Creativity Can Be Hard

All of us have the need to be creative – that little urge inside us to make something new, design a fresh idea, imagine a novel concept. We have to do it. We have to develop our senses, our clever ideas.

It’s born in all of us – creativity. It’s in there waiting to get out and express itself. It may choose cooking, painting, building, sewing, designing, teaching or a thousand other variations of expression. You will know when you fall in love with whatever you fall in love with.

That love will direct your life, because a creative life is a very wide-fulfilled life. Maybe you have to experiment with numerous activities and areas to find your creative outlet. And that’s okay. There are no rules about this. Actually, that’s the fun part!

I myself love to sew and quilt. I am happiest in my sewing room and so I’m there almost everyday, doing what I love the most – being creative with fabric and thread. The fulfillment I feel for the finished products can sometimes be overwhelming. And the designing and quilting is such a joyous journey that I often lose touch with space and time. I am literally transported to another world while I’m in my creative zone.

I have a friend who played soccer when she was young. She enjoyed it tremendously and played very well at a tournament level. As she grew older, regular life got in the way and she stopped playing. During middle age, she realized her life wasn’t the best it could be and she wanted to improve it. She started to think back to when she was the happiest and she realized it was during those years of soccer playing.

She decided to add soccer back into life by joining an older adult team. She doesn’t play that well anymore but enjoys it even more now. She hasn’t changed anything else about her life but has become so much more joyful by opening up her creative self again.

The inspired part of living is essential to our balanced existence, yet is is sometimes so difficult to express. Why is that? What are we hiding? What are we running from? What are we afraid of?

Oh boy, there’s the word – afraid! We have fear! We have fear of so many things, of everything, really. All those thing that stand in the way of our expressing ourselves in our unique distinct ways.

We know them. The list is enormous. We can think of a million reasons not to try, not to step out, not to attempt. It’s easy to let fear stop us in our tracks.

And you know what?! There’s no way to stop fear! It will always be there! Yup!

Sorry, but that’s the truth. The good news is, you can do anything even while you are afraid. That’s called being brave, my sweeties.

That’s the hard part of being creative. You have a great idea. You’re excited and fear always comes in and says it won’t work for one reason or another. But now you know that you don’t have to listen to fear. You step out in faith, no matter how scared you are. You make the commitment. You try.

And, you ask, what if the idea doesn’t work? Well, what if it doesn’t? What have you learned? First of all, you learned one way that didn’t work. Second, you learned you can survive and try again. You are strong and brave, remember?

But what if it does work? Oh boy, now we’re talking! Nothing in the world feels better, believe me. Carry on. Keep going. Do the work.

The creative life is certainly not boring. It is exciting, productive, bright, active, fulfilling and scary. And it makes the next step in fear that much easier. You did it once, you can do it again. Every advance makes you stronger and stronger. And your baby steps get bigger and bigger.

How exciting a life is that! The creative life is never satisfied with past performance. It is always seeking new horizons to conquer, new mountains to climb, new fears to face.

Creativity has no end. It is always searching, always on the lookout for the exciting, different way to be expressed.

Creativity is never content. It is never complacent. Its needs are always unmet.

A creative life requires constant observance of the world outside and within. It can be a bit tiring but is never dull. It is a very enriched rewarding life, filled with color, drama, challenges, satisfaction, growth and much success.

Try it. I think you’ll like it.

Word Of The Day – Relax

Even though I’m retired (or is it because I’m retired?), I’m a very busy person. I have weekly and sometimes twice weekly quilt group meetings, Bell Choir practice every Tuesday, Choir practice every Wednesday, church every Sunday, various doctor and dentist appointments, lunch with friends, sewing almost every day . . . . . whew!!!

I’m exhausted just thinking about it! And then you throw in an occasional night out for dinner and a movie, a weekend camping and a day spent with grandchildren and I’m near a total comatose state!

I live in a constant state of fatigue and a feeling of always being behind. Couldn’t I just once wake up feeling refreshed and rested, instead of feeling like I just that minute laid my head on the pillow?

So much to do, so little time. Busy, busy, busy. It’s the same for all of us, I’m sure.

We live by our own self-imposed schedules, thinking that staying on task 24/7 is a good thing. We think a calendar with every day completely filled in is the ultimate goal. We think time spent not producing is time wasted.

I have one word in response to all this . . . . . . .RELAX!!!!!!!!

Sounds simple but harder to do. Being a “doer” is a full time job, for sure. But are not meant to be human doers. We are meant to be human beings. All we are asked to do is . . . . . BE.

“Being” does not mean we have to produce anything, finish anything, start anything or plan anything. It is a calm state of relating to the world in a quiet way. It is taking time to see and hear and feel your surroundings. It is allowing yourself and the word to touch gently and lovingly.

Learning to be a human “being” takes time and effort. It takes practice and repitition. It may take, dare I say It, scheduling on the calendar.

Being able to relax periodically keeps us balanced. The goal of life is not the number of things we can get done in a day or the number of things we can produce or the number of meetings we can attend or the number of miles we can put on the car. The goal is a fine equilibrium, a true balance of activity and calm.

We all need those important pauses between the busyness. We need the calm moments to balance the hectic ones. We need to stop and experience what we are missing in our hurriedness. We need to relax so that we have the energy to do.

Now to take my own good advice . . . . . stop . . . . . relax . . . . . rest . . . . . . slowdown . . . . . . absorb my surroundings . . . . . . til next time, my sweeties