Can you imagine a world full of people exploring their creativity from a point of wellbeing? Now that is a world changing for the better.
I was talking with a friend who, for the first time in a long time, feels like she has an opportunity to have a little time for herself and desperately wants to use it for something creative. She has an idea in mind for a children’s book that she’d like to get down on paper, and would like to do some painting.
Both writing and painting are certain talents of hers, and it seems like a travesty that anyone who can do those things so well should be in a position where they feel like they have no time to pursue them. Certainly, I get caught in that trap myself and it seems like it is the norm for many people; life is too full of things we need to do.
While I can point to a time I used to work all day and then come home to a baby and a toddler, in truth there are still times now that I catch myself prioritizing doing over being and creating. This life seems endlessly full of things that will constantly distract us from the main event, our purpose, our reason for being.
That is why we are here, I believe, in this life. Not to do stuff that holds no meaning, and to do more, and still more. It’s about exploring and contributing our ideas, that is what adds to this world. Imagine if Anna Pavlova had never danced, if Mozart had never composed music if Picasso had never painted if Edison had never invented anything if Paul McCartney and John Lennon had never written together if Alan Titchmarsh had never gardened? The list is endless.
I was talking today with someone about trying out new things and they said: “what if I’m no good?” That is the travesty I’m talking about; we all have something we are good at, something we are born to.
My friend was wondering whether her idea for her children’s book had ever been done. According to Google, there are nearly one hundred and thirty million books that have ever been published. And yet, what if that had deterred one of my favorites? My life is so much richer for having read Crescendoby Amy Weiss, and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I’m willing to bet their life is much richer too, and I don’t just mean financially.
I write because I find it such an easy and satisfying way to focus on whatever life is trying to teach me at the moment. I share it in case it helps others. Before I ever published anything I was nervous in case people thought I was nuts. In reality, some new people read my stuff all the time, while others unsubscribe. It doesn’t matter; we all find our inspiration in different places at different times.
I find creativity comes from a place of being, so taking the time to get myself into good space is important. There are many ways to do that, universally I’d recommend getting out in nature and meditating (which I define as a process of becoming aware of my thoughts and letting them go). When I prioritize my wellbeing I can feel myself becoming more relaxed, more open, and that is when ideas start to come to me more easily.
I’ve occasionally heard people say they don’t have a creative bone in their body. However, creativity is just about ideas and using our imagination to create things – be it a paper plane or an origami butterfly, an idea for fixing a home appliance that hasn’t been working lately, or a new invention that can help us honor our environment.
My friend is a gifted writer and painter, but these are just two of a whole host of activities that we would call creative. There are so many forms of creativity when I did a quick Google search of creative activities, Pinterest lists “the best 3240 activities of 2019” and I’ll bet that is just a drop in the ocean.
I personally love exploring the nature of life and why we exist and learning things that I can apply to my own life that make it a more interesting, worthwhile and joyous journey. The cycle of discovery, applying and sharing feels infinite to me, I can’t imagine ever getting to the end of everything; the more I understand, the more I can see so much more I don’t yet understand.
But I also enjoy other activities like setting up our home and garden to reflect who I am and who we are as a family and how we use the space; I enjoy choosing clothes and gifts for my kids and creating family days and vacations we can all enjoy together.
Knowing what you like doing creatively is important, it’s an expression of who we are and – I believe – why we came into the world. It’s what makes life richer, gives us more inspiration, more options, more questions, more ideas. If someone isn’t interested in your ideas, find someone who is, your ideas are worth more than any nerves in pursuing them.
When my daughter turned six I noticed ideas were what attracted her to other kids. She really valued the kids with great imaginations who would take the lead in the play. But she also got incredibly frustrated (and still does) if she is unable to share and explore her ideas.
Given that most of us are socialized in a way that teaches us to fit in, it explains why so many people seem nervous about sharing their creative endeavors. Being different isn’t necessarily what was valued. Being creative has been pitched for a long time as something of a sideline, yet it is those who have creatively expressed themselves and shared it with the world that defines the ages humans have lived.
As Einstein said, creativity is contagious. Can you imagine a world full of people exploring their creativity from a point of wellbeing? Now that is a world changing for the better. Create because you love it, share because it could bring joy to others, or help them in ways you don’t realize; live the meaningful life you were born to.