Exploring creativity on the path to authenticity
In my last newsletter, we explored the connection between joy, kindness, courage and calmness on the path to authenticity. Today is an invitation for you to access the energy of these four emotions as you begin to carve out time and space for creativity in your life. Let’s explore creativity together.
In recent years, I have discovered that creativity is not what you think. It’s how you express your feelings. As a child, I told myself that “I am not creative”. My parents discouraged me from taking art and music classes because, in their opinion, “art didn’t amount to anything” like a real job or a proper income. Their opinion sadly became my frame of reference and I grew up believing that creativity didn’t have any value. I also believed that to be creative, one must receive artistic training or have a natural gift, neither of which was true for me.
Then, when I became a mother, I learned the truth about creativity. Every day, as my children played, I witnessed them being creative. At the ages of two and four years old, they had no training in anything (except sleep!) yet they could draw lines and shapes. They could splatter paint on paper. They could make music with spoons and build houses out of sticks and leaves. They could show me how they were feeling through the messy and beautiful things that they were making.
So, I decided to look at creativity through a different lens – the lens of my inner child. I began expressing my emotions through writing, crafting and making food. I posted a note in my kitchen to affirm the idea that: I am creative. The note read: Give yourself time and grace to be creative. Ten years (and many poems and pasta dishes) later, I still have the post-it note to remind me each day to keep creating and keep being kind to myself during the process. I encourage you to write a note of affirmation to yourself. Feel free to use these questions as prompts to help you get started.
What does creativity mean to me?
For me, creativity is the freedom to play with ideas and express feelings without expectation or judgment. I was five years old the last time I was free to explore the world from a place of wonder and possibility without expectation or judgment. Since then, the focus has been on social etiquette and making things presentable and perfect in accordance with a plan. But, life doesn’t follow a plan and it is rarely perfect. So, I practice creativity to allow for a healthy flow of ideas and expression. Creativity doesn’t follow a plan either. It keeps us in the present and reveals our truth.
How do I practice creativity?
I practice creativity by welcoming my inner child. For a few minutes a day, I play with new ideas. I set aside what I know and welcome what I don’t know. I take time to strengthen my creative muscles by exercising my creative freedom. As I create, I am free to make mistakes and be messy with no expectation or judgment by me or anyone else.
I’d like to offer a suggestion for your creative practice. Identify a place that is your safe place. It may be a room where you read or meditate. Or perhaps, it’s where you go when you need a good cry. For children, this place is often their playroom where they enjoy sensory play and the freedom to explore their feelings. Find your playroom – indoors or outdoors – and spend time there exploring your creativity.
There are many great books that encourage different forms of creativity. Here are some of my favourites:
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
- Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake
These books encourage me to try new things and trust the process. When I struggle with creative “blocks”, I take it as a sign that my thoughts are getting in the way of my honest expression and I gently make space. One step at a time. This is the journey to personal growth and well-being.
Thank you for being here. Next time, we’ll explore emotional agility on the path to authenticity.
Let’s journey together.
Our community is rooted in love and we love sharing stories and ideas. Please feel free to share book recommendations and thoughts with others in this community so that we can help each other to keep moving forward on our path to authenticity. Connect with us on Instagram #yourheartcompass | @meganlammam