When people say “be true to yourself,” what they are really saying is take the time to learn who you are and what you are passionate about. A large part of that discovery may be your creative self. Without engaging this unique part of your being, you may be cheating yourself out of a fulfilling portion of your life. You don’t have to be an artist or musician to be creative. On the contrary, we all are creative or can be whether we have artistic talents or not. The key is in our passions. When you love to do something so much that you can’t stop thinking about it, that’s when the creativity flows freely.
Life Gets In the Way
Careers, past wounds, and even family can hinder the flow of your creative self if you don’t pay attention. Life is complicated, and you don’t always have the time or energy to think about how to use this side of yourself that some even feel is unnecessary. Well, guess what? You probably are using it regardless of your intentions. We are creative beings; we see, feel, think, hear, and we live out the very ideas that come from deep within our human souls. To what extent we engage in artistry is totally up to us. That is why life is worth living; we are the artists with extra large canvases at our fingertips. A part of freeing yourself up for more creativity is finding balance.
Use It or Lose It
You must use the side of your brain that controls creative output or you will lose the ability to recognize it when it wants to engage. Have you ever sprained your ankle and were afraid to put your full weight on it even though plenty of time had passed? Well, it’s natural to shy away from things that are painful or are not familiar to us. Just like that weak joint, you may have sustained an injury to your creative side. And lack of use has left it weak or even disabled completely. It’s then a matter of identifying the problem and working toward a solution- a form of therapy. This may not be as easy as just willing it to surface; you may have to dig into your past to uncover memories that could be painful.
Don’t Forget About You
Another culprit stealing your sense of creative self is something that we all do, especially if you are a mom. Adam wants to play baseball; Kaitlyn wants to be the next prima-ballerina; Lexie needs to take piano lessons; the list goes on and on. When you spend so much time making everyone else’s dreams come true, it’s easy to lose focus on your own. That is when it becomes necessary to redirect some of that energy to you. If you don’t, you will never reclaim the part of yourself that so desperately wants to be used and recognized.
One thing that I have always had a problem with is trying to do too much at once. I like to do so many different creative things that I get frustrated when I can’t do them all. What I learned was to focus on one or two talents that I am truly passionate about and stick with them. I pass on secondary creative ideas to someone else to pursue or I sit on them until my time frees up. I guess the point is to be selective and give yourself time to enjoy your chosen path of creativity.
The Artist’s Way
One of the best books I have read on the subject is Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity [10th Anniversary Edition] This book changed my life in the sense of knowing who I am and what my creative purpose is. It’s what I call a “project book.” From beginning to end, you are engaged in a plan to regain control of your creative self or find that person if she has never been there. Some of the exercises are difficult as they challenge you at your core – and at your weaknesses. Though I did not use it, the Artist’s Way Workbook is also available . No matter how creative you are or how stagnant that part of your life is, the book’s message of hope, faith, and alliance with your true self gives anyone the opportunity to find new ways to grow.