I originally became acquainted with organizational transformation expert and whole brain strategist Leilani Henry by way of a book she wrote entitled “The Call of Antarctica: Exploring and Protecting Earth's Coldest Continent.” In it she documents the life journey of her father George W. Gibbs, Jr. who became the first Black person to set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
Leilani says that she had the good fortune of visiting the South Pole to retrace some of her father’s footsteps. She described it as a peak creative experience, one that infused her with the inspiration to complete the book after numerous fits and starts in the writing process.
In a recent conversation we had at the Sweetgreen’s located in Denver’s toney Cherry Creek North District, she described how being open to new experiences, people and places has always been a spark to greater creativity and original ideas for her. She is a big believer in novel experiences as accelerants of creative inspiration in our lives.
It goes without saying that the world's most creative people are often those who are open to change and challenging themselves. Leilani says that one way that she fosters this in her own life is through the power of reading. She remarks….
“One of the things I find appealing about books are the inspirational prompts that they can offer. This actually spurs ideas on a lot of things that I want to read more about. For me, books are the synchronistic interplay and creative fuel for whatever journey I’m on.”
Leilani says that one of her favorite spots whenever she is needing an infusion of creative starter fluid are bookstores. She adds:
“Because of my orientation as a holistic thinker, I’m always looking for connections. So when I immerse myself in a bookstore and see different titles, my mind begins making new connections on things that I may not typically think about.”
When asked what specific books come to mind when it comes to delivering a creative spark, she immediately mentioned Einstein’s Dreams a international bestselling novel by Alan Lightman that has been translated into thirty languages. Says Leilani:
“It’s a book that most people have never heard of. In my daily world I so appreciate the dream state, the non-mundane. So Einstein’s dreams planted tons of seeds around how to think about time and space; how to think about busting through reality as we presently know it.”
Leilani believes that part of what happens when people get really discouraged or depressed is that the present reality they are experiencing may be a bit suffocating.
“So to put this into context, there’s a larger reality, one that you can’t see. And then there’s time. We can bend time. We can travel through space and get what we need and come back. These kinds of things, that’s what the book spurred for me.”
Another book, she says, has always resonated with her is Dr. Margaret Wheatley’s “Leadership and the New Science.”
“It’s a book that has been around for awhile. When I was studying about learning organizations, I found this book to be invaluable in terms of connecting the leadership world with quantum physics. I never studied physics in high school or college and I wish I would have. But Wheatley makes the principles of quantum physics and leadership very accessible in such a holistic way.”
With respect to her current creative pursuits, she recounts..
“…… Very recently I attended two theater classes which I hadn’t done in a long time. I also went to a voice workshop because I’m back on the radio again. We were learning how to read in a conversational way so that it doesn't sound like reading. And then I went to an improv class. So that’s what’s fresh for me now — performance and my own use of my voice and body as an instrument. It’s been a good reminder of all the ways that we can show up with just that tool of ourselves.”
She also finds herself in awe of the work of her longtime partner Henry Bergeron whose creative expression is handcrafted collector kaleidoscopes. In his popular book “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon,” quantum physics and neuroscience wizard Joe Dispenza touts the use of kaleidoscopes to induce trances which make you more suggestible to information.
In an excerpt from his book, Dispenza notes:
“Suggestibility is your ability to accept, believe, and surrender to information without any analysis. If you do this properly, it is indeed possible to program your subconscious mind. So it makes sense that when you use the kaleidoscope to change your brain waves—with your eyes open instead of closed in a meditation—you can lower the volume of the analytical mind to open the door between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.”
Oh, and speaking of the ultimate in creative chops, please checkout Leilani’s clothing line Brain Jewells.
In the meantime, stay thirsty for another great book.
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This is great. Thanks!