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Expand Your Sense of Self With Creativity

Creativity coach Michele Jennae provides top tips on the creative life.

Eric Maisel
Creativity Coaches on Creativity
Source: Eric Maisel

We may feel small, cramped, and contained, as if we were living in a tight box; but we can create a much more expansive sense of self, one large enough to dream, create, and succeed. In today’s post creativity coach Michele Jennae plays with these ideas.

Michele explains:

An expanded sense of self is a strong sense of self. It is a self that is centered, connected, and confident. The alternative, which is stagnation or contraction, often leads to a life of frustration and dissatisfaction. In psychology, self-expansion theory asserts that a satisfied life comes from a person’s ability to expand and grow throughout their lives.

Making Meaning

Humans are meaning makers. And we make meaning with our imaginations! It is one of the most important tools we have, when speaking of creativity. Imagination is not only powerful, but indispensable. Using our imagination and other creative approaches to expand our sense of self helps us to deal with our existential realities, whether we are calm or in crisis.

Our sense of consciousness and connectedness to something beyond ourselves is an incredible gift, but one that comes with pitfalls and responsibilities. Indeed, expanding our sense of self may very well be the way out of existential crisis and into existential calm.

Is this even possible?

Yes, it is possible with the help of your imagination, the ultimate creative tool. Let’s look at five steps for expanding your sense of self.

1. Acknowledge your ability to imagine

You can use your imagination to create positive scenarios. You can imagine worry into existence but you can also imagine calm into existence. You can use your imagination to dream and plan. This awareness of imagination as an accessible tool in your life is powerful.

2. Imagine the reverse

Take something that you’ve recently worried about and write it down. On another page, write down whatever seems to be the exact opposite scenario. Ask yourself if the reverse scenario is a possibility. It is likely more of a possibility than you imagined.

Feel the difference in your sense of self as you contemplate these two admittedly imaginary scenarios. A negative possibility counters self-expansion. The positive one allows us to feel at least a bit more in control and less fearful.

3. Allow for many possibilities

Expand your sense of self in the direction of many possibilities. It’s not even necessary to write them all down, just acknowledge that there are myriad ways any one situation can be handled. Simply allow for a feeling of possibility in your body, heart, and mind. Imagining possibilities allows us to see that not only are the possibilities limitless, but we can be purposeful in the process.

4. Decide where you want to direct your energy

Energy is a force, both a creative one and a destructive one. Making meaning is directing energy creatively. Expanding your sense of self is co-creation at its finest. You realize that while you can’t control the world around you, you can have a sense of calm in the world within you. Channel your energy in the direction you want to go, in the direction of expansion and increased creativity.

5. Continue to imagine good things in your life

Make this process of imagining expansion a practice. Every one of us can choose growth or decay. Interestingly, the latter requires almost no creativity or imagination whatsoever; but the former, growth, seems to require our active and conscious participation. This is where our imagination and creativity can prove the most powerful and beneficial.

You can visit Michele Jennae at

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