Creativity is one of those things that just makes my heart happy. I find it changes form in my life depending on what else happens to be at the forefront of my mind, but that it always creates the same feelings of accomplishment, fulfillment, and unbridled joy. It's what I imagine hiking to the top of a huge mountain feels like for some people (and in some cases, my creative undertakings are as tiring and taxing, but in an 'absolutely-worth-it' kind of way).
My education is in an artistic field (theatre); my hobbies have always tended towards the creative (crafting, letter-writing); my relationship with food has evolved into one of creative bliss (testing recipes and finding new ingredients to explore is, in itself, a creative venture). I seem to have a tendency to fill my life with artsy things and artsy people, because I just thrive on the energy required to embrace creative thinking.
Our creative minds are often closely-guarded. It takes a lot of trust to share the workings of your inner child (that little part of your spirit that embraces ingenuity and freedom, and says 'let's see if this works' without too much reservation. It's also the part that is most easily damaged when things don't go as planned. Thankfully, with some mindfulness, it can have a surprising amount of resiliency when given reason to believe its instincts are good enough to try again.)
Recently, I have given some thought to what the impact of embracing our creative self can have on the rest of our lives, which led me to this [please remember: creative gal, not a math gal]:
creativity = self-expression + (self-affirmation - self-doubt)
self-confidence = self-affirmation
creativity = (self-confidence - self-doubt) + self-expression
When we undertake a creative exercise, we engage with a deep part of ourselves that can really illuminate a deep part of who we are (self-expression). Doing so reinforces that we have something worthwhile to share with the world and (hopefully) squashes our inner vampires who tell us we're not [insert adjective] enough. Positive self-expression generates more positive self-expression, which can strengthen our confidence and allow us to more bravely explore new, creative ventures.
Lately, in my life, creativity has been a huge part of establishing a brand for my business, honing my recipe development skills, and being open to engaging in new forms of movement (who knew that trapeze could be such a good workout AND feel so artistic?). Putting a creative sensibility to work has helped me to reinforce that I am indeed heading in the right direction with my practice. I have discovered that with a good dose of self-affirmation and trust in the process, I can use my creative mind to help navigate new situations that require a different way of thinking.
Bounce your ideas off yourself, bounce them off the people who are most important to you: just make sure you don't drop them and let them roll away. Keep your creative energy moving and vibrant so you can call upon it whenever you need (or want) to.
After all, opening up that energy inside you that wants to explore/ make/ do/ find/ invent/ paint/ draw/ sculpt/ sing/ move can only help you further explore your capabilities: creativity is not limited to one area of your life, but transferrable across many.
Below, my most recent *big* creative project: our wedding! We had a hilarious time sharing creative ideas for everything from decor to food to clothing to venue... a great way to bond as a couple, to problem-solve, to communicate, and most importantly, to explore our inner creative kids who just wanted to make fun things.
Housing Works Bookstore, SoHo, NYC
Photo credits: Laura Marie Duncan Photography (check her site out here - talk about unbridled (get it? bride...?) creativity!)