Creativity is a gift, and everyone has this gift. How we manifest that gift is unique. For some, creativity is expressed in writing, drawing, or hands on work such as with glass or clay. For others, creativity is expressed by making unique pieces of jewelry or sculpture. For others, creativity is expressed in cooking, cleaning or organizing. Yes, creativity is expressed in these ways too. Decoration is my downfall, yet, when you walk into my neighbor's home, you see her creativity expressed by the framed photos on the walls, the flowers in the vases, and the colors in her kitchen. My neighborhood is full of creative people. My next door neighbor has a unique gift for gardening, and I do love her garden! She has made our neighborhood much more beautiful with her creativity!
It doesn't matter how our gifts of creativity are expressed, the part of our brains which blesses us with the creative flow still needs to be nurtured and worked. Creativity is a process. Like a flowing stream, with all the swirls and pools, creativity needs to developed, because if the flow of water (creativity) dries up, a stagnant pool develops.
So, how do we do this, knowing, that at times our Muse is on vacation in Hawaii, and we are not. The first thing we need to do is to accept that, at times, the creative flow will be slow or non existent. This just happens. Acceptance works wonders. The next thing we need to do is to begin to lovingly nurture the bits and pieces of creativity we know is still there. You can't force the Muse's return, but you can gently urge her back.
How do we peel away the layers to our creative brains and open the door for creativity to flow again. Luckily, there are a lot of things we can do.
Stop struggling and take a break. I have been off my torch for almost 2 months now. I am finally beginning to feel the urge to light that baby up and make beads again. It's been a long time since I have felt this way
Try something new! I have been working with polymer clay, fibers, and wire during this self imposed hiatus. I have also been working at organizing my home. That has been drawing out my creative muse. I think she wants to get back to glass! She doesn't like organizing
I have been writing, too, much more than I have in a long time. Writing exercises my brain, and helps to draw out my thoughts, sometimes, thoughts I had hidden away
Look at life through a different lens. Now instead of resistance to many things, I say, "Why not?" Acceptance of things we can't change is amazing.
Exercises that stimulate the brain also help. One of my favorite exercises during this hiatus has become listing. I am not one to make an art journal of lists, although, I have seen some beautiful art journals of lists. I simply hand write or use my phone or Ipad to make lists. They are simple, minimalist, and, yet, they are effective
One of my favorite writers of the past, Erma Bombeck once wrote, "I list, therefore, I am." I think she's right. In many ways, we are our lists: our lives, our likes, our dislikes, our hopes, our thoughts, our to do's, our yesterdays, our tomorrows. And, listing can stimulate the brain to open up, to allow the creative juices to warm up and flow.
So, I have an assignment for you. I want you to begin to list, and to list often. You can make a list journal or, like me, use the plain and simple for listing. The goal is to list and list often. You don't have to spend a lot time listing, or you can. It's up to you. All I ask is that you take the time to enjoy what you list. An easy way to get started is to try this assignment. Set the timer for five to ten minutes. In that time, free yourself up for this gentle exercise of listing. If the phone rings, don't answer it. Let your writing flow during that time. If it doesn't, don't sweat it. Enjoy the time you have to list.
Are you ready? Here's your first assignment. In these next few minutes, make a list of all the words you can think of beginning with the letter A. That's it. Then, for the next 24 days go through the alphabet making lists, and you are on your way! You will find that the creative juices are flowing, maybe in ways you didn't expect. The journey begins with one step. This is your first step.
The letter A.
Let me know how this works for you. I'd love to hear.