My third topic is C R E A T I V I T Y . Creativity seems to be a concept that is more often than not overlooked. 'Oh I'm not a creative person. And I never will be', they say. And I'm going to deconstruct that myth and show you that 'Yes, you can be creative. We all are!'
Ironically, this month has been an entire new creative journey for myself. I didn't time this at all with my happiness series, it just happened. Coincidence I'd say but I know better by now. I find it magical, the more you listen to your creative self, the more you love what you're doing and the more things in your life seem to come together the way they should. But I'll leave this for another post. Let's explore the concept of creativity. What does creativity mean to you? Write it down. It is important. Now, do you see yourself as a creative person? Why, and why not? What do you think you should be doing in order to be creative?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, creativity is 'the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.'
Creativity is when you realise your ideas, when ideas start becoming real. They can't do this by themselves, you are the driver. You create something out of your imagination. Creativity is often thought to be very exclusive and to belong to people who are called 'artists' but we tend to ignore that we are all artists, whether you're a postman, a technician, an accountant, a teacher. Your job doesn't define your creativity. Every single person, the most boring teacher that you ever had, can be creative. Let your imagination flow freely and start taking ideas that come up in your mind and do something with them instead just letting them dwell there. You don't have to paint and sell your painting. Being creative is something that you do strictly for yourself and not for other people. If this results in paintings that you sell, then that's great but that's not the aim of creativity. Creativity doesn't have a purpose other than making you express and free yourself. It's nice when you can share your creativity with others but it's not a requisite.
Why do many of us think and say that we are not creative and can never be?
It's more often than not fear. Fear of doing something that could be seen as silly, not worthy to be spending our time on. Just something that 'real artists' do. When in reality, we are all creators. We are creators of our life, in a way we create nearly everything that happens in our life so we might as well be conscious creators and create what we really deep down want to. So if you start painting again, don't dismiss your first ever painting as not good enough, don't immediately think 'Oh, I'm just not a good painter, I have no talent.' This is wrong. Talent is one thing, will, self-discipline and confidence are the real thing, they are your survival kit right now and always. Your first, second, and maybe even twentieth painting might be ugly as hell in your opinion but who cares? You do something that you enjoy. Remember that practice is important, nobody paints their first painting and earn millions. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Now let's entangle the thought that you need to paint or practise another traditional form of art in order to be creative. Ask yourself what do you like doing? Ask yourself, what did you enjoy doing as a child that you haven't done in ages? Is it dancing, singing, ice-skating, baking, cooking, playing with clay, collecting leaves and drying them? Do these things. Start dedicating time to those activities that are hidden deep inside your unconscious. Dig them out, even if it's muddy and you have to dig with both hands. Take all your favourite things out and place them in front of you. Do it. It will feel rewarding.
As adults we think that it's too childish to collect stones, play in the rain, or pursue other similar activities that we deem as useless. This could be because you have a strict concept about what it means to be an adult, or somebody has planted this thought into your head, maybe your parents, your work colleagues or friends. Stop listening to your pre-made concepts of what anything means and start fresh. Make your own definitions if you need them but it's more fun to stop having rigid definitions anyway. Creativity in any form is self-expression that should be seen as highly important to our existence. We all want to express ourselves in whatever form seems the most exciting for us. And usually those things that we enjoyed most as children as the things that we truly and honestly enjoy even as adults. Try it out, every week from now on, set yourself a little time aside for your creative self, your self that needs to come out but is repressed by your rational self that only wants to work and do and be rational.
It seems that more often than not we take life too serious and overlook that life isn't that serious after all and that we can spare some time for our creative pursuits. We need to stop, breathe, and contemplate about who we are and what we want to do. Why shall we rush through life when the only thing that awaits us at the end is death? Stop now and breathe. Switch off your phone or laptop, take a sheet of paper and write down what you most want to do right now. Then do it, or plan some time to do it.
I will post about creativity on my instagram during the coming weeks in order to check in with you and listen to your journeys. We can talk about creativity, exchange ideas and help release our inner creative self.
What you can do now, to sum this up, is take a step back, slow down and think deeply about the following questions:
1. What does creativity mean to me?
2. Am I creative?
3. What can I do in order to be more creative?
4. What would I love to do that I perceive as 'creative'?
5. Which activities did I enjoy as a child?
6. Which 5 people in my friend and family circle do I see as creative? What do I like about them the most?
7. Which 5 people that I follow on social media, know from films, music, books, and so on do I see as creative? What do I like about them the most?
Do point 4. and more importantly point 5. activities, do them step by step, one of them each week. This can be for only an hour or ideally longer. See how you feel afterwards. Maybe point 5. activities are more the ones that you really want to be doing than point 4. activities which could be things that you think you should be doing. Think about this. All characteristics from point 6. and 7. might be some that you want to incorporate into your life. Do it and see how you feel. This is probably what you need right now.
And remember, you do this for yourself and not for other people. Don't let yourself be discouraged by anybody. Maybe it's the best to keep this new habit to yourself first and not tell everybody about it. It's your little secret. If this helps, then it's worth it.
So what we learnt today is that really, creativity means something different for every individual person. But what does it mean to you is important!
I wish you beautiful souls the greatest fun in retrieving your inner creative self.