she would be training the dogs to get along because she knows how to do it. Because she would be utilizing her creativity, her business would be booming. I recommend she set up some deadlines and stick to them, and knowing that she can do whatever she dreams she can do.”

“It would be beneficial for her to take my perspective in all of life’s situations, and especially in those where she fears not being heard or that she might not be listening carefully to others. I have come into her life to remind her that she has the strength to knock down the walls that keep her from doing what she wants to do. She blocks this awareness by letting her own fear of failure or success get in the way. It will help her to remember me if she will take a deep breath and think of the color blue. Then she’ll find her voice and be able to speak and listen without any fears, and she’ll be able to write what she wants and needs to.”

Here is what Karen said that she heard the blue hammer say to her:

“I don’t need to be afraid anymore, that I have the inner strength to meet all my goals, that I can get past the knot in my throat when I think about being creative. I heard the hammer tell me that I have nothing to fear, that I am marvelous.

The interviewer sent me the following feedback on the interview:

What do you think that your subject most got out of the interview?

That it is her own fears that keep her from doing what she knows she can do.

How can you follow up to see how he/she is applying her experience?

(It’s a self interview, so I have to look myself in the mirror very day!)

What went well?

The realization that she has her own inner strength.

Was there any place where you or the dreamer were confused?

No, all the answers were straight forward, and the questions made sense.

Did the dreamer commit to a plan of action involving identification with this new perspective in specific waking situations?

Yes, to remember to breathe and think of the color blue.

What have you learned that can improve your ability to conduct IDL interviews?

To always ask for specific actions on how to implement the changes that the aspect is recommending.

What have you learned about yourself through interviewing the aspects of yourself personified by this dreamer and by those self-aspects that you interviewed?

That I have the inner strength to do what I need to do.

It is easy to allow our fears to block our creativity: “What if I fail?” “Other people will think I am stupid if I try something different.” “Nobody has done this; it won’t work.” “Why should I think I can come up with something really new and creative?” Such thoughts are self-limiting and self-destructive cognitive distortions. IDL helps to identify such self-defeating self-talk and replace it with realistic statements such as the following: “I may fail; what matters is what I learn from my mistakes.” “Some other people will definitely think I am stupid; others will admire me; most are too lost in their own worries to care.” “What other people think of me is none of my business.” “This idea may or may not work. Who can I talk to, what do I need to do to find out?” “Everything created by people in the world started with one individual, probably people who had fewer resources than I do. Why shouldn’t I be someone who comes up with great ideas?”