Each of us is born creative, imagination & curiosity part of our most natural youthful rhythms. As we age our creative life force starts to elude us, after-effects of our attempts to fit in, follow rules, ruffle fewer feathers as we make our way through the world. You hear so many people say it: I’m not the creative one.
I’m of the mind that creativity is not a binary characteristic but simply about perspective: an energy, attitude and atmosphere we choose to impart upon our lives. An inspired lens that begins to colour how one dresses, decorates, and expresses - through to how they solve a problem.
Cannabis and creativity go hand-in-hand, the plant stirring up a side of ourselves many had forgotten the feel of: wonder. Delight. Possibility. It’s like Mother Nature saying: enjoy, play, revel in it. Celebrate life a little, while I work my healing ways.
Most of us have experienced this call back to our wilder, more playful selves. We’re not the first of course, to discover the explorative, creative nature of weed. The plant is known to have enhanced the artistic output of legends like Shakespeare, Picasso, Hunter S. Thompson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and (everyone’s favourite) Bob Marley.
Because alongside the bevy of benefits to health & wellness, cannabis is also considered to deliver us into a state where we’re more receptive to our natural creative flexibility. Our minds begin to make more non-linear, divergent connections - approaching problems in new ways. We experience an increased sense of focus - a more potent ability to hone in on the task at-hand. And we’re delivered into a more empathetic state - allowing us to better introspect, assess emotions and access important memories.
With so much talk around respecting the plant, let’s not forget about respecting the experience. When it comes to our weed perhaps the most important choice we make of all is how we use the high.
There are of course some exceptions to the rule, mostly to do with our own consumption choices. With great power comes great responsibility.
Dosage amount (unsurprisingly) plays a considerable factor. While consumption can stimulate divergent thinking - often used as a measure of creativity, allowing individuals to create new ideas and come up with creative solutions to problems - over-consumption inhibits it.
But with so much talk around respecting the plant, let’s not forget about respecting the experience. When it comes to our weed, perhaps the most important choice we make of all is how we use the high.
Because while cannabis is considered a kind of hack for creativity - a powerful way to un-stick what’s stuck - it’s just as easy to fall into the digital trap of electronics, black mirrors wasting the crest of the wave. Resisting the turning on the TV or unlocking the phone can lead us to wonderful places. Let’s all try it more often.
I’m in the business of creativity: a strategist, idea-maker and creative-thinker helping build brands inside & outside of the cannabis space. As the world continues to change at rapid pace and businesses begin to implement more AI and corporate outsourced solutions,) it’s becoming increasingly clear that creativity is a key differentiator - if not an essential skill.
Shawn Gold is one of the world’s true big ideas guys, spending his career building major startups that have impacted business, culture and trends. Each of his roles innovated new ways of doing business & re-imagined consumer behaviour.
He’s held Chief Marketing roles at MySpace & Wattpad, helped to commercialize innovative offerings like Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty and Fabletics with Kate Hudson, and then found himself in the world of weed (fulfilling a teenage dream) creatively advising brands like MedMen and Charlotte’s Web, then landing a CMO role at Lowell Herb Co. It was just as California was experiencing widespread legalization, and Lowell Herb was pushing the boundaries of what the cannabis experience embodied.
In his early days of corporate America Shawn had trouble fitting in, his unorthodox and meandering problem-solving process confusing his higher-ups. “I’ve always been a little bit of a weirdo—very ADD, couldn’t pay attention in school—and after college, I couldn’t quite fit in at larger established companies,” he says, referring to his early years. “Later on, I really found my niche working for and helping build new businesses, and imagining things.”
Only the insane take themselves seriously.
“When you try to do things differently, it creates tension and pushback. Coming up with new ideas, you have to be willing to be wrong. You also have to be willing to be right and have everyone think you’re wrong, and that can be painful. Even if you are right in the end, the middle can be very hard.”
It was creativity that was always Shawn’s true muse, inspiring him to go on to create Pilgrim Soul Company—a brand on a mission to help people optimize their creativity through exclusive cannabis blends, expert content, creative curriculum, and a community of people helping each other. One of the most impactful things they feel they’ve done so far is launching the Pilgrim Soul Creative Thinking Journal.
“Cannabis is a hack. It does too many things with the brain. It enhances firing in the frontal lobe, which is great for idea production, but it also represses the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is more of the judgment area of the brain that’s repressed when you daydream.”
Using what cannabis can already do to encourage creative thinking, the Creative Thinking journal presents solvable problems to produce the kind of experience that gets you in touch with your innate creativity.
“Our mission is to help people elevate creative thinking to give people a competitive edge in life and work. We try to help people look at problems in entirely new ways, get out of their comfort zones, challenge default thinking, and tap into what makes them uniquely creative. It is more about unlocking their innate creativity than it is teaching people to be creative. We are all born creative,” Gold says.
“A lot of people think of creativity as this no-holds-barred, fully-free thing, but I think creativity is really something that transpires much more readily with restrictions.” The journal offers such prompts of inspiration, like little flexes on the brain.
Ultimately it’s about taking more risks, and an openness to receive new perspectives without negative, self-critical thinking. To remain in the flow of possibility - releasing judgment from ourselves.
Remember: if you are going to experiment with your thoughts and ideas or with cannabis, it is essential to laugh at yourself, be vulnerable and be comfortable with your quirks and foibles. Laughter is a necessary part of this; it serves as a pressure valve for stress and anxiety.
We hope you enjoy these inspiring excerpts from Pilgrim Soul’s Creative Thinking Journal, inspired to inspire. Please remember to laugh, play and let that shit go.