Creativity fascinates me.
Where does it come from? How do we access it? Do some people have more natural creativity than others? Can creativity be taught or learned or a skill we can hone over time?
I’ve always considered myself a creative person. While I also think of myself as being artistic as well, I don’t think creativity and artistry are the same thing. I think they are frequently confused and misidentified as the same.
Creativity implies a willingness to CREATE. Creativity is a desire to generate, to build, to bring something into existence. This could be a piece of art or an idea.
I believe everyone is able to be creative, but it’s not always encouraged or it’s taught “out” of us at an early age.
I’ve been a little bit obsessed with creativity lately because I’ve been actively trying to reclaim my own creativity. As a yoga teacher, I create yoga class plans on a regular basis and I’ve been blogging more, too. I’ve also been testing new recipes, both as food for meals and combining herbs in teas, as well as medicinal oils. But I want more.
Creative people always want more.
So I’ve been reading everything I can about creativity. I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I tore my way through and loved. It inspired me to be more open to my intuition and to listen deeply for the currents of creativity as they race around me and through me.
I also recently listened to a TED Radio Hour about creativity. There were several different speakers (one of them, Elizabeth Gilbert herself) and each spoke about creativity in slightly different ways.
One of the speakers told an amazing story about how creativity is linked to risk. The speaker told this story about a little girl who was creating art in her class at school. The teacher was giving very specific instructions, but the little girl was doing her own thing. She was in the ZONE. The teacher tried to get her attention to bring her back on task, but the little girl was still in the ZONE. She ignored the instructions. She kept doing what she wanted to do. Finally, the teacher came over and asked her what she was drawing. The little girl responded, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher said, “You can’t be drawing God. No one knows what God looks like.”
The little girl responded enthusiastically, “Now they will!”
I adore this story and the little girl in it.
Kids are willing to take risks when they create. They are willing to go out on a limb. They are willing to fall on their faces. They are willing to make mistakes.
We train ourselves out of this willingness to take risks as we get older.
No one likes to fail. No one likes to make mistakes. And if we do make mistakes or “fail” or fall, we especially don’t like to do it publically. Failure has a fair amount of stigma attached to it. So does making a mistake. We tend to loudly criticize and condemn those who do. Recovering from that is a long, difficult road. So we learn not only to avoid being visible if we do have to take that journey, but we also learn to do everything we can to avoid even having to walk down that road of mistake making and potential failure.
Here’s the thing:
We need to make mistakes in order to learn from them.
We need to take risks in order to evolve.
We need to fail if we’re going to eventually succeed.
Creating is risk taking. It’s that simple.
It might not be perfect. It might not be what you initially set out to create. You might be the only person who even likes what you create. You might have to try and try and try and try and try again in the creative process. Creativity isn’t a one-time journey; creativity is an ongoing connection to your willingness to bring something to life that lives inside of you.
Sort of like childbirth…
I see this on the yoga mat all the time. In order to get lift-off in that arm balance, you also have to know that not only is falling possible, but you also have to know that you CAN fall. And that falling is ok.
Yes, falling can be painful. Especially falling onto your face out of crow pose. You can tweak your wrist, bang your knee, bruise your arms… but you might also just bruise your pride. You’ll never know, though, until you go out on that limb and CREATE flight.
It is for this reason that I have gone on a creating frenzy. I’ve had so many ideas pent up inside of me that it would be a crime to not at least try to explore them.
This is where my “Conscious Healthy Mama” program came from. Conscious Healthy Mama was born from my own experience as an overwhelmed, stressed out, very busy mom. I felt like I should have had good foundation put in place through years of yoga and mindfulness, plus over 2 decades of healthy eating, but the truth was, I had no idea how to create a more easeful and enjoyable life as a mom. I needed tools, structure, guidance, and support to make that life happen. So after studying and trying and making mistakes and trying again and learning some more, I created the program I wish I’d had when Milly was first born and one that continues to support me as a evolve as a mom.
This vision and deep need to create has also led to the one-day getaway for moms I’m leading this summer. With 2 yoga classes, 1 group coaching circle, delicious food, and the supportive connection with other moms, this is the retreat I have dreamed of offering for years now. I know it will be the first of many to come.
My final exciting new creation is my Spring Into Self-Care project. This is an e-course to help you renew your commitment to self-care. Self-care is any action, which is nourishing, supportive, or loving that you take towards yourself. Self-care replenishes you. Something EVERYONE needs on a regular basis, myself included. What better time than Spring when the world itself is re-emerging, to devote more time and care to yourself?
Oh yeah…and I am currently creating life with my own body. Does that count towards creativity and risk?
In the meantime, to get your own creative juices flowing, take a few minutes to consider what it is you LIKE to create. Whether it’s lists or ideas or musical mixes or workout routines or music, jot down something you feel inclined to create but don’t always make time for.
Then make time for it.
The truth is that if we never take the leap, we never have the opportunity to grow. If we never make mistakes, how can we learn from them? So let’s all leap together. Take risk. Go out on a limb. Contemplate creativity. Get a little messy. Make some magic.
I promise, even if you fall or fail or stumble or make a mess or make a mistake, what you gain as you get back up, learn, and create again, will be worth it.