“The most creative act you will ever undertake, is the act of creating yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
The concept of creativity being limited to the arts is too narrow. We look at great works of art or listen to beautiful music and somehow imagine that it came naturally to the artist. Sometimes it does. In reality it may take hard work, rework, reflection, collaboration, persistence and courage.
Taking these traits out of the realm of art and applying them to our lives, we can begin to realize that we are all creative in some ways. Think about your hobbies. My Mother will tell you she does not have any hobbies and she is not creative. She loves to read. She loves to write. She will discuss books and ideas with you. It takes reflection and courage to distill ideas and put them down on paper or discuss them with others. That is creative.
I like to garden. Preparing the soil takes hard work. Harvesting, fertilizing, weeding and then replanting a new “crop” is work. Is gardening courageous? Maybe some people would think so, those who believe they kill everything they try to grow. But to me it is exciting and fulfilling to see the things I have planted grow and turn into some beautiful part of my landscape or into some delicious food I can eat.
Many years ago, I owned a KidzArt franchise. We taught elementary school children how to draw … using sharpies! There was no erasing a sharpie if they thought they made a mistake. The lesson was that there are no mistakes in art. Art is about creating. If they drew a line that they thought was a mistake, we would brainstorm with them about how they could turn it into a new part of their picture. For some of the children this was a difficult lesson. Even at their young age they had learned about perfection, something was either right or wrong. I felt that helping them overcome that belief and helping them to see possibilities was a true gift.
Creating ourselves is about possibilities also. We learn about new ways of being, new ways of eating, new ways of exercising, new ways of communicating. We learn, we grow, we create new thoughts and behaviors.
Creativity happens in the kitchen when you are preparing a meal. Creativity takes place when you are faced with a problem to solve, and you reflect on it to come up with a solution. Creative people write books (or blogs), they get out in nature and slow down and notice the colors and smells and sensations around them. Creative people tell stories, write songs, paint, decorate, garden, study, dance, act, build, explore.
Creative people create lives. You are creative. You are creating your life every day. It takes courage and work and persistence and reflection, and you have used all of those skills over the course of your life. Take some time to be grateful for the person you have created. We are all a work in progress.
Creative people create lives.