Yesterday my sister (who’s totally amazing!) sent me this text:
How in the world do you remain so
creative in a world that kills creativity?
I admire that about you.
Her text encouraged me and made my morning. (She’s great at doing things like that.) Then, even though it was a rhetorical question, I thought about it quite a lot. How do I remain creative? I think a lot (most/all) of people are born creative. Just think about it: A child crawling across the floor, exploring new places, putting things in their mouths, pulling themselves up to new heights. Toddlers playing in the mud, building towers and then knocking them over to see what happens, eating strange new foods, feeling new textures, seeing new colors.
But then somewhere along the line, our creativity is pushed away. We’re told “no” and we’re told “don’t make a mess” we’re told “we’re too busy”. We’re told any number of things that lead us to believe that creativity isn’t worth-while. That it takes less energy to sit in front of the TV or computer screen and watch something or play a video game than it takes to go out and creative a world of our own. We’re spoon-fed an action packed, fast-paced diet until our own imaginations fail to live up to their full potential. We’re brainwashed that work is to be endured, the weekend to be lived for. But is that really the case?
My youngest brother recently told Mom he wanted to find me so we could work together. Why? Because we have a game we play together as we work. He’s Prince Eldron, I’m Mother. You wouldn’t believe all the crazy stuff that happens around our castle. Taking the trash out? The perfect way to smuggle a message past the bad guys. Feeding the rabbit? What better excuse to tap on the secret panel three times as you walk past so the good guys know that the south tower is being attacked. Setting the table? By placing one of the knight’s napkin just the right way, the good guys will know a spy is in our midst.
To me, life is bursting full of opportunities. Opportunities to make a difference, think an old thought in a new way, open a new world for someone else. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to reach my full potential. I want to be the person who God created me to be. I’ll never be satisfied with being average and ordinary, because God created me to be extraordinary. (He created you to be extraordinary, too!)
Life should be lived every day we’re alive, not just when we’re having ‘fun’, not just when we have a break from our every-day routine. Life is life! It’s a gift from God. Life can be hard, yes. Life can hurt, yes. But life can also be overflowing with blessings. Life can be beautiful. And I think we sometimes lose track of that when we get to the point where we only see the drab and dreary instead of digging deeper and coming up with the astonishing and delightful.
How do I stay creative? I get off the path and search for ways to be creative. I make being creative part of my life. I have fun with it. I create a creative environment to live in. And, I make it a point to be myself. A big reason people ‘lose’ their creative side is because they worry too much about what other people think about them. They try and please others and in the process they fall into the same mold that everyone else is running around in. It’s like an endless circle.
Just some fun ways I break out of the mold and create a creative environment for myself:
* I do random, spontaneous things (jumping into the pond, handing out my books to strangers, going for a run on gravel with no shoes)
* I read a lot
* I challenge myself (such as picking unusual ingredients from the kitchen and see how yummy of a meal I can come up with)
* I stop and notice details (and I think about how there are millions of details I can’t even see)
* I sleep on the floor (who wants to sleep on a bed like almost everyone else on the continent?)
* I swing on a swingset (It’s like flying)
* I act like a kid (imagine you’re smelling something, or seeing it, or experiencing it… all for the first time)
* I create story-worlds for myself when I’m working (like with my younger brother)
What about you? How do you view life? Are you creative?