Kadenze is proud to launch a new course –  Creative Resilience: How to flourish in the face of life’s challenges.
In this post the author, Linda Naiman, introduces herself and outlines the science of flourishing and how to use art as a safe and playful way of self-exploration.
Creative Resilience: How to flourish in the face of life’s challenges by Linda Naiman.

I began my career over 30 years ago as an artist and designer during a recession when no jobs were to be found. It was sink or swim and I learned to swim. I found great clients and was successful, winning a number of awards from my professional organization. But I lost my passion for design. Not only did I suffer from a creative block, but I also suffered a crisis of meaning.

This led me to study creativity as a process, to explore the connection between art, creativity, and leadership, and then to reinvent myself as a corporate alchemist, pioneering arts-based learning in business. I currently help executives and their teams develop skills in creativity, innovation, and collaborative leadership. Over the years, I’ve worked internationally with organizations such as Cisco, Dell, The UN and the US Navy.

It is not always an easy journey and I’ve had plenty of setbacks and failures as well as triumphs. Along the way, I developed the mindsets and skills to be creatively resilient and that’s what I want to teach you. I’ll be sharing my own lived experience plus the science behind creativity, resilience and wellbeing.

One thing I know for sure is that to be creative is to be resilient and vice versa. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and when you apply creativity to resilience, you will not only bounce back, you will emerge wiser, stronger and more resourceful. To be creatively resilient is to be comfortable with uncertainty.

The connection between art, creativity and resilience

Art-making takes us into alpha frequencies, otherwise known as flow states, which quiet the critical analytical mind, induce feelings of calm, reduce stress and enhance our ability to access inspiration and gain new insights. Flow states put us in a positive state of mind, of being open and receptive to new possibilities.

When we enter the flow states of complete absorption in a creative process, we open our awareness to new perceptions and new perspectives. Creative expression has the power to heal emotions and nurture the soul. When you take time out to create, you shift your field of attention into something generative and life affirming.

Creativity produces positive emotions that can unlock inner resources for dealing with stress and uncertainty.  It is possible to learn creative techniques to reframe obstacles into opportunities (a good way to turn pessimism into optimism) as well as techniques for improvising and generating new ideas about any challenge you are facing.

Resilient people face difficult situations realistically, and find ways to be optimistic. Studies indicate optimists live longer, have better relationships, and achieve more success in life. Optimists are not magical thinkers, unable to see the dark side; rather, they accept reality, and put things in perspective.

Can you learn to be creatively resilient?

The course introduces you to five building blocks that promote creative resilience, based on the science of human flourishing. These are Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning (and purpose) and Accomplishment — as defined by Dr Martin Seligman, one of the founders of Positive Psychology. (Positive Psychology examines what makes life worth living so we can flourish.)

I have curated a set of activities to help you develop the mindsets and skill sets you need to not only be creative and resilient but to flourish. That is, to create a life that is meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling, and engaging.

You will have the opportunity to explore art with an appreciative eye, as well as how to use it as a pathway for self-exploration. I’ll be introducing you to activities using painting and drawing in this course, not so you will become an artist — although you might —but also so you can learn to immerse yourself in artistic expression that goes beyond words.

Other activities include photography, poetry, walkabouts and storytelling. Many of these can be enjoyed with friends, and even children — providing engaging ways to cultivate the five building blocks of creative resilience.

How will you benefit from Creative Resilience?

1. Discover your top 5 signature character strengths and how they can help you increase your confidence and build resilience

2. Develop the 5 building blocks of resilience for mental, physical and spiritual well-being

3. Experiment with science-backed tools and techniques from Positive Psychology to help you flourish

4. Learn techniques from neuroscience to regulate fear or stress and calm down

5. Engage in art-making and appreciation to explore emotion, practice mindfulness, increase self-awareness, well-being and cultivate creativity

6. Finding your authentic self, core values, meaning and purpose

7. Create a blueprint for making your life a work of art and map out your pathway to taking action

8. How to find meaning and purpose even in terrible times

9. How to find the silver lining in obstacles and reframe problems into opportunities.

If you are wondering if this course is for you, consider these 3 questions:

  • Who do you need to be to flourish in a world of disruptive change and uncertainty?
  • What are the ingredients that give you the strength to withstand stressors, to survive and thrive?
  • What new habits do you need to embrace setbacks and move forward?

Upon completion of the course, you will have a practical evidence-based toolkit of trainable skills to enhance creative resilience. Are you excited to get started? Click here to find out more and enrol.

Bonus: Sign up now for the inaugural course by March 1, 2023 and participate in 4 live monthly calls to meet and greet each other and ask me questions.

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Image is an original work by Linda Naiman