Note: In my last two posts I discussed how I challenge myself to keep my creativity alive -- letting it mature along with me, and my changing needs and dreams.
Creativity is an innate force we can use during every stage of our lives
No matter how much I talk and write about creativity, there are still times when I feel creatively stuck. I remember one time when I had just competed a one-person exhibit of my fiber sculptures. Not only was I creatively blocked, I was exhausted. So I began playing with words. This felt like play because writing was new to me. I had no expectations and I certainly didn't judge what I put on the page. I began loving the process and within a year I was writing articles for a national publication. Later I wrote my first book. In this case playing pulled me into my new creative adventure -- something I would have never thought about doing had I not played. (Much of my creative process is described in my upcoming memoir: Painting Life, to be published in November.)
Play can open up a channel for new ideas and inspirations, for play is one way we re-energize our much-needed creativity. One way to play involves recreating for it helps us re-create. Recreation is spontaneous, amusing, and often includes exercise. It must be active, not passive like watching a movie or the TV -- especially the negative news!
Playing means something different to everyone, therefore the form it takes will vary from person to person. There are many ways to play that will enhance your creativity. Here are a few examples:
- dance to music in your living room
- go outside and throw a Frisbee with someone
- color in a coloring book
- sing in the shower
- invite a friend over to bake cookies
- while walking, pick some dried weeds on a walk and arrange them
- buy some flowers and plant them in your garden
With each of these activities there is physical movement that invigorates the mind, body and spirit. Creativity needs all three to be energized.
When the days of winter are shorter and darker, I love spending more time in my studio. However, because I can't ride my bike or work in the garden like I do in the summer, I begin to feel sluggish. So when I feel confined I play with paints.
- I pull out cheap paints, choosing colors that fit my mood at the moment.
- Then I grab large pieces of inexpensive paper -- it can even be newspaper.
- The fun begins when I splash paints on the paper with a large brush.
- Most importantly, I don't judge the results.
When I am purely in the moment with every stroke of the brush, or splash of paint, I can let go of striving. This painting doesn't have to be anything, and there certainly is no way to fail when just playing.
Sophia Loren says, "There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."
WE ARE THE CREATORS OF OUR LIVES. This includes every choice we make and every action we take. When each choice and action are a result of creative thinking, our lives will be enhanced.
Tweet @carolkwalsh to let me know about your form of play? What helps stimulate your creativity?
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