I’m seeing a theme amongst friends, clients, and those in my 9-week Feng Shui Journey these past few weeks and months. It has to do with stifled creative impulses.
It shows up in the following ways:
*A client has hired me to place artwork in her new apartment. Her ideas are awesome, but she keeps saying that she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and that she isn’t “good at this.”
*A client has some interesting pieces in her home — a handmade pillow, an exquisite fireplace mantel arrangement — but, because she’s hired some one to do the arranging and sewing, she doesn’t take credit for her design and doesn’t understand that inspiration can come just as easily from a Pinterest post as it does from a hummingbird flying by.
*A friend admits she’s afraid of never meeting her creative potential — something she knows that brews inside her — yet there seems to be every reason under the sun to not dive into those creative endeavors she dreams of.
*A friend, one who has a great idea a minute, shuts down these ideas before he even begins, drowning in self-doubt before the ideas get a chance to marinate and develop and possibly lead to that satisfaction he’s dying for.
So the question is: WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?
We hear about the importance of “the arts” in school and in communities, but honestly, I’m beginning to wonder if Creativity is the key to so much more! What if illness, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse were all linked to the stifling of creative impulses? What if we are all SO CREATIVE, yet we drone on in our daily-ness, simply because we were never encouraged in our creativity…and then we think: this is just the way it is?
I’ve got news for you. We are all creative. In fact, the very act of being alive is creative. We are, on a moment to moment basic, creating our LIVES. Just because you don’t want to paint or write a novel, doesn’t mean that you don’t have impulses that want to be carried out!
So go with the impulses. Stay OPEN. Inspiration is available to you, but you have to be receptive to it. Don’t worry if you don’t carry out every idea that comes…but do follow the bread crumbs on the ones that make you the most curious, the most excited.
Think of a kid. Do they get the play-doh out and then, after 5 minutes, hate what they made? NO. They just play and when they are done, move on to the next thing. Do they run out onto the playground and stop short and turn around and say “never mind?” NO. They hop on a swing, climb a ladder, make a new friend. Does a child stop drawing just because that one picture didn’t turn out like they wanted it to? NO. They may be disappointed for a moment, but they have forgotten about it within hours and sure enough, the crayons are back out.
Most importantly, does a child think of themselves as non-creative, as someone who can’t make something, draw something, write something, play dress-up, take a fun photo, think of something new and innovative, contribute in a unique way? NO! This is picked up somewhere messed up along the way. And it’s a lie.
Here’s the deal though, and I’m finding there is something that is greatly misunderstood by people who haven’t let themselves truly explore their creative sides.
A large part of creating — as an adult — is discipline.
I know, I know, I used to despise that word. But that word is misunderstood. At its origin, the word means, “to teach.” It’s not about hammering yourself into a room every day to force some good art. But it is about sitting in the chair and taking the time to write. It is about focusing your attention positively so that you don’t give up. It is about not judging yourself when you do set out to try something new or something takes longer than you want it to. It is about getting the paints out, signing up for the class, and taking the leap.
It’s about channeling our energies positively, is all. And letting yourself BE in the process.
The world is really is our playground.