Creativity. It’s something so many of us think we simply do not have. That’s not true by the way – we all have it in us! It’s just the discovery of our creative passion, or reframing how we think creativity should be expressed, that might be holding us back. In speaking with a few people about this lately, I’m beginning to think the whole reframing thing might actually go a long way to helping the discovery bit.
One example that’s been on my mind was a friend of a friend saying she really wanted a creative outlet in her life. I had the feeling that creativity to her looked like a more artistic or crafty pursuit. In the next breath she told me she absolutely loves to cook – to create recipes, beautiful meals and snacks. Her eyes lit up and you could just tell this was her happy place, her passion! She’d already found her creative pursuit, but just didn’t consider it as such.
It seems to me that our automatic thought patterns often lead us to believe that creativity cannot be expressed in any other way besides “art”. But I really don’t think it matters if you’re cooking up a storm, coding the next big video game, writing that poem, or expressing yourself through any number of other mediums. One way or another you are letting that little creative light shine!
On a personal note, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t think that I was creative. I just found it difficult to find what I was passionate about. I had always been artistic and sketched from a young age, even dabbled in needlework like longstitch or cross-stitch. But for whatever reason these didn’t really fulfil me as creative outlets. I spent so long thinking that drawing was what should be my outlet, I didn’t realise it had begun to block any inspiration to create at all.
So I started following along a creative journal which encouraged trying out new mediums and to use little things in the day to inspire the creating. The prompts took away any pressure to think up something for myself at that time. And there was no emphasis on the end result – that wasn’t the point. It was the process and trying something new that was important.
And so I came upon weaving. The prompts in that journal led me to it. I’d opened a door and given myself permission to play and the path eventually led me right where I was supposed to go! I started out teaching myself to weave between the forks of branches. I loved the whole process, even when I got frustrated (and I get frustrated a lot!). And I enjoyed it so much that I started taking a beginners tapestry weaving course at my local university. That’s my first tapestry – a view across Yellowstone Lake. By class two I already knew beyond doubt that I’d finally found my right creative fit!
So if you’re still thinking you don’t have a creative bone in your body, or not sure where to start in finding a creative outlet – just play! Test new mediums, sign up to that workshop or class that’s caught your eye, go outside and write down what you see and feel, or try working through a creative journal like I did. But most importantly, let go of whatever preconceived notions you already had about what creativity should be or look like for you. Because they may only be serving in blocking your path to finding your perfect creative outlet.