Stress is  fear; peace is power.

The guest at our Creative Intelligence Salon this week is Don Goewey whose new book Mystic Cool , is winning rave reviews in the USA — the  first printing has already sold out on preorders. 

Mystic Cool tells us that we can, and must, transcend personal stress in order to regain the higher brain function that is ours by birthright.

Once stress is eliminated, Don Goewey insists, the mind automatically lights up with creative intelligence.  

“It joins the dots by itself,” he says. “There is no greater gain in brain function than the attitudinal shift from fear to peace. This is not an opinion; it is neuroscience.

“Biologically, stress is psychological fear; peace is neurological power.”

Combining spirituality and psychology with emerging scientific developments in neuroplasticity, Mystic Cool defines and encourages an attitude that builds the brain structure for happiness and success, transforming effort into the joy of excelling.

Who Is Don Goewey?

Goewey’s career in human potential spans three decades and includes collaborations with Carl Rogers, founder of humanistic psychology, and Gerald Jampolsky, MD, founder of attitudinal healing.  He has worked with people coping with some of the most stressful situations on Earth — AIDS wards, to refugee camps during the Bosnian War, to San Quentin Prison to organizations besieged by stress, which he coaches through the company he co-founded, ProAttitude

“I wrote Mystic Cool to bring neuroscience, psychology and a practical spirituality together in a proven approach to realizing the ordinary genius our brain is intended to generate. The chief factor blocking our brilliance is stress. Stress is toxic to the brain.  

“We have the ability to transcend stress entirely. It involves making a fundamental shift in attitude that grounds our life in peace instead of the fear that triggers stress reactions. 

“The result is the joy of creative action in which we not only excel, but excel in ways that make work and life intrinsically rewarding.” 

Who wouldn’t want a brain like that?  According to Don, it’s achievable and in a relatively short period of time.     

10 Things Don Goewey knows about Creative Intelligence

1. Creativity is letting go of fear: Stress is fear.  Biologically, some form of fear is present when we are stressed, and it blocks creativity. Stress hormones impede the neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex that generates everything we think of as creativity.  


2. Creativity is dynamically peaceful. Studies have confirmed that a dynamic state of peace is highly “neuroplastic.”  This means it optimizes and expands higher order brain function and neural networks — what makes us smarter, wiser, kinder, more attentive, and more artful in whatever we do. 

3. Creativity is not about perfection: The term “perfectionist” defines “Type-A” behavior that is quite stressful and can eventually cause a heart attack.  Perfection is a neurosis that actually breaks creative flow.  Think of creativity as a process in which perfection emerges, on its own, from all the imperfections.  

4. Creativity is not necessarily about achieving something: Creativity is independent of what we may achieve through it. It is a flow of experience. It is finding the zone.  It is reaching the eye of the storm. It is you at the top of your game, which leads to…

5. Creativity is a reward unto itself.  Creative flow is an intrinsically rewarding experience, transforming our effort into a labor of love and our labor into the joy of excelling. At the end of working in this way, we inevitably think: This is the way life should be. It applies to everything we do, from washing the dishes to writing a book; from selling a widget to running a company.

6. Creativity is the freedom to learn:  We grow by stretching ourselves through creative action.  Creativity is taking risks.  It is thinking out of the box.  It is pushing the limits.  In this way our creative drive is the source of real learning.

7. Creativity is a confluence of seven separate intelligences.  We possess as many as seven separate intelligences. These seven forms of intelligence can be expressed as archetypes, each one representing aspects of human ability — the poet, the scientist, the composer, the sculptor, the athlete, the teacher, and the mystic.

Creative intelligence borrows from each or all of these approaches to create the proper lens through which to project your experience and understanding within a particular moment.  As your creative intelligence deepens and expands, you embody the authentic form of genius that only you possess.

8. We are born to create. It astounds scientist the way Evolution hurried the process of building the neocortex.  The neocortex generates everything we think of as higher intelligence. Evolution worked fast to imbed in our skull a neural power that reflected elements of its own creative power. 

9. Creativity grows through appreciation. The more we appreciate this creative gift we have been given, the more it grows.  We can appreciate it simply by using our creativity to the best of our ability to contribute what we are here to contribute

10. Creativity is a form of channeling Spirit:  There is no real creativity without the Muse or the Angels or whatever we end up calling this mystical force.  So much of the creative process depends on getting our ego out of the way, joining with “spirit” and trusting the process that unfolds.   

Inspiring Links of the Day: Don Goewey’s blog is here.  His Twitter is here and/or Become A Facebook Fan here here.  Mystic Cool is available on or direct from Don’s publisher, Atria Books.