We all know someone who is incredibly creative, a Martha Stewart wannabe. The woman who can cook like a French chef, decorate like a top designer, throw a party like a rock star or scrapbook like nobody’s business. The woman we all want to be but think we’re not creative enough to emulate. As someone who is surrounded by creative people on a regular basis, I can tell you that creativity is inside all of us; it’s not as mysterious and difficult to tap as we think. In fact, I assert that all you need to do is discover your outlet and add a little juice.
What do I mean by juice? Well…hang on. First, we need to talk about your outlet. Actually, before that we really need to talk about creativity.
What is creativity, anyway? Wikipedia defines it as such:
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art, a novel, a joke, etc.) that has some kind of value.
Lots of wiggle room in that definition. Who defines “value” anyway?
Newsflash: YOU do.
So, if you’re the one defining value, then your definition of practicing creativity might include:
- Reading your kids a story (character voices optional)
- Cooking dinner or baking cookies
- Teaching a classroom full of kids
- Wrapping a gift or writing a report
- Getting a toddler to eat vegetables
- Decorating the tree or the table
- Shooting a video of your dog eating an ice cream cone for widespread (hopefully viral) distribution on YouTube…
At this time of year, many of us practice creativity with our budgets. We’ve all experienced “getting creative” with our cash flow in order to buy the maximum amount of gifts while avoiding massive debt. The result is irrelevant to this discussion — it’s the practice, the “creative process”.
Do we all create? Absolutely.
Our processes? All different.
Our results? All different.
None of that matters. The point is, we all make stuff and we all make stuff happen.
So what do we all have in common? Let me hear you say it: Creativity!
By practicing creativity, making stuff and making stuff happen, we learn new things, hone our skills, create things of value, reinforce positive energy, improve productivity and boost self-esteem. Each of us provides a terrific example of successful, productive creativity.
Now that we’ve discussed the what, how about the how? How do you find your own creative outlet?
For me, my creative outlets have been clear since I was a kid: Writing and choreographing. I write stuff and I make up dances (True Confession: I used to combine them by writing musicals for my dolls and/or friends to perform, complete with a soundtrack played on my portable record player…). For you, it might be making jewelry, organizing volunteers, keeping a garden, making your own greeting cards, compiling playlists, tinkering with old cars, clearing out clutter, playing all-star basketball, writing a blog… This list could stretch for miles.
The point is, creating = producing something new. New things bring us energy. When we’re the ones doing the creating, we feel strong and confident that we are able to make something out of nothing, that we are able to achieve something, that we have learned and applied new skills.
Here is my challenge: Find your outlet. Try something new. Let your heart guide you. Don’t judge yourself. DO NOT entertain negative Self-talk that says, “You can’t do THAT!” or “Why rush into things? It can wait…” Just start, just do it. What have you always wanted to learn, achieve or even just attempt?
Sit with that for a minute… Feel your Self accept the answers you come up with. When you’re ready, we can talk about the juice…
Creative juice = imagination or ideas.
(No worries, this is really the easy part, I promise!)
In order to get your creative juices flowing, all you have to do is look around. That’s right. Just pay attention to the world around you.
Look at paintings and sculptures in a gallery or online. Watch professional athletes improvise during a match. See a live performance at a theater. Read books and blogs. Watch commercials. Watch YouTube. Listen to kids talk about anything at all — kids have TONS of juice.
And THAT, my friends, is all it takes. Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1) Discover your outlet. 2) Get some juice. 3) Make stuff or make stuff happen. 4) Send me an email and tell me all about it!
(**Previously published in SoulWoman Sanctuary eMagazine, December 2012)