195 – Creativity and Brain Health with Guest Tina Yeager, Part 1

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Creativity and Brain Health with Guest Tina Yeager, Part 1 Write from the Deep Podcast with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor YoungAs writers, creativity is a crucial component of our lives and our work. But what exactly is creativity and how do we get more of it? Guest Tina Yeager shares some surprising answers as we explore God’s design for creativity.

About Tina Yeager

Award-winning author, speaker, and life coach, Tina Yeager hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and Flourish Today on Christian Mix 106 and publishes Inkspirations Online, a weekly writers’ devotional. She has been licensed as a counselor since 2005. Yeager serves as director of traditional groups with Word Weavers International and as an active member of the Christian Women in Media Association. For life coaching tips or to book her as an event speaker, visit tinayeager.com. Look for her books, Beautiful Warrior: Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You and Upcycled: Crafted for a Purpose.

As a special treat for our listeners and readers, check out Tina’s free nutrition guide.

Thanks to our sponsors on Patreon, we’re able to offer an edited transcript of the podcast!

Karen: Hey, guys, welcome to the deep. We’re so excited that you’re here with us today, and we’re even more excited because we have a guest, Tina Yeager. We have a wonderful topic for you today.

We’re going to be talking about creativity. Yes, creativity. When God created us, he imbued us with his creativity. We want to talk about what creativity is and how brain health relates to it. 

Erin: Indeed. Tina Yeager is an award-winning author. She’s an inspirational speaker and a life coach. She also hosts the Flourishment Podcast and publishes Inkspirations Online, a weekly devotional for writers.

She’s won over thirty writing awards, including a 2020 Golden Scroll Award. She’s been licensed as a counselor since 2005 and has over twenty years of experience teaching parenting and writing skills, communications, inner healing, and spiritual growth. She holds a BA in creative writing and an MA in counseling, and she just does so many other things, too!

We’re delighted to have her here with us again because we talked to her in February. That was episode 183. We talked about why writers get blocked when they’re digging into difficult emotional areas. You might want to check that out as well. We’re happy for Tina to be here again, bringing her wisdom and experience.

Welcome, Tina. 

Tina: Thank you so much, Erin and Karen. I am delighted to be back on the show. It’s always an honor to chat with you. 

Erin: We want to open with asking you, what does the deep mean to you? 

Tina: Well, the last time I had a different verse that I focused on. Today I really felt led to bring up 1 Corinthians chapter 2, specifically verses 10 and 11, where it says, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God, for who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them. In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

I just really felt like getting deep in with the Spirit today was going to flow along with that line of becoming creatives created in the image of a Creator.

Erin: Mmm. I love that. 

Karen: Yeah, that’s really good. 

Erin: Deep things of God. Cool. Well, okay, let’s jump in to creativity. What would you say creativity even is? How would you define that? 

Tina: Creativity breathes life into all of our human experiences. It is not just art. That’s what we normally think of when we think of creativity.

It’s actually our ability to problem solve. To make something happen that isn’t already there. That’s looking outside of what exists to what could be, and that is important for every area. It’s important for our jobs. It’s important for the marketplace. It’s important for our relationships, making those work well. 

It’s important for our physical health for us to find solutions. It’s an important mindset to have. It’s important for our emotional well being because we cannot get inner healing without thinking creatively. 

It’s also important to us spiritually. Perhaps first and foremost, we need to believe we were created in the image of a Creator who can do all things, who is filled to overflowing with infinite possibilities. Therefore, so are we. 

Karen: That’s amazing. 

Erin: There’s so much to unpack there. 

Karen: No kidding. 

Erin: Let’s just even start with what you were saying. With us being created, I keep thinking, too, that we are living, new creations. When we come into Christ, we are a new creation. We’re originally a workmanship that God made, right? But now we’re walking in Christ. We’re new. We’re like this new piece of creativity. 

We don’t know what we’re going to ultimately be tomorrow because this creative process in us keeps transforming us, keeps changing us and sure, closer to the image of Christ, but also just new things we learn. I’m just thinking, I love what you said, Tina, because creativity is about so much more than just the arts.

It’s just this blossom of who we can be tomorrow or what we can do. It’s just, it’s cool. 

Tina: Yes, it’s our fulfillment. It’s potential. It is so many things. 

Just like Ephesians 2:10 says, you were created in Christ Jesus. That is that new creation process to do good works, which God, the Creator, the ultimate Creative, created in advance for us to do. He’s already made these works. He’s already got this story for our lives all planned out and the stories from our lives, those works that he’s having us do, are spilling out into creation from us. 

He is an amazing, creative God. He is the ultimate artisan and the ultimate problem solver. We need to remember that we’re under the authority and the power of that as we exist and as we create. 

Karen: Too few of us realize that and live that way. We don’t recognize being under the authority of Christ means that we can tap into that authority. We can call on God to enlist and release his spiritual warriors into our lives to help us battle those things that tend to obstruct any creativity, that tend to try to tear down not just our inner spirit but our relationships and our lives and keep us trapped in a sense of despair when we have at our fingertips, at our heart tips, we have access to the greatest creativity and the greatest Warrior and the greatest Fighter on our behalf in existence. 

Tina: That is so powerful, and we are connected with God as life, as the source and the origin of life, and that is part of that creative process. It’s the beginning of new living ideas, new living work, and new living words as well.

