Connect with Creativity and Keep it Alive
A few months back, I remember seeing all the fun pictures people were posting from the World Domination Summit (a summit I hope to one day attend)...but, what caught my eye the most was seeing that my creative hero, Chase Jarvis, was there talking about creativity. Then I started to see some blog reviews on the summit posted and, yet, again, even more awesome reviews of Chase's creativity talk.
"Dang!!" is all I could think. Because, I really wanted to have been able to hear his talk.
Chase Jarvis is not only an amazing photographer, but he also started CreativeLIVE, which is something I'm SO SO fond of because it was an opening for me to begin learning photography on a more visual level.
When I reconnected with my LOVE for photography, I was reading, reading and reading as much I could on the topic. Well, enter CreativeLIVE and I was able to learn and watch the photographers (whom I love and adore) in action. It was mind blowing!!
A few weeks back, Chase posted a link to his talk on his Facebook page and holy moly did I click on that link in no time.
And, WOW!!!, what a talk. You've gotta watch it!!
While growing up, I NEVER thought I was creative. I grew up with my mother whom I've always considered an artist because she paints the most amazing things with the most amazing detail (you can see her work here).
After becoming a mom, I was blown away with how my inner creative thoughts changed (for the good!). Something I never, ever thought would happen.
I now think of myself as CREATIVE and I think everyone else in the world as CREATIVES, too!
It's taken me some time...well, pretty much all my life, to get to this thinking.
I also consider myself someone who is extremely passionate about bringing creativity back into adult lives AND keeping it alive in our adult selves AND our kids, too!!
Kids have no problem being their creative selves, right?? Just watch a 3 year old play. It's like creative fireworks lighting up the sky!!
When I was teaching elementary school, something just never clicked. I LOVED the kids, but all the pressures of testing and how test scores are the indicator of how well a student or teacher or principal and everyone in education does, just didn't fly with me.
It's the reason why I got out of the classroom. I miss my students and co-teachers dearly, but I don't miss the politics of it all.
Now that I've REconnected to my inner creative self, I now know EXACTLY why being in the education system didn't fly with me back then.
It's because CREATIVITY is squashed. There's NO balance. It's all about numbers and memorization these days. Yes, this is VERY important, but SO is CREATIVITY!!
The ARTS are the first to go in schools. And this makes me SO SO sad, mad and frustrated and I always wish I could do something about it.
While listening to Chase Jarvis' talk up above, I was literally shaking my head in agreement the entire time because everything he says is everything my inner self has thought since I've become a mother and reconnected to my inner creativity.
You see, creativity isn't just for certain people. Like, "Oh, she's creative, but I'm not!" Which, by the way, are the EXACT thoughts I had while growing up.
My inner creative self was squashed a long, long time ago, so when I saw my mother painting these amazing canvases, I'd just say to her, "Mom! You're work is AMAZING. I could NEVER do that!"
I looked at my mom as the artist...the creative...and when I looked at me, I said, "Nope! I could NEVER do anything creative like that."
But, guess what???
I SO can! And SO can YOU!!
It doesn't mean we paint like a professional artist, take pictures like a professional photographer or play an instrument like a professional musician.
We're all born as CREATIVES!
And this is something that Chase speaks of, too. I love when he says, "Martin Luther King, Jr had an immense amount of creativity in his approach to human rights issues. His vision was incredibly creative and the way he went about solving these problems was masterful and creative."
And, he says, "Creativity created the wheel." Engineers are CREATIVE!!
Or when he talks about creativity and science and how E=mc₂ is VERY creative!! Oh yeah!!
When Chase said, "Art is but a small part of creativity, it's a beautiful part, a part we're familiar with, but it's only a small part of creativity. It's a great way to go into creativity and a great way to accessing it, but creativity is not limited to artists," I was standing up applauding because, yes, this is EXACTLY what I've thought for a few years now and it's something that I feel everyone needs to hear.
We're ALL creative...we just have to start accessing it again. We all went to school. We all studied so we could graduate and start a career, but, during those years, our inner creative self became buried, deep, because when society looks at creativity, it isn't looked at as successful or the right direction for a long-term career to keep paying the bills.
(I'll never forget when I was talking to this woman, who's a Veterinarian, about another Vet in her office who was more into taking pictures. She didn't really like her job as a Vet and as soon as she got some time to herself, she'd sit on the computer working on her photos. I told her that she needed to quit and do photography that way someone who truly loves being a Vet can come in and replace her and she can go out and do what she truly loves. She responded with, "Yeah right! You can't make money being a photographer." Oh this upset me SO much because this IS how the majority of us think and this IS why our society IS the way it is and WHY most of us are walking around telling ourselves that we aren't creative and why we can't figure out our passions and why most of us are in careers that we hate.)
This is where things need to change.
We live in a very, very left-brain, dominated world. One that's filled with thinking of past and present thoughts. One that's filled with worry, stress and overwhelm. One that's filled with numbers, logic and a go-go-go mentality.
Again, yes, we need this, but we're not letting our creative, right brain voice come alive. Which, in the end, brings us more stress, overwhelm and more disconnection to our true selves and who we are and what we love.
Because of what I know now, it's my job to make sure my kids continue to nurture their creative selves as they grow up in this world.
By doing this, they'll stay connected to WHO they are...won't let others influence their direction in life because they'll keep following what their heart says...have the confidence to go after their dreams no matter what anyone outside of themselves says and they'll live a more balanced, happy and less stressed life.
Right now, they're not going to get this in the school system. And I don't EVER want their creative self to get squashed, like mine did.
