We all have ‘those’ friends.
You know who I am talking about.
Creativity seems to drip from their pores, their home is a decorator’s masterpiece, they paint, they write, they show up at poetry open mike night, they taught themselves guitar and now write music for a major label, they dress soho bohemian gypsy (and it works), they travel for Art Retreats and everything they touch looks like it came out of a Style – Pro DIY magazine.
Obviously ‘they’ were born with the ‘creativity’ gene.
But what about the rest of us?
I honestly believe we are all born with the CREATIVITY gene. I think part of being human dictates that we are creators.
After all, are we not created in the image of our Creator?
Even the first verb in the Bible is ‘created’. I don’t think that was a coincidence. There are a myriad of other verbs that could have been chosen for Genesis 1:1.
For instance: in the beginning:
- God worked really hard… or
- God talked a lot about…, or
- God had a meeting…., or
- God studied and went to school… or
- God waved a magic wand…
You get the idea.
In the beginning God CREATED the heavens and the earth. If we are made in the image of our Creator, We Are Creative.
SO if Creative is WHO WE ARE…why do so many of us shy away from calling upon our creativity?
I think Brene Brown nailed it for me. She speaks at length to this issue in her shame research: “85% of the men and women who I interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming, it changed how they thought of themselves for the rest of their lives. For fifty percent of that 85%, those shame wounds were around creativity…. Fifty percent of those people have art scars, creativity scars, and so we have to go back and unearth that.”
I can also add:
Things that other’s of influence have said to or about us. It could have been as simple as having an artist sibling, and the family saying that he or she is the creative one. Or as cruel as a classmate making fun of our art, singing, acting or writing ability – or really – any other risky attempts on our part.
We also make lousy agreements with ourself. Like: I don’t have time for creativity because I have too many real responsibilities, or creativity is for other people, or I tried that and didn’t like it or creativity is only for those who paint, write, sing, act etc….
Creativity requires that we make the Try.
Failure is inevitable if creativity is the goal. Yay Failure! That means we tried! I don’t think of failure as an end – only a step along the way to success.
Creativity is the act of tapping into our soul, trying something we have not before, and letting the mess happen! It is taking risks and quieting critical voices, including our own inner critic. Creativity requires that we let go of comparison.
Most of us need a safe place to practice our creativity. Once we become comfortable exploring our creative side and express it regularly, we can be more creative everywhere.
Creativity doesn’t just show up in the arts. All of industry needs creative ideas. Parenting requires creativity in wheel barrow loads every week. Do you cook, landscape, garden, speak, teach, get dressed everyday, work, learn? If you do any of these things YOU are tapping into your creativity gene.
Try this journaling activity:
1. Try this on. Say, out loud, “I am creative.” How did it feel?
2. How about sitting with the question in prayer or meditation, “Am I believing any lies about my creativity?” Write down what you hear.
3. Now ask in prayer or meditation, “What is the truth about my creativity?” Write down what you hear.
(Hint: If it is negative you can be pretty sure you are still tapping into lies. If it is positive, you can be pretty sure you are tapping into the truth)
One of my favorite books for delving into our Creative Nature is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I spent about 6 months going through the exercises in her book and I still do Morning Pages on a regular basis.
I also enjoy Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Tapping into ourselves as Creatives is usually a process. We have to sift through the junk that has been piled on, the poor self talk we may have adopted, our fear of trying and we must give up the practice of comparison.
It took me almost 50 years to call myself an artist and a writer, to truly embrace the creative process within me. It was worth every second of every year to be in this place of joyful freedom!
Do I still have doubts? Yes. But I don’t live there. Do I wish my art and writing were better? Heck yes AND that is why I do both everyday!
I encourage you to pick a creative endeavor – something outside of your daily work – to explore. Just try it, with no judgement, like a toddler learning to walk. Embrace being a novice, smile and applaud your tries. Start small or big, but start! You already know that secret thing that you would like to try – photography, ballroom dancing, art journaling, painting, steel sculpture, jewelry making, pottery, belly dancing, glass blowing, furniture making, photo editing, the list truly is endless!
Here is your permission slip – print it. Fill it out. Keep it where you can See it. Do it!
____________________________(your name) has my permission to
explore her/his most awesome creativity gene through the act
Much Love to You Dear One,