“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once (she) grows up.” - Pablo Picasso.
Remember when you were a little girl, and imaginative creativity was a constant friend? She was always by your side; she was vibrant, fantastical, fun, and daring. When together, time was non-existent, and the world was your oyster. Together you could do anything, be anyone, and create without boundaries.
Maybe you colored and drew, made up stories for whoever would listen, played house, or played dress-up. Perhaps you made animals out of play dough, created epic adventures, got busy with your Easy Bake Oven, or dressed up Barbie and Ken in all sorts of outfits for their varying glamorous experiences.
Sadly, as we grow out of childhood, creative big picture thinking is seemingly coaxed out of us, whether by life circumstances or by those who influenced us. We often received the direct or indirect message that we needed to get serious and focus on the pragmatic.
In his book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie talks about going into elementary schools to teach kids how to sculpt. At the beginning of each course, he’d always start out with a question. He’d ask, “Will all the artists in the room please raise your hands?”
What he found was consistent. The first-grade kids were all in, their little hands enthusiastically shooting up in the air. However, with each consecutive grade up, fewer children raised their hands. MacKenzie says, “By the time I reached sixth grade, no more than one or two (raised their hands) and then only ever-so-slightly – guardedly – their eyes glancing from side to side uneasily, betraying a fear of being identified by the group as a ‘closet artist.’”
Every Woman Is Creative – Even if You're Think Not
Dreams of writing, painting, drawing, singing, acting, or playing music were often encouraged when we were little girls, sure. But as we got closer to graduating from high school, that encouragement seemed to wane. If not, it came with the caveat that we should “be sure to have a backup .”A degree in something practical. A husband and family. Maybe both…
Then one day, we found ourselves in adulthood making statements like, “I don’t have a drop of creative blood in my body.” or “I’m not an artist - I can barely even draw a stick figure!”
I want you to consider something. Have you ever:
- Selected the perfect piece of art, or nicknack for a room in your home
- Arranged a bouquet of flowers – or eucalyptus branches
- Doodled on the side of your notes during a meeting
- Put together a fabulous outfit
- Made a fantastic meal and paired it with just the right bottle of wine
- Wrote a lovely message for someone’s birthday
- Scoured an antique shop – or Anthropologie – and found the perfect table lamp for your living room
- Decorated a birthday cake
- Put your hair into a chic updo – or did your daughter’s hair with ribbons and barrettes
- Refinished an old piece of furniture
- Made up a story, a song, or an analogy for a child
- Decorated the house – or yourself – for Halloween
- Put berries, granola, chocolate chips, or chia seeds in your pancakes
In all of these actions and more, you were being creative. Creativity lies within each one of us — we were born as creative people, whether we’ve cultivated that into adulthood or not.
The right brain hemisphere, where creative thinking takes place, is a no-judgment zone – it’s free and open, and time disappears. But, unfortunately, it’s a space that, as adults, many have forgotten mainly – or become afraid – to enjoy.
For many women, the type of absorbed creative focus available to a little girl armed with a box of craft materials is rare.
Since, as women, we immerse ourselves in much less captivating, big-picture, creative thinking, getting back to that space isn't always easy.
And you can do it.
Reclaiming Your Creativity
I’ve been thinking a lot about how wonderful it would be if that creative spark that was always so present in childhood was brought back into every aspect of adult life.
I’ve been diving into the research and learning that reclaiming our creativity is a significant factor in discovering our passion, finding out what makes us feel alive, what lights us up and delights us, and what helps us show up most authentically.
Creative thought helps us develop and perhaps make connections that weren't previously apparent to us. It helps us break open puzzles, and create not just works of art but “arts of work.” Arts of work can be personal or professional-related ideas that solve strategic problems – but also surprise and delight.
Every woman's mind works differently, so it may take some experimenting to figure out the best way for you to relax and be open to your creative energy. For example, maybe journaling is the best way for you to stretch your mental muscles, or perhaps listening to music, meditating, or reading something inspiring gets your creative juices flowing.
Creativity not only connects us to our more profound nature but it moves us into a more intimate union with the world around us.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic, says, “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner – continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you – is a fine art, in and of itself.”
The best part about being creative is that there are no rules whatsoever. None.
Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance
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