Erin: I was looking online about different things about creativity as I knew we were going to talk about this. I saw one quote that said, “Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.” 

When we connect that with what you were saying, Tina, about God and his workmanship in us and his good works that he prepared, he’s the ultimate in imagination, right?

Karen: Right. 

Erin: So he’s got these works for us that are going to be reality. That’s the thing. When we look at our lives and our stories and our books and we’re just like, “Oh, how can that ever be?” 

Well, because creativity and God, he’s turning these imaginative ideas into reality. He’s the one that’s working through us to do this and his ideas are always great.

If we would hang on to the truth that what he’s working in us as people is going to be reality, and it’s a reality that we can just barely grasp, but I want our listeners out there to hang on to the truth that because he’s God, he’s going to see it through and he’s going to do it.

Tina: We need to resist the temptation to believe that the things that are in front of us are greater than the God that is over us. And that’s part of connecting with the ultimate creative resource, the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. If we don’t connect with God and believe that he is able to fulfill what he created us for through us, then we’re going to be missing the ultimate source of all of our creativity.

Karen: It’s interesting, you remind me of comments that I’ve heard from people where they say, “Well, God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself.”

When I hear that, I really struggle, and I’ve said to the people who say it, “Then you’re putting yourself above God. You’re saying that your forgiveness needs more than God’s forgiveness. That God’s forgiveness isn’t enough.”

You can’t not forgive yourself if God has forgiven you. That makes no sense at all because the Creator of everything that exists has said to you, “I accept you and I forgive you.”

What stature, what place do we have to say, “Well, that’s nice, but I can’t forgive myself yet”? 

We have to see ourselves as we are in Christ not as we are as clay, as the brokenness. Like the scripture in Philippians 1:6, where it says, “He who began a good work in you…”

He began a good work, the work that he started in us, the creativity that he’s putting into us. It’s good from the get go, and “he will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

I long for that day. I don’t know about you guys. I’m ready. 

Erin: Tina, you said something, too, about how connecting with the Holy Spirit and entering into that process with the Holy Spirit is important. How do we do that?

Tina: We need to allow the Holy Spirit to be in conversation with us. That means that we are praying, and we are listening. We are going to need to intentionally make time to be with God in a place where we’re actually listening, not just speaking. 

Now there’s a process of brainstorming in God’s presence that can happen where we’re talking, but if you don’t give yourself margin to listen, you won’t be able to hear the Holy Spirit inspiring you and bringing new ideas.

And again, of course, we know as creatives, you can’t wait for inspiration to work. You’re going to have to work every day regardless. But if you bring God to work with you by inviting him to be part of your thought processes and bouncing those ideas off of the Holy Spirit and asking him to just guide and direct your plots, guide and direct all of the content. Or your nonfiction work, whatever it is that you’re working on. 

If God is breathing his words into it through you because you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to breathe into you, you’re listening. You’re being receptive to him by praying in a listening attitude toward God, a surrendered attitude toward God. Then those words will be so much more powerful.

Erin: I like that. It reminds me of another thing that I read that said creativity involves two processes, thinking then producing. I think that thinking part is the listening part, you know? Just listening to what God says and pondering it and meditating on it. Not just, you know, going, “Okay.” That’s a surface thing.

God tells us so many things. Jeremiah 33:3 God says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things that you do not know.”

Well then we better listen. Then if it really is a great and mighty thing, like he promises, we better be thinking about it, too. We better be taking time to meditate. I don’t want the word meditate to scare people. Consider it just to think on it, to chew on it in your brain. 

But I like what you said, Tina, where we have to put ourselves in that position where we have that time to be quiet and to listen and to hear. That’s got to be tough in this world today because there’s so much input coming in. 

Karen: Well and because we often let our brains settle into areas that maybe aren’t all that helpful. We let those inner voices get into our heart and our mind and our brains, and we struggle to really hear God’s voice. 

Some of that is spiritual. Some of it can be physiological. I know that I’ve been struggling the last several years with what feels like loss in capacity with the brain. I was telling Tina and Erin before the podcast, I’ve been having tests done with neuropsychologists. I just had an MRI done a couple days ago to test and see if there were any problems in the actual brain.

Not only did they find my brain, there is one in there, but after the MRI, I contacted my neurologist and he said, “Yeah, your brain is normal.” 

Which I communicated to everyone that I know, and to which they all replied, “Yeah, no. No. It’s never been normal.”

But it was encouraging to know that there aren’t indicators in my brain of things like poor brain health or degenerative diseases…

…Wow, I don’t know about you guys, but I think this has been a terrific conversation. And here’s the good news, there’s more to come. You’ll get the rest of this conversation in the next podcast, so stay tuned.

Need a creativity boost? Guest @tyeagerwrites shares all about this crucial component of all writers’ lives. #amwriting #christianwriter Share on X

Check out Tina Yeager’s free nutrition guide!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What does the word creativity mean to you?

THANK YOU!

Thanks to all our patrons on Patreon! You help make this podcast possible!

Thanks so much to our August sponsor of the month, Priscilla Sharrow! She’s working on her memoir called Bonked! Life, Love, and Laughter with Traumatic Brain Injury, which will release with Redemption Press. Learn more about Priscilla at her website priscillasharrow.com and follow her blog for the TBI/PTSD community.

Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast P.S. for their fabulous sound editing!

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