The words “creativity” and “genius” have taken on many meanings – often reserved for those with unique intelligence and talent. However, these terms were originally intended to be far more inclusive than they have become – pointing to something we all possess.
I see creativity as an act of creation. It can take the form of an art or a science, but can also show up as any sort of innovation or divergent thought that is manifested in the world in some way. This can occur as a created moment, a relationship, or in directing a passion or belief in a particular way. It might be tender parenting, or birthing a business, or a thoughtful conversation where both parties are present and engaged.
Sometimes creation is wholly inspired and seems to simply flow; other times it can be challenge and struggle. Whatever the experience, the beauty of creativity is that we all have access to it in our own unique ways. It is the channeling of something bigger than us through us – an access to the divine created right here on earth in our experience. The origin of the word "genius" comes from this same place. The Ancient Romans did not see genius as something that a human possessed, but something that was granted from outside of us (the Gods) – directed through a human as an expression and an assistant in creation.
Each of us has creative genius available when we are able to slow down and open ourselves to our true voice (see the post: “Finding Your Voice”). Whether you believe in a higher power or not, you have the ability to tap into who you are and what you are passionate about to manifest your creative genius in the world.
For a really awesome discussion of this topic, see the video below of Elizabeth Gilbert speaking at the TED Conference in February. She wrote the well-received book, Eat, Pray, Love, and offers an inspiring, thoughtful, and often humorous perspective on bringing all of yourself to your creation. It's well worth the 19 minutes.