Tom and I have just returned from vacation, and as per usual, I took a stack of books with me, some of which I will share with you over the next few days. One is Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility by Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon. I was particularly struck by Capacities for Imaginative Learning they share. Originally designed for arts and education, the authors feel however that they are guides for life.
It is an inspirational and thought provoking book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to increase their creativity.
What struck me is how closely these “capacities for learning” parallel contemplative practices and the spiritual discernment process we have used for many years in MSA. They open our eyes and ears to new ways of interacting with the world. They help us become creative, imaginative, able to solve problems in out of the box ways. From a faith perspective they open us up to the presence of God in all things and increase our awareness of God’s involvement in all the creative processes we engage in to shape our work and daily life. I thought you would find them interesting:
Noticing deeply: identifying and articulating layers of detail through continuous interaction with an object of study
Embodying: experiencing a work through your senses and emotions, and physically representing that experience.
Questioning: asking “Why” and “What if” throughout your explorations
Identifying patterns: finding relationships among the details you notice, and grouping them into patterns
Making connections: linking patterns you notice to prior knowledge and experience (both your own and others)
Exhibiting empathy: understanding and respecting the experience of others
Creating meaning: creating interpretations of what you encounter, and synthesizing them with the perspectives of others.
Taking action: acting on the synthesis through a project or an action that expresses your learning
Reflecting and assessing: looking back on your learning to identify what challenges remain and to begin learning anew.