The focus in today’s Part 2 is the Creativity part of this post’s title. In the previous post, Part 1, Gratitude was the spotlighted approach for getting back on track in your life.
After exploring a handful of possible ways to Create, I will explain how this can tie into getting back on track when we find ourselves stuck in The Blahs, and/or feel sad or unmotivated or uninspired, or whatever the challenging scenario might be.
What pops to mind when you think of creativity or a creative outlet?
Is there any form of creativity that is a regular part of your life? or even an infrequent expression of who you are? When you think back to your childhood, what activities did you most enjoy?
The following is a random list of some ways children express themselves through creativity:
- drawing; painting; making stories; creating and/or performing skits; singing; coloring; playing make-believe – with toy trucks, dolls, dress-ups, etc.; making art of any kind.
Adult pursuits can include:
- dancing; wood-working; crocheting and any type of sewing, knitting, etc.; sculpting; gardening; playing a musical instrument; writing; any type of artwork; cooking; acting; photography.
Now that you have glanced at the names of several possibilities, please sit down briefly, maybe with your eyes closed. Stretch for a minute or so while taking 3 slow deep breaths. Allow yourself to imagine at least one form of creativity that brings a smile of anticipation or a quickening of your heart. Let this be a creative expression that you might reach for or step back into easily and quickly.
A Recent Sample of Creativity in My Life
A couple months ago, I was visiting the website of a new blogging colleague, Beth Ortman, at www.bethortman.com. Art is a passion of Beth’s. I felt so happy as I looked at her artwork – some photos showed projects in progress, others showed completed art. A lot of what I saw looked very different than other art I have witnessed. Immediately, I could imagine how relaxing it might feel to focus on one tiny motion with a pen at a time. The finished products seemed to hold hundreds of tiny repetitive shapes. I read that she was representing stones with these shapes.
I decided to experiment with engaging my own version, for relaxation. While it was inspired by the incredibly artistic approach Beth uses, it is not meant to emulate her work. (Please visit her site, you will see the incredible beauty in what she does.)
I read on her site that Beth was using watercolor paper. I had some spare sheets in a few watercolor tablets from years ago. Beth uses a very special art pen. I decided to use inexpensive ballpoints in my experiment.
I wanted to make some sort of large shape on the page, to represent something to contain the markings I was about to make. Although it does not look like one (even to me!), I picked up a pencil and made a large shape I decided to imagine is a wing of a butterfly.
Then, I started making little marks. These marks looked like little petals to me. When I doodle at the edge of whatever grocery list is in front of me, I often notice I’m making petals, leaves, and vines.
1) In this first photo, after I’d been absorbed for a while in the calming experience, I glanced at the shape. It reminded me of a bird. So, I left the “bird” and moved to another part of the wing to begin making more marks.
2) I made a commitment to myself to make even a few marks every day. Often, I found myself picking it up right before I was ready to go to sleep. I might doodle for about ten minutes, sometimes longer. I was surprised to find what showed up. Usually, there was not a recognizable shape.
I was interested to notice that darker marks showed up when I felt stressed. As I mellowed over several minutes, the pressure I made with the pen on the paper became lighter in shade and in intensity. Also, the sizes of the pseudo circles or petal shapes varied at different times.
At one point, as you can see, I had four separate sections. Each time I sat down, I worked on whatever was calling me, whether it was to begin in a new place or to add onto an existing area.
3) I have enjoyed playing with this doodle-drawing pursuit for more than six weeks. I still become more relaxed while doing it, and my heart and mind feel rejuvenated. Motivation shows up, I find I can take action on whatever has been awaiting my attention. Examples of what awaits me (tasks I have been able to resume) are doing laundry, writing blog posts, making business phone calls, exercising, and getting back into a long term project.
The important part is to allow yourself to do Something creative. Whether it is an action you have taken hundreds of times or it is a brand new approach to you, you can experiment with some creative expression that is easy and quick to access. In my own life, if it involves dragging out a lot of supplies, I am not likely to get around to it. And, I might remain stuck longer in The Blahs.
How about you – what path of expression is calling to you, whether new or old? Please share a brief comment here or in our FaceBook community.