"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."
Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.
First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Bring Out Your Eight Year Old
I’ve brought my snap together hula hoop along on this trip. I’m going to spend five weeks on the road and knew I’d need something to supplement my yoga practice. Got to keep that blood going or the body rebels. Hooping is great fun – you can dance by yourself any time you want to. The snap together hoop is an invention rivaling sliced bread! Easy to put together, lightweight and portable. Crank up the music and you’re good to go.
Sharing the hoop seemed like a great idea. The evening breeze was perfect; the sun was dipping low on the horizon and the folks enjoying their drinks laughed easily and often.
So I was surprised at the response the hula hoop provoked. Only two friends jumped at the opportunity to try it out. The rest held back as though I’d tried to pass them a loaded pistol. Hmmm.
Eventually almost everyone hooped for at least a couple of minutes, laughing and game about the new experience. Few of us are good at something the first time we try it out. It’s taken me five months to hoop consistently and I’m still not that great at it.
How is hooping related to creativity? It’s the realization I had after the evening ended. If we’d been a bunch of eight year olds, we would have clamored for our chance at the hoop! It’s the bugaboo maturity thing. Are we afraid we’ll look foolish? Do we doubt our abilities now - when once upon a time we believed we could do anything? Christine Northrup observed that seven year-old girls rule the world – at least in their own minds. But then adolescence begins, and self-confidence takes a tumble.
So now I am observing my own reactions to the new experiences of being in unfamiliar surroundings. Nothing like a five-week road trip to challenge your perceived sense of self.
I am determined to bring out my eight year old as often as I can on this trip – confidently embracing any opportunity to learn something new or imagine an approach to my art work I hadn’t thought of before. It’s a good creative strategy. Probably a good Life strategy too.