Creativity is deep within us all. It is an inherent element of humanity. A cornerstone to the evolution of the human race. Look to prehistoric times – we see cave drawings, the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel. Creativity and curiosity have existed as long as life itself. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a unique trait of the select few ‘chosen ones’ who are adored by millions for their talents. It is certainly within us all. However, most of us tend to lose touch with the enigmatic magic we all possess.
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
The Birth of Your Creativity
As children, we all fearlessly slayed dragons from castles made of cardboard boxes in our living rooms. We poured tea, only visible in our imaginations, to our obliging teddy bears. We drew, with an array of colours, scenes that only existed in our minds – or not perhaps at all. We simply created for the sake of creating.
Creativity flowed through our young minds with ease, forging creations that we joyfully brought to life by whatever means was closest. We did not fixate on perfection. Instead, we created and moved on to the next burst of inspiration without being bound to that initial thought.
So what has changed?
Short answer – life. We develop a fear of the opinions of others. We become awash with self-doubt. We begin saying things like, “I haven’t a creative bone in my body” – and start believing it. We compare ourselves to the skills of others and immediately write it off as something you could never achieve.
This outlook serves no-one. No-one becomes an artist overnight, no-one writes a bestseller first time around, no-one obtains divine inspiration that takes their hands and creates a masterpiece. These things take time, grit and persistence resulting in a greater artistic ability or perhaps a better means of expression.
But that isn’t my point. I am not demanding we all quit our day jobs to pursue a creative life. But I do urge you to begin quietly creating for no-one but yourself. To return to your roots and explore the creativity you hold deep within your being.
The Creative Flowing River
Imagine a flowing river. When this river first started, it shook the river bed, stirring pebbles and stones and whirling them among it’s gushing stream. After time the riverbed becomes settled, still and stagnant. When I hear ‘creative flow’ I think of this analogy. We need to revive those idle pebbles of creativity and rise them to the surface of our everyday, mixing them harmoniously with our more necessary tasks.
To keep this dynamic movement of creativity and life in motion we must fuel it, as often as possible, through little and large creative endeavours. We must keep shaking things up ever so slightly to prevent our creativity drifting back down to the riverbed of our existence.
If this thought makes you anxious, let me first tell you what I consider ‘creative’. When we try a new recipe – we are creating. When we doodle on a post-it note while we are on a call – we are creating. When we grow herbs in our gardens – we are creating. When we move furniture to make a more welcoming space – we are creating. When we write a heartfelt message on a card to a person dear to you – we are creating. Even when we take a photo on our phones – we are creating. Every single day, we are subconsciously creating something that did not exist before the touch of your hand. Perhaps it is only now that you realise – you too are a creative soul.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
— Maya Angelou
With this realisation, I hope it encourages and empowers you to free yourself from the prejudice you have developed towards your own creative capabilities. That it gives authority in your voice to quieten your inner critic when you pick up a paintbrush or put pen to paper. Just remember, we are all creative individuals with different creative outputs – none lesser than the next. This is a means of releasing what you already hold within you from the undercurrent. To allow inspiration to reach you more willingly. You are not looking for approval or praise. This is for you, and you alone, to begin living an explorative, creative life – in your own wonderful way.
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