You have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, so the chances of you whipping out some paint, brushes and an easel to work on your next masterpiece are pretty slim-to-none, right? In fact, you’re almost sure you’d gone missing on the day that particular skill set was handed out…
A hidden Michelangelo
But what if you’re wrong? What if there is a goldmine of untapped creative talent lurking beneath the surface just waiting to break free and be celebrated? What if the only thing holding you back is your preconceived notion of what it means to be a creative person? Or perhaps you’ve always dreamt of pursuing a secret passion, but fear you’re not skilled or worthy enough to make it happen? Maybe you don’t have the time, maybe you don’t know where to start, or maybe it’s all of the above.
Here’s the wonderful thing about creativity: there is no absolute definition of what it really means, nor is it the special domain of a select few – the boundaries are limitless! It’s easy to convince ourselves that unless we’re Michelangelo painting up a storm in the Sistine Chapel, we might as well pack up and go home. But that really would be a big mistake. There is no right or wrong way to create; it’s all about expressing our unique selves, coming up with inventive new ways to do old things, following our heart’s desires and sometimes getting our hands good and dirty.
Being creative might well mean painting or drawing, but it doesn’t just stop there. It could also mean writing, singing, acting, building, cooking, gardening, designing, decorating and more. Simply taking the time to think up all the things you might enjoy is a great place to start. All you really need is a dream to follow, or new idea, plus a gentle kick in the rear to get you moving! That’s it. Oh, and did we mention that nurturing your innate creative ability also brings a raft of benefits for your emotional, spiritual and even your physical wellbeing? Not a bad reward for doing something you love.
Healthy side effects
Since many creative pursuits are shared and enjoyed with others, they can really boost our emotional and social prosperity. Whether it’s a choir, drama group, gardening co-op or a pottery class, being part of a joint creative venture is a wonderful way to increase our friendship circle and learn something new. As we get older, that sense of community can become an especially important way to help us stay connected and vital. Being engaged creatively is also good for reducing stress levels. Lower worry means improved immunity with less risk for certain illnesses, along with fewer aches and pains, sleeplessness, tummy trouble, anxiety and depression.
Finding your talent. While many of us know exactly what gets our creative juices flowing, some of us aren’t so sure. We’d like to do something, but we just don’t know what.Here, Lilian shares her top pointers on how to find your artistic mojo:
Be open to a range of possibilities. Be curious and take inspiration from everything around you. Check out community notice boards, the local paper, or take the lead from a creative friend whose work you admire.
Think about the things you loved to do as a child, or at another point in your life, that you may have long since abandoned. Did you love to draw, paint or sing? Revisit past passions or turn your attention to discovering a brand new one, perhaps something you’ve secretly always wanted to do.
Don’t put it off, make a start on finding your passion today. Do a bit of research and gather any materials you may need.
If possible, create a space of your own where you can work and not have to pack up each time you’re done.
Let yourself be a beginner!
Start small and don’t worry about messing up. While we may have grand ideas of how a finished project should be, it’s only in the doing, and in the sometimes stumbling, that we learn. Let it all be a part of your creative experience.
Turn negative self-talk around. You know that little voice inside your head that says you can’t? Silence it by practising mindfulness. What we tell ourselves has a big impact on our self-worth. So tell yourself you’re worth it!
Tips taken from The Creative Seed: How to Enrich Your Life Through Creativity by Lilian Wissink.