It's my intention to make sure when my kids come home from school (as they get older)...after a day filled with learning, that I allow them time to just BE with themselves.
C actually did this the other day through painting. Right when we got home, she asked to paint. I don't research or prepare any special Art projects for her. I just put out a blank sheet of paper, give her some paints and a paintbrush and I just let her BE with color. I do the same with coloring, as well.
(Also, if I'm doing this with her at the same, I always paint and color like she is. It's easy for her to look at what I'm doing and then compare and then ask me to draw something for her, because she says "she can't do it." I'd rather just scribble and draw like she does that way she builds her confidence in this area. As she blossoms in her, I do the same as well. I'm basically copying exactly what she does, rather than it being reversed and her wanting to copy me.)
No rules. Just fun. As she gets older, I'm going to let her choose when she wants to do her homework, either right after school or later on in evening. Then, once she decides, I'll let her just BE in mindless-creative fun, so she can balance out her day...because it'll be filled with lots of test prep and left-brain thinking.
As she started to paint, she began to paint her hand. I never stop her, because she's completely in the moment, having fun. Again, no rules (except for once she's done...I tell her we need to wash her hands that way she doesn't go all over the house and put those lovely, painted hands all over our furniture...but the idea is to let her just BE with the color and the paints, right then, in that moment, at the table).
Oh, and I have to say, the more we adults are connected to our inner creative self, the less frustrated we become with the mess. ;)
Then, she painted her face and her hand. She LOVES getting her face painted, so I say, why not let her do it herself...as long as she's not putting in her eyes or her mouth or up her nose, that is. ;)
As you can see, she's SO in the moment. Completely focused on the fun activity at hand. Not thinking about the past or the future. No worries. No meltdowns. Just BEing in the present. That's the beauty of mindless-creativity...it connects you to your right brain...the side that is present and melts tension and worry away. :)
This activity didn't last too long, but she was calm and happy when she was done. And, she didn't put up a fight when she washed her hands. SCORE!!! (I did let her walk through the house to the mirror because she wanted to see her beautiful creation...how could I say no to that. :) )
So, here's the thing. I do mindless-creative activities, too! And, every time I do, here's what happens. As soon as I start doing something creative...my inner creative self begins to blossom more and more.
Sure, my inner self is thinking that what I'm doing sucks or looks like crap, oh and it loves to remind me that I'm NOT creative...but the more I do it, the more those thoughts settle and the more excited I feel for doing more creative things in my life.
You see, C is very balanced right now. All kids are. They can use their imagination without even thinking. It's amazing what they can come up with.
As for us adults...well, for me, anyway, it takes me awhile to come up with something imaginative or creative. But, the more connected I am to creativity, the easier it becomes.
For me, it's taking pictures and doodling and doodle painting. These three things are the number one ways I stay connected to my inner creativity. I LOVE them and they FEEL GOOD! The more I do them, the more confident I feel when it comes to being creative and the more I'm able to say, "Yes, I am creative!"
If you want you and your kids to live a more balanced and less stressed life (especially as your kids grow older and get more deep into test prep and the education system) just do more creative things, especially ones that are mindless and don't require rules and steps and lots materials.
They'll know what to do and soon you will, too!
C comes home and she SINGS her books instead of reads them. I don't pressure her to READ them to me all the time. I let her guide me when it comes to her creativity.
I don't push her to paint, either. When she asks to paint and it's not right when I'm cooking dinner, I'll pull it out for her.
The same thing happens for me too. If I feel like painting, I'll paint. If I feel like taking pictures, I snap away. Some days I get a creative itch to cook or bake. Listen to music and dance. It really can be anything that brings you into the present moment and has you feeling naturally energized and happy. And, trust me, this is different for everyone.
Creativity is a must and SO needed in our lives. And, honestly, it never went away. It's always been there, inside of you. It's just waiting for you to connect with it again.
And, when you connect with it, you're doing the most amazing thing you could ever do for your kids, too. You'll keep their creative self alive and they'll grow up living a more balanced and happy life, and, they'll be able to take more action on exactly how they wanna live their life all while continuing to BE who they are, which is SO important these days because life is SO bombarded with many outside, social media, sources that makes it easy for us to compare ourselves to and make us feel like we suck at times.
It's easy to lose ourselves. I know I did.
Creativity will bring you back to YOU and everything you love and it'll make you feel more at ease and give you the confidence to do whatever it is your inner heart desires.
So, are you with me? Wanna bring creativity back into your life? Wanna keep it alive in your child(ren's) life?
Don't know how?
All you have to do is sit down with your kids and doodle...that's it. Just color. Scribble. Pick your favorite colors!! Or, take a picture, sew, cook, bake, play an instrument. It may be strange at first, but doing this one little thing will start to open your inner creative doors again.
You may not like to do any of the things I listed, but, if it's been a long time since you've done anything creative and I'd have to pick one, I'd say coloring IS the easiest way to reconnect to your inner creative self.
The more you color, the easier it'll be for you do more creative things and have more creative thoughts. Soon, you'll discover other creative things that maybe you've always loved as a kid or something new that you never realized you'd like.
All it takes is just embracing creativity and knowing that yes, you are creative and that it's deep inside you just waiting for you to say hello to it.
It's just like going to the gym for the first time. Once you start, you start to feel better and you go more and more. It's the same thing with creativity.
Just do something creative and bring it back into your life! Your body, mind, soul and KIDS will thank you! :)
And, please check out Chase Jarvis' video...it's so freakin' AWESOME!! LOVE that guy!! :)
Life IS creatively awesome...SAVOR it up!