Unleash your Creative Self
Remember finger painting? A clean sheet of paper and paint squishing between your fingers. Swirling bold colours, smooth flowing texture and your amazing natural ability as a human being to create. You probably didn’t think too much about how good your picture needed to be or whether you had any talent. You just had fun and got wrapped up in the process – the process of creating. When you were done, you were likely pretty satisfied with the result. It didn’t really matter anyway because you knew there was always another opportunity to get your hands dirty again.
Just like finger painting, your life is an ongoing creative project. It’s bold, colourful, tactile, sensual and yes, sometimes a little messy. And like finger painting, there is always another opportunity to get a new sheet of paper and begin to create – or recreate – again.
Creativity is a Critical Element
Too often we forget that creativity is a critical element in imagining and achieving our life goals and we become our own worst art critics. Here are some tips for fostering your creativity:
First you must think of yourself as a creative being. Stop saying, "I'm not creative." Of course you are. We all are. It's easy to use too narrow a definition of creativity - painting, drawing, photographing. It's not just about the arts. Your creativity shows up in all kinds of activities like cooking and gardening. Problem solving is a creative process. Coming up with a solution to an obstacle requires you to tap into your creative powers. When you begin to think of yourself as creative, you open up all kinds of possibilities in your life.
Next, stop comparing yourself to other people. Just like in works of art, there's room for lots of different styles in creative ideas. Think Monet vs Picasso. One is not better than the other. They simply appeal to different personal preferences. Allow yourself to follow your own style rather than trying to imitate someone else's.
Keep your eyes open. Creativity is often sparked by something else. Observe more. Be curious. Keep a notebook or journal with you. Then you can jot down ideas as they pop up...or doodle...or collage pictures..or whatever strikes your fancy. Leonardo da Vinci kept a notebook to capture thoughts even if he wasn't sure what he would do with them. Look what amazing things he created.
Shift how you look at things. When you think "I can't because", you stop the creative juices. Instead ask yourself, "How can I?" more often. When you switch to questions like "What would it take?" you point yourself toward possible plans of action.
Try New Things
Finally create space in your life for creativity. Make time to try new things. Play more. Use your imagination. Daydream. Lighten up. Let the universe co-create with you. Creativity is as much a philosophy of being as it is an activity.
What if you approached creating your life with the same sense of delight as your finger painting project? To just relax and have fun and not worry about whether you’re getting it right. To take comfort in the knowledge that you can always begin again. To try something new, a different combination, or another style. To know that, in the end, it’s the process that really counts. What a fabulous art gallery your life might become!
Laurel Vespi is a certified life coach, author and motivational speaker who helps women find more balance, fun and satisfaction no matter what phase of life they are in. Learn more at www.stonecirclecoaching.com