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A LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® CreaSpaTreat is what I built during the pandemic

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” – Carl Jung

I never intended to create something during a pandemic in 2020. I didn’t think my last International landing at YVR in early March 2020 might be the last touchdown for a year or more. Being grounded was the last thing I expected, so I was not prepared for it. I didn’t have a bunch of projects, ready to soak up all the time that appeared in my schedule.

As the weeks and months continue to roll by, I simply go with the flow. Right now the current is keeping me close to home and allowing me the luxury of time to think. The busyness of my life before the pandemic didn’t include a whole lot of quiet time. In fact, 2020 was planned to be a big year, full of milestone events that needed to be celebrated with grand parties and International travel.

All those plans changed. Like many others I converted to a state of limbo. Waiting. Watching. Worrying. Wondering. Every morning a similar horrible feed of news as the pandemic cut a swath of destruction around the globe. I kept my home office in a temporary space because I could not believe we were in the for the long haul. Until a day in May when I just accepted that this pandemic truly was a long term thing. I needed to get on with it. As Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer says, ‘Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.’

So I set-up an office in our converted garage. I moved all my stuff out there. My work asked employees to remove all of the items we kept at our desks as the whole building was converting to hotel work stations, set apart by 6 feet of space, effectively reducing the occupancy capacity to 20%. I officially became a full-time work-from-home employee, at least until the end of 2020, maybe longer depending on the state of the pandemic.

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

It seemed like a good time to reorganize and redecorate my space the way I wanted, not according to an office building aesthetic. All my creative supplies and my vast LEGO® collection, along with a grow light for a bunch of houseplants; these things needed space. In order to be inspired, the right items are on display, in my line of sight. That is the important bit, I need to literally ‘see’ inspiring imagery. When I pause to think, the space needs to provide some prompts for my creativity to jump off of.

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” – Abraham Maslow

Of course there is a play component as well. There has to be. About 100 or so bricks sit at the ready, in a small container. Why you might ask? There are occasions where I get stuck trying to solve a complex problem. Before I move into brainstorming mode, I might try building a few creations using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) Method.

By using ‘play’ to problem solve, I am forced into conceptual thinking. This is important because I can be quite literal, most of the time. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® helps me create ideas that are difficult to access through other means. In addition the process is really fun. Creative and strategic thinking seems to come much easier when I can relax into this pleasant state of mind.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato

Activities which promote the generation of creative ideas are not like a computer program. You can’t say to yourself, ‘OK I have this problem, I need a solution, so I’ll just creatively derive one’. For me anyway, creative activities are calming and fun so that I am free to think about all kinds of things which are unique and interesting to me. By dropping into that state of mind, I can turn my attention to projects I am working on and move them along. I suppose this state of mind could be compared to priming a pump. Others have called this creative state ‘flow’, a feeling of losing sense of time.

The pandemic has eliminated my daily commute of up to 2 hours per day. That time alone is a huge commitment, not to mention the brain power required to drive safely. With all that free space in my schedule, I ended up building something that will be a gift to anyone who wants to share in the fun. A LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® CreaSpaTreat is what I built during this pandemic. Stay-tuned for more information in the coming weeks about how you can enrol. It will be free, if you can gather some bricks from your collection at home. Otherwise, for the price of lunch at a cafe, you can acquire a small starter set of bricks.

In the meantime, check out what these famous people created during pandemics and quarantines in the past. It is fascinating to imagine what life would have been like for these people without the luxuries of our current time.

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