Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let Creativity Bubble through Your Life!

So I've decided to participate in this cool series, where a group of different bloggers all investigate the meaning of a particular word.

This month, it's creativity - which everybody has.  Creativity is a wonderful, self-renewing spring that bubbles up inside of each and every one of us

But not everyone feels like a creative person.  Why?  I came up with two main reasons.

#1 - We put ourselves in boxes - and not in a fun, playful, Maru-like way.
Don't you just love Maru and her (his) scrunched up face?) 

People (falsely) assume that to be creative, one must be: 
  • A writer
  • An artist
  • A musician
  • A photographer
  • A chef
  • A dancer
If you're not one of the above, how can you be creative?  Possibly our idea of "creative people" might stretch to include the performing arts: actors, directors, choreographers, the lighting and sound effects techs, the make-up people and costumers.  The CGI labs.  We rarely consider the editors, producers, and certainly not the production accountants as "creative people."

But truly, any job, task, or project can be addressed creatively, and often must be.  Have you ever stretched a tight budget to feed your family?  Mixed and matched your wardrobe for work this week?  Made friends with your shy new neighbor?

Hate to break it to you, but you've been creative.  Even if you'll never hang a painting in the Metropolitan.

While many of us express our creativity in ways that make people laugh, cry, or ponder the imponderables, others may express it more subtly.  Or perhaps, we need to take baby steps in figuring out how to express it in a way that brings joy to us. 

There is no One Right Way to be creative.  Maybe you haven't found your
path(s) yet.  Maybe you've tried stand-up comedy, or flower arranging, or decorating a cake, and the results were...    Unfortunate.  So what?

Photo via CakeWrecks

This is where the second roadblock to creativity comes in.... "I like to do XYZ, but I'm not any good at it."

This is where I feel truly sorry for those with OCPD.  Too often they are so mentally handcuffed by the need to be perfect, to have whatever they do match some impossible standard, and they won't "put it out there" because they are afraid they will fail. 

They regard that bubbling spring inside them (or others) as something scary, something that needs to be blotted up with paper towels or capped off with cement.  One of my more stinging memories of ex b-f was one year I was happily decorating some blank cards with holiday stickers, glitter, and such, and he looked at me with such disdain.  "What are you, six years old?  I hope you know those look ridiculous and don't plan on sending those to any of my friends or family."

I understand, now, this was about him and not me.  But isn't it sad, for anyone to let their creativity get shut into a deep dungeon, not allowed to come out and play, because it might be messy?  It might be laughable, and not deliberately so.  It might be - horrors!  imperfect

The reality is, if you don't keep singing, or writing poetry, or decorating cakes, you won't ever get any better at it.  If you love it, if something about smearing frosting on a cake makes you feel joyful, just do it, even if you'll never give Martha Stewart panic attacks about the competition.

Mistakes are good for the soul, and they're how new discoveries and inventions are made.  99%+ of the time, a mistake is just a mistake, but sometimes a mistake leads to a fabulous new recipe, a cool skateboard trick, a brilliant photograph, an interesting idea.  Don't be afraid of mistakes.  Don't put yourself in a box - or allow others to put you there.

We are all creative people.  We just have to let that spring bubble up inside us and see where it wants to flow.

Have you ever suppressed a creative urge
because you were afraid of being laughed at?
Tell me about it in the Comments!