IMG_8204I run a group on Facebook Applied Creativity Network (open to anyone if you'd like to join) where someone asked, "What's next? How is the world going to be with this coronavirus? How are the remaining people going to relate to each other...social life?"

Kay Ross, a member of that group wrote: "I don't know how it will be. The question is: How do we WANT it to be? What kind of world/life/society do we want to design and create?"

I really resonated with her answer, and "yes-anded" it with some thoughts of my own. Because they're directly related with the work I do with my clients, I thought I would share them here:

Also don't know how it will be. I don't think anyone can know at this time, but we can make choices about what's ours to do now, even in this big unknown. We can discover where what we are inspired to do meets what is needed now, even without knowing the whole picture.

We do have agency and, like Kay Ross said, can ask what we want, and what we can design and create. Our feeling of creative empowerment comes from looking at what we CAN do in any given situation...what calls to us, what inspires us, what we want to do, what needs we can meet, what can we create, and how we can serve the situation, etc.

As far as relating, while challenging now, I imagine people will adapt as they always have to find ways of connecting
- or create them, even within these  unprecedented constraints. I don't think we can know what the will look like...so that means being OK (or at least accepting) being in the unknown for a while - without knowing how it will look - and creating that as we go, like in an improv. And not needing or expecting it to look exactly like it was in the past. It won't be the same. If we can accept that, and not fight it, we're more empowered to create what's next.

I have faith in the creative life force in each of us, and the universal creative life force that animate all of life (why I created my business around that)...so I have faith in humans capacity to find or create ways of staying connected until we can gather again in person, and faith in those who feel called to create new ways of connecting we don't even know of yet. We're seeing that already. That doesn't mean it’s not hard to be these isolated now (or that there is not real suffering, fear, pain, and deep loss in the world right now - there is!), but it is just about switching our focus to what we CAN do within the constraints - looking beyond what is to what we imagine can be, and discovering what is ours to do in the process. That is an emergence process. If everyone did that, I think we’d see a modern creative renaissance during and after this situation.

Sometimes our deepest fears about what will be lost (as well as the reality of what IS being lost) can lead us to create something new to meet those needs. Historically, people have always used their creativity to move beyond even the most challenging situations. That's where I put my trust when in the unknown...in the creative alive spirit in each of us that is infinitely rich with alive potential for creating new ways of engaging. So, while we can’t know what’s next, we can meet the moment and ask what we are called to do or create, and help create what's next.

Michelle James ©2020