What Does Creativity Mean to You & How to Celebrate It

So often creativity seems like a loaded word. I say the word out loud and the room goes quiet. People’s mind leap to the insistence “I’m not creative” or drifts as mine does to the eighth grade art teacher who criticized my drawing so that I never again put charcoal pencil to paper.

We were all born with the gift of being creative in some form. Unfortunately most of us had this tender enthusiastic aspect of ourselves discouraged by people who had never been encouraged in their own creative expression and didn’t understand its importance or how to support it.

Fortunately I had a father who valued literature, music and the arts so when I expressed an interest in those areas he’d bring home a book from the library for me, which combined with the implicit understanding that creativity was important, was all the encouragement I needed to make a rich creative journey through all the years of my life.

It’s never too late to learn to encourage our creative self and embrace more fully our creative impulse. It links us to our heart and soul with a sense of joyfulness whether we are singing in the shower, cooking a fine meal for dinner guests, planting flowers to color our garden or writing the first draft of a poem. A quiet exhilaration is at play.

In my work as a creativity coach including group classes for people who didn’t think they were creative, I found that the spark was lying just below the surface waiting to be ignited by just a little encouragement. The trick is not to judge what wants to emerge. For one woman it was the urge to tile her bathroom in a creative way. The group cheered her on and she found a great sense of satisfaction from playing with the process. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others allowing your own unique relationship to being creative emerge.

So try this: Consider all the ways you have already been creative in your life. Using colored pens or pencils, pictures from magazines, colorful post it notes and photos make a collage that maps and celebrates your creative journey. This includes fresh ideas you have contributed at work, creative solutions to parenting or caring for your elders, decorating your home or doodling while on the telephone or dancing around the living room with the music cranked up.

Deciding what creativity really means to us and honoring the ways we already are can open doorways to inspiration and encouragement to your creative self that has been long in hiding. Why not set her free and see what fun it can be.

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