“The making of art is no different than prayer.” Rain Wilson
It is indeed true that I was often the last one to go to sleep at a slumber party. I also received checks in “self control” on my report card in elementary school. Last but not least, I was called “hyperactive” on a daily basis.
In fact, while I was home in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago, my brother, Rich, read a revealing and comical four page letter from my late father. In his own sweet and thoughtful way, he wrote about my mother “losing her head” when she agreed to host a slumber party at our home for my tenth birthday. Then he wrote in the same exact voice with which he spoke, “It actually went better than I thought it would, Lindsay was a bit hyper – that’s Lindsay.” He was right, there were times when I was like a fierce tornado of whirling energy causing a stir and leaving a trail of activity around me.
Now looking back at my youth, I prefer to use the words, enthusiastic and spirited to describe my energetic self. I also feel this tornado was really just my creativity searching for a way out!
Creativity has been a reoccurring theme in my life the past year. The other day, I listened to a TED talk about creativity by Sir Ken Robinson. In a funny and relaxed manner, he discusses the importance of creativity in our schools. He shares a story of another energetic little girl who struggled in her very mainstream school environment. Her mother had the sense that a performing arts school may be a better option for her. Once enrolled, she spent her days dancing and in turn flourished in this new, inspired surrounding. She is grown up now and is a professional and very accomplished choreographer.
I wonder how many children would benefit from this kind of education…a place where art and creativity is held in the highest regard and not as an elective or weekly activity? Personally, I think we could all benefit from more creative exploration in our schools as well as in our adult lives.
While we are busy worrying about raising test scores, especially in subjects like math and science, it seems our society is forgetting about the importance of creativity in relation to personal expression and innovation. The movers and shakers are first and foremost creators. They are brilliant because they know how to channel their imaginative intelligence.
Looking back at my own childhood, I reached a point where I started equating creativity with talent. I felt unless I demonstrated extreme potential in a certain area, it wasn’t worth pursuing. I now realize creating is more about the process than the finished product.
Creativity lives in the essence of our very being. Creativity is about making things, but it’s also about living artistically. It’s about the process we use to make choices and how we design our life.
It dawned on me recently as I was driving that some of the moments when I have felt the most depressed and lethargic were moments when I wasn’t engaging as fully with my creativity. I have always craved freedom and the ability to creatively inhabit my life, and I yearned to to find an outlet to express these imaginings. I thought that not having one particular medium was synonymous with not having an outlet.
In reality, almost anything can be an outlet for our creativity to breathe. Now I practice simply doing what I love and what feels good, regardless of what my inner critic or outer critics think. And creativity begets creativity, the more we create, the more the creative juices flow!
The other day a friend of mine said she had no artistic talent. Let me tell you, I have been to her daughters birthday parties and seen firsthand her elaborate and impressive table decorations. Even if I had all day and a guide instructing me along, I would not be able to make a table look like she does. I asked her if decorating was a source of joy for her and if this could be an outward expression of her creative genius? She had never thought about her knack for decorating as something creative.
Creativity is love and joy in action. When we are in this place, creating is liberating, healing, and playful. It is good for our health. When we are engaged in creative activity, we become one with our understanding of a deeper divinity, our highest self. These little apples of creative wonderfulness are meant to be explored and enjoyed, they just need us to take the initial bite.
If you would like more inspiration about creating, check out Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way or her brand new companion book called The Artists Way for Parents; Raising Creative Children. http://www.planetsark.com is a colorful website too. Have FUN!