Hazy Homecoming and Creative Musings with Jonah Lehrer

I’m floating in that deliciously nebulous zone of the duo world where adrenaline and fatigue mesh together in a non-descriptiveness that confuses time zones, languages, and sense of direction. I haven’t quite stepped out of the last world and re-entered the current. The piquant taste of chile lingers on my lips, the scent of burnt corn husks floats in the air, and the image of the volcano Popocatépetl is a silhouette on the horizon and delights my groggy eyes at today’s 6 am wake-up call.

Creative mobility: all-in-one storage and sales juice carts

I’ve returned from a fulfilling and exhilarating week in Mexico and landed just in time to catch an equally exhilarating talk at ALOUD by Jonah Lehrer. His insights in his newest book, “Imagine: How Creativity Works,” a study on creativity and the brain, lured me into the office the very same day I returned back from my international journey. Jonah touched on how relaxation encourages creativity, how epiphanies often come when we aren’t concentrating on problems or tasks, and that thinking along the margins, outside of the box, all spur creative thoughts. For some that means a walk, a hot bath, maybe dancing or lounging in a hammock on the coast of Oaxaca!

Cactus city: skyscraper nopales powered by green energy

Jonah shared that daydreamers score higher on creativity tests, and that ‘intentional flexibility’ is a key to success. He also referenced a study where intoxicated college students scored 30% higher on creativity tests than their sober counterparts! The same outcome was achieved when sober test takers were given tests very early in the morning just after having woken up- when the mind is hanging somewhere between dream land and conscious reality, where edges are blurry and thoughts are hazy. The explanation lies with inhibition and freedom, and playing within the moments where there is a lack of intense concentration. Jonah can explain much of the above better than I can, but tonight’s talk served as the perfect homecoming. An affirmation that  all of our wanderings add up to color and creativity.

–Posted by Maureen Moore

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