I was flipping through the pages of my 5-year journal . . . and of the 1,825 answers that it could contain, I have filled in 53 answers. As I was reading and reflecting on what I had written, I came across this question:
What’s the most creative thing you’ve done recently?
My answer struck me as honest, amusing-to-me, and a little comforting:
This is scary. I can’t think of something! Help! Hmmm . . . I glued pictures of some birds in my journal. I made a beautiful, foamy latte. I made veggie-lentil marinara.
Reading this, I am struck by a note of (1) desperation — fearing that the Creativity Police was going to swing by and give me an F+ in Creativity if I didn’t think of something Artsy and (2) a deeply-forgiving spirit — realizing that I didn’t feel like I had to report anything stellar like painting a gallery-worthy canvas or mastering the tricky 16th-note measures of my old friend “Allegro” on the violin. I now know that on May 19, 2013, veggie-lentil marinara felt like a creative endeavor. This is why I love journaling so much. It reminds us of who we are.
Gluing pictures of birds in my journal is not how I externally define creativity. I expect from myself a more legacy-laden result when I say the word creativity. Still, there is much to be said for celebrating the day to day. We can’t all be fabulously creative every single moment . . . or can we?
So . . . What would be my answer to this question today? Hmm . . . let’s see . . .
Two weeks ago, when my two best girl friends came to visit, we got out a stack of small canvases and we painted. We didn’t watch a movie. We didn’t go out for dinner. Rather we snacked on a jumbo bag of chips and salsa, sipped wine, and painted for hours. It was fun, rewarding, stimulating, and enlightening. I made an enormous mess and, being the kind of friends that they are, they helped me to clean up my spatters that had followed an unanticipated trajectory across the room.
There was also an element of repeat 2013 Creativity in this day, proving to me that some things are still a priority and indicative of my preferences: I made us beautiful, foamy lattes, we went bird watching (Have you ever seen a Stellar’s jay “ant”?) and, for dinner, we ate some crazy concoction made from leftovers from the fridge that involved lentils. Lentils, oh lentils . . . how you are a constant in my life! lol!
Creativity. It isn’t what you make that makes you a Creative. It’s the feeling you create while you are creating. Be it something as simple as cutting and pasting images of birds or something as rewarding as nailing those last few measures of “Allegro” — it is all a symbol of how I choose to feel while I experience and savor time. So simple really when I remove all self-imposed external expectations.
It is so easy to look at others and remark on their gifts and talents. We think because we aren’t mastering Sample A, our own Sample B somehow doesn’t quite measure up. But measure up to what? If we aren’t running marathons, our 2-mile walk doesn’t seem very significant. If we aren’t hanging our work on a public wall, it doesn’t seem like it is very good. If we aren’t performing at Benaroya Hall, then our music doesn’t measure up (pun intended). I don’t know. Maybe it’s all about perception, self-perception and otherwise. Forgiveness, self-forgiveness and otherwise. And dissatisfaction, self-dissatisfaction and otherwise — knowing deep inside that we aren’t listening to our Higher Self’s prompting to become who we really are.
Click on the aqua-blue hyperlink below for today’s journal prompt. It is a fun question that may inspire some surprising and reassuring answers for you in how you view your creative self.
Click on the aqua-blue link below:
Life is a lively event. Live it like you mean it. What’s stopping you?
[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder. Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart. After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say. The only one. Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write. Repeat. And enjoy the journey. It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.]