Creative Strength Needs More Than Muscle (with Kendra Patterson)

Strength represented by a tree in a field with clouds in the sky

I love thinking about the creative strength of sensitivity. We can find great joy in noticing, feeling, and experiencing the world at a deep sensory level. Sensory awareness can be a wonderful source of inspiration for nurturing creativity, compassion, and connection in our lives.

But it can also be a source of discomfort and struggle at times. In fact, our innate sensitivity can leave us feeling like we lack the strength to navigate the world’s harsh and hostile edges.

Sometimes, the best course of action may not be the most obvious. In fact, the most effective option might take some discovery (and creative exploration).

We often admire the strength of something that can endure without falling apart. We are impressed by things that maintain form in the face of stresses, strains, and tensions. However, this doesn’t always require forcefully resisting or fighting things.

People talk about “holding their ground”, “not giving an inch”, and “standing firm” as forms of power. But these can lead to brittle fragility and weakness in many circumstances.

In this conversation, Kendra Patterson and I explore what strength looks like through a lens of sensitivity, introversion, and creative practice. Our chat reminded me that sensitivity, gentleness, play, creativity, vulnerability, collaboration, etc, can be massive sources of strength in our world.

Kendra and I Discuss:

  • Why creative strength is often underpinned by vulnerability
  • Integrity and Creative Strength – how strength is an emergent property of the diversity of a thing’s parts (aspects working together within an integrated whole)
  • The potential harms caused by simplistic and aggressive positivity
  • How to find our burning core for building resilience and creative strength in the face of external feedback, criticism, and rejection
  • Sensitivity and Skin Strength – why we don’t want thicker skin, and what we might do to ‘strengthen’ our skin instead
  • Creative Strength Through Social Connection – how isolation, separation, and disintegration from unprocessed thoughts/feelings like envy and resentment can leave us weak and dis-empowered (plus ideas for countering this)

FACE The Wall | Course

Are you currently living in the shadow beneath a wall?

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