Creativity and Emotional Well Being
Creativity is kinda a new concept to me as in believing I was creative. Previously I would have said I wasn't creative. In fact, I have said that, repeatedly. My brother on the other hand, he's all kinds of creative. He paints, he draws, he designs and makes clothes so I used to say he got the 'creative genes'. Of course I was the smart one. Just kidding, Simon. But seriously, I didn't believe I was creative.... Until I read BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert. BIG MAGIC helped me to see that there are many, many different forms of creativity and that creativity is meant to be fun!
As I'm choosing to understand creativity is just creating/making something. Anything. It could be artistic like painting or sculpting or it could be devising a business plan or planning an event. It doesn't have to be a master piece, in fact it may be better if you don't take it too seriously at all as we tend to want things to be perfect or just right. The reality of this is we're afraid of someone judging our creation (what we perceive to be an extension of ourselves). When we take the seriousness out and stop judging ourselves, we allow for the fun to take over and that's where the real creative process kicks in.
Now I know like I know like I know drawing and painting and song writing are not my strong suits but that no longer means that I'm not creative. So, where does creativity show up in my life? One of my favorite ways is in baking. I love to bake. Making cakes, slices, biscuits, whatever sounds yummy. I get in the kitchen with my ipod and I sing and dance while mixing the ingredients. Could I call it a physical workout? Probably not, but the emotional well being benefits are huge because it's so much fun! My only problem is I then have treats around the house so if anyone wants to help me eat them, let me know!
I also found creativity in completing my website and I'm exploring it right now through writing this blog. I love to write and actually would love to get paid for it one day but that leads me to a great tip... Don't turn a creative love into a job. It should always be primarily for fun and if you can get paid for it, great. When I started thinking about where creativity shows up in my life I almost immediately went to 'ooohhhhhh could I get paid for that?' Now, that's not a bad thought except that my next thoughts were about only being a writer. Could I survive making money that way? How would I get people to read my work? Could I face the rejection? All of a sudden it went from being fun to hard work. So I reigned myself in a little bit (you'd be surprised how often I have to do that) with the thought of 'if I never get paid for this, would I still do it anyway?' Since the answer was 'yes' I decided just to write for fun and see where it took me, if anywhere. So here I am, back to blogging and hoping I add value to anyone reading.
Now, you might not want to write or bake or take a photography class. A friend of mine, Zoe Sofair, created a group on Girl Gone International for people to get together and color coloring books. Genius! You might want to find your creativity at work. My personal training workout plans are a way of being creative. You might be creative with problem solving or budgeting or team building or strategizing in the work place. Whatever type of action opens up your heart, that's where your creativity is. My last big tip for creativity is to follow it. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about creativity like a person who comes knocking on your door, ready to inspire and uplift you. In my opinion, the more open to creativity and having fun with it you are, the more you will see opening up in other areas of your life.
So where's your creativity? If you're not sure, just start exploring different activities. See what you like and see what you don't like. Don't worry about being good at it, just focus on the fun and watch your stress melt away (even if it's just for a little while).
Thank you to my business partners Suzie Lavington for giving me BIG MAGIC and to Djeneba Kante-Lafoy for encouraging me to read it.