Of the various strategies, Creative Thinking (or adaptation) is key for me. It helps me do the "experience" part of program to fit my own tastes, my own nutrition needs. I see Creative Thinking as each of us shares our experience, demonstrating our own individual Alchemy at work.
Even just to peruse our tools, shows me that AA's founders were an inspired source of creativity. And that creativity in adaptation continues on in each 12-Step program. For example, in EA's It Work if you Work It there are countless more Slogans than just our basic 12. Those Slogans, collected and adapted by our members, demonstrate that our program grows in its applicability, through Creativity.
The work of applying Program, is such a different process than intellectually understanding its principles. The teachings themselves can seem very straightforward, almost cookbook. But, creative thinking (or problem solving) may be needed for me to figure out how my particular oven works, before I can even consider following the recipe.
Creative thinking allows me to do the unexpected with the material, when my life presents a different problem to me than any example in the literature. Creative thinking allows us to change the wording, or even to discover outside resources that give me a new way apply a Slogan, or a Just for Today, or even simply help me to understand what a given Step is there to teach me. I may need to adapt a program teaching for an unexpected surgery, or a death in my family. At first, I might be slightly clueless about such unique circumstances and think "this simple program does not apply here!" Today, I just see these "different" problems prevent me from getting too cosy in my box, knowing all the answers.
Step One comes up at these times, so I can have a fresh take on my own life, that requires a creative adaptation of past learning.
Creativity is both a miracle and very mundane. As an example, I think of Thomas Edison. I see his persistence, at trying again and again to come up with an improvement to a 50-year old idea (the lightbulb), as creativity. I see him trying to do the same thing, doing what someone else might say was insanity, "expecting different results." This is the perseverance necessary to match creative drive. At last, he was able to tweak his approach in order to get it "just right." That to me is creativity meshing with focused thinking, to create something new in our world. We do that in Program too.
We are each creative, and I love seeing how differently we interpret and use the tools of the Program to our own unique situations.
I guess Creative Thinking is particularly important to me. Because I value it so much, I am very sensitive to environments where it is discouraged. I am attune to the words people use that block creativity, for themselves and others.
It makes me wonder: what particular tools encourage Creativity for you?