For a long time now, I've considered writing some words on the regular. So far regularity is at 100%!
Why do I want to write some words on the regular? Well, because it's been a long while now that I've spent a good bulk of my energy on discovering, exploring and understanding this little thing called creativity for myself. It can be such a bitch! So why do we put up with it or try at all if it's so behaviorally difficult? That's what I want to talk about. As well as what it means to be a creative person, living a creative life in whatever ways big or small that looks like for each one of us. I believe we are all makers of some kind or another, and I recognize the long list of words, songs, movies, books, and so on by other folks that have kept me motivated and inspired to maintain the journey, steering me away from confusion, and towards clarity. It feels like the right time to join the circus!
In the words of the ever brilliant Brene Brown, "The only unique contribution we will make in this world will be born of creativity." Did your brow just furrow? Did your eyes get squinty? It's ok if they did, but this is why I'm writing. I want to talk about why I believe these words are absolutely true and why there may be many areas of resistance associated with them. I want to talk about not just making things, but the process that gets us there. In creativity it's not necessarily the finished product that brings us joy, but rather the path of allowing the seedling of an idea to grow. I want to talk about the things that hold us back from living out our creative ideas. Things like fear, resistance, limiting beliefs, "shoulds", societal standards, shame, grief, regret. All those heavy things that hold us back from our light. From being who we truly are. But we can't just talk about the heavy stuff without also sharing the practices and mindsets that can throw a curveball at those outdated patterns. There are tools, practices and routines that can help us to slowly uncover our creative potential. I want everyone to live with their high beams on! Why? Well...let's see if Brene can help me to explain:
"You are a born maker. And we need what you can bring to us because you're the only one that can bring it."
I'll be darned, such simple eloquence. We are all born makers and each one of us is called to make something completely unique from everything else that ever existed! Isn't that ridiculous? Think about your favorite all time song ever. Can you imagine letting go of all those moments of joy it gave you each time you listened to it? Patty Griffin is one of my all time favorite musicians ever and I have spent countless hours listening to her albums on repeat while working on paintings. The level of emotional depth she brings through her voice, guitar and lyrics led me towards some level of healing while I worked. I could not imagine my experience of making any other way. I smiled, I cried, I felt love and goosebumps of inspiration all while listening to her music. She allowed me to experience both joy and sadness as I created. I am endlessly grateful to this woman for pursuing her creativity and allowing it to live out loud, giving it energy and life to continue to inspire us.
Patty Griffin (follow this link for her tune "Heavenly Day") is just one example of millions of others who offer their creativity to the rest of us so that we might all find our way home. Creativity inspires, it sends hope, it encourages us to be vulnerable and courageous. It makes us FEEL things. It heals us.
The musician Michael Franti says of playing and creating music, "My favorite thing to do in the whole world is play music. Whether it's on stage, on a street corner or in my living room, it always brings my emotions to the surface and that shit is healing, liberating and fun."
It took me a long time to believe in the power of creativity. And I'm still learning to trust in it. I now know this to be true: when I paint, I feel more whole. It's my jam. And when I am more whole, the world is a tiny bit better. It starts within.
Thanks for reading this first rambling. I hope you'll tune in whenever you're wanting a little refreshment. I welcome questions, thoughts, comments, and gifts. Just kidding, no gifts necessary. Your presence is the biggest gift of them all ;)
Also, check out her instagram account @brenebrown for Harvey updates and calls for help in Texas.