The word pings into my mind in blue and gold. It sparkles and has curlicues. It’s rather alarming.
For a long time I gave creativity a very constrained meaning. ‘Creative’ people published novels, had exhibitions, renovated houses from top to bottom. If you’d asked, I’d have said I wasn’t creative at all. I was too busy marshalling my family’s everyday life.
Time to Live Creatively
It’s different, now that there’s time to reflect and explore. Creativity can become a way to live.
At times it can even give that start of blue, gold and glittery joy, but more often it’s a quiet glow of pleasure and satisfaction. What I know now, is that it’s a creative act to:
**pick a flower from the garden and stick it in a wine bottle
**take a few minutes to compose a funny, kind or interesting text
**arrange ordinary objects in a way that catches the eye
Little acts of creativity weave a slender thread of delight through life, and make it more colourful, fun and interesting.
Bigger acts – hell, they are creative too. Raising a child. Pursuing a career. These are missions which call on us to troubleshoot, respond, decide, control – on the hoof and often with no experience.
So Many Ways to be Creative
Now that everyday life is less frantic, there are endless opportunities to bring your ingenious mind into play. Over just the last few weeks, thanks to friends who are embracing their creativity, I’ve eaten a still life of a tomato/mozzarella/basil salad; perused the draft of a novel; enjoyed a short story; heard a poem; played a duet; sat in a garden with swathes of late flowering plants tumbling over each other in a riot of colour. There is nowhere in life where creativity can’t burst out.
You can even tackle the most mundane household tasks in creative fashion. Revered Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we become fully alive even to tasks such as cleaning the loo with the advice to: ‘invest of yourself into the cleaning and make it a joyful practice’. Try it! With this mindset there really is a pleasure to brushing and
swishing, and leaving the porcelain fragrant and glistening.
Once you’re alive to it, there are creativity chances everywhere, tiny ways to add beauty or a smile to everyday life.
Notice too how one small act of creativity leads to another, and how a string of mini creativities lead to something bigger.
Fear of Creativity
There’s a lot that can hold us back in the quest to be more creative. The anti-fun gremlins will be out in force.
What will people think? They won’t approve. I’ll look stupid. I won’t be able to do it. I never finish things. It’s a bad idea. I’m no good at….
If you’re scared of flexing your creativity muscles, remember that inventiveness can be minuscule and for your eyes only. It needn’t be enormous and out there in the world unless you want it to be. The choice is always yours.
So if you’re not yet ready to embark on the novel, just make a decision to relax, and write a couple of paragraphs every day, about anything.
Take the first small step. Take the next. That’s all there is to it. But take that first step.
There are so many things to do and explore for us who are privileged to have arrived at a time of more freedom.
Sit awhile now, and think about a creative desire or two that you have.
Today, mine are to:
find a pattern to knit a pair of alpaca fingerless mitts for winter flute-playing
start a Dropbox file ‘family memories’ to share with my children
choose new colours for my kitchen that remind me of Cornwall
What are yours? Now’s the time. Please leave a comment by clicking on Leave a Reply at the top of this page, and share your creative desires.