I was listening to an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert recently who is the author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘Big Magic.’ She talks extensively about creativity and finding your passion. I found her words inspiring and it got me thinking about my own creativity and how this journey unfolded for me. In the past I never really considered myself a creative person. I didn’t draw or paint as a child, I never played an instrument or kept a journal. Actually, I never gave creativity much thought at all, but creativity can be sneaky and shows up in ways we don’t always recognize. Now that I’ve spent the past decade focusing on art and creativity in my life, I can look back and see the threads were there all along. I didn’t realize their significance until I started paying attention and living with more intent.
As a teenager I would move my bedroom furniture around all the time which led me to explore interior design in college which in turn opened my eyes to art. While my kids were growing up I took pride in making home cooked meals and got very good at adapting recipes. I compiled my favorite recipes and created a wonderful cookbook to give away as gifts. I was always getting people together to form communities. I started 2 cooking clubs (one in each neighborhood I lived in), a Bunco group, a Mom’s Club and playgroup and a Home Business Alliance with the Chamber of Commerce. I had a graphic design business, a newsletter design and publishing business and sold Creative Memories just to name a few. In addition, I collected heart-shaped rocks and took photographs of hearts I’d find in nature or around the city (and I still do). I also did a lot of arts and crafts with my kids, the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts. I scrapbooked, quilted, rubber stamped and started a blog (see photos below). All of these activities paved the way for the creative journey I’m on today.
When we tell ourselves we’re not creative, we risk shying away from things requiring creativity therefore reinforcing the idea that we’re not creative. So sometimes we’re stuck in the belief that either we ARE creative or we AREN’T. Everyone has the ability to be creative. Like anything else, creativity takes practice. The more we do it, the easier it gets. It feeds on itself allowing one idea or creation to inform the next and so on. There’s as quote by Pablo Picasso that says “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working.” This applies to creativity as well and reminds us that ideas and Ah-Ha moments arise from simply doing the work. Think about all the things you do that might not seem creative to you on the surface. Do you, garden, create scrumptious meals, plan fun school lessons, decorate your home, sew, have a business, refinish furniture, style and cut hair, sing, throw killer parties, pull off stylish outfits? These all require loads of creativity when you think about it. Try following creativity down the rabbit hole and see where it leads you. It’s taken me over half a century to see that creating is part of who I am. It gives my life purpose and meaning and I know I'll continue to create in some form forever. It’s clear to me now how the amalgamation of activities, interests and ‘making’ throughout my life has contributed to the creative person I am today. How does creativity show up for you? I’d love to hear your story.