Last week after wrapping up a workshop on Discovering Passion + Purpose a woman came up to me and said, “You know what I wish? I wish I was creative because if I was there is so much I would do and could do.”
You can’t imagine how many times I’ve heard women lament this absence of creativity.
“Don’t think you’re creative?” I ask.
Without a beat she responds, “Nope….never been able to draw a thing.”
“Sit down my friend we need to talk.”
CREATIVITY HAS A BAD RAP
Creativity has a bad rap it so often gets boiled down to whether one feels they can draw or paint. It is so-o-o-o-o-o much more than that.
A STATE OF BEING
Creativity is state of being, where play, curiosity and exploration are at the forefront. It’s having playful thoughts and turning those new and imaginative ideas into reality. It’s feeling free, full of childlike wonder.
IT’S PART OF ALL OF US
Each and every one of us is innately creative. How we use it extends well beyond a canvas or the pages of a sketch book. When activated it can transform how we experience life and how deeply we engage.
CREATIVITY CAN GO INTO HIDING
I agree sometimes it can feel like we don’t have a creative bone in our body. That’s what happens after years of holding everything and everyone together with a mind completely focused on the tasks at hand. Creativity is like a muscle that has to be flexed or atrophy will set in. It also thrives with a mind that is un-focused, relaxed and allowed empty space.
LET GO OF PERFECTIONISM
Tapping into our innate creativity can be challenging especially in a society where perfectionism runs deep and the idea of failure is paralyzing. As a recovering perfectionist I totally get it. I also know there are fun ways to let go of limiting perfectionist beliefs and silence the annoying inner critic that babbles incessantly about what we can and cannot do.
JUMP START OFTEN NECESSARY
Our creative self sometimes needs a jump start. It needs to be exposed to a new way of being. It needs a permission slip to activate. So here you go my friend.
7 simple ways to get everything flowing and help create the rich vibrant life you dream of.
- Do random things – expose yourself to different situations and experiences. Get out of your routine for example change the route you always take to get to work, the grocery store or the gym. Try a new workout, read a different type of book, experiment with different foods, basically give all your ingrained habits a break with something new. A small change but it’s amazing how heightened all your senses will be and the A-HA’s you’ll have. Watch for them.
- Have fun – to be creative you have to be curious. Reinstate the curiosity of your kid self. Laugh. Did you know a 4 year old laughs 400X’s a day the average adult over 45 and over laughs 3X’s? Close that gap.
- Put on new lenses – sometimes you just need to look at things from a different angle. One way to do that is to say to yourself how would _______look at this? Inserting the names of friends, family, heroes, mentors, etc. Automatically a fresh perspective will pop up. Each time you do this it will be like looking through a new set of lenses.
- Create space – Creativity needs space. Clear out the clutter and create space around yourself. You’ll be able to breathe, relax and un-focus your mind.
- Don’t be afraid– there is no right or wrong in regards to creativity. Give yourself a big permission slip to make mistakes and messes. It opens and frees everything.
- Explore – go outside and expose yourself to new and different things. Visit museums, art galleries, go for long walks in different places. Ask yourself – What interests me? What fascinates me? What do I love to do? What inspires me? What makes me feel alive? Excited? Energized? Do that.
- Slow down, un-focus the mind, be present – Only when we slow down and un-focus the busy mind can we be present. When we are present we are able to see all the amazing ‘gifts’ (they don’t call it ‘present’ for nothing) that are there for us all the time. We can also hear the quiet little voice of our deepest self that lovingly guides us to become all we can be with gently prompting. Try… Believe…You are much more than you realize….
Our talk ended with this…
“Actually here’s a creative idea”, I said to my friend, “You could call these ideas A Creativity Game (that feels like fun) doing one little thing every day. I know if you play you’re going to feel creative in a very short time. After that sky’s the limit. What do you say?”
“Ok, I’m in, game on,” she said. As she walked away a smile flashed across her face.
If you have a friend who needs to reconnect with her creative self, please pass this along.
More on creativity from Red Shoe Zone