The magic of creativity
You may associate the idea of creativity only with painters, writers or even just people who seem to shine with their home decorations! But a life of creativity is much more than just those who dedicate themselves to the arts. I salute those types of artists and am so grateful for their presence in the world but I am also extremely grateful for the myriad of ways we can bring creativity into our lives at any moment. And it is these magic moments that are soul-stirring, they are the moments that can fill us with joy. If you can't think of ways you do this, maybe I can remind you and if you don't think you do this already, it may be time to start.
I happen to have chosen one of those careers that is very much NOT associated with creativity. I am a physician. I went to college. Then I went to medical school. Then residency. Then...Do you get the idea? It's a mapped out trajectory. There is no room by definition for creativity. Other than choosing what kind of physician you want to be. And even then, it's not like you can choose your own specialty. They are spelled out for you.
(Believe me, otherwise, I would have chosen "Spend-soulful-time-with-patients-showing-them-the-way-to-their-purpose-and-wellness-while-spreading-healing-magic" medicine! But that isn't listed as a choice.)
And so it could be said that there is no room for creativity in my day. And what about you? If you aren't in the recognized creative arts, do you feel like you have room for creativity? In an office building? In a classroom? In a non-profit fighting the good fight? We all the opportunity for creativity and in fact, we all NEED it!
I am a physician but I am also a writer. I write this blog, I have published my poetry, my short stories, my creative non-fiction. Even though that is not the creativity I am going to focus on in this piece, I want to honor that some of us share a life of academics with the arts and that creativity spills over from one to another. And that's beautiful magic of its own sort. I am grateful for my writing, it gives me a way to make sense of the world in front of me. But I want to focus today on magical creativity in a moment to moment sense.
First, let's get on the same page of what creativity is. If you look up the definition, you will often see it described as an ability to conceive of original ideas and "think outside the box." If you ask me, that's a daunting definition. Original? What idea is truly original? I mean if we all abided by that definition, we would be too scared to try. But what if we obeyed that definition with a twist?
What if we understood that being creative may be turning an idea into something original for YOU?
Let me put forth another perspective for creativity. What if it is conceiving or doing something in a new and unique way? What if creativity is actually changing the lens of your mind purposefully with what may seem like a routine? Ok bear with me. What I am saying is that you can be creative about ANYTHING you do.
Look at your job in a different way...What if tomorrow when you go to work you commit to seeing what you do from the eyes of your client, patient or consumer? What if you see it from the eyes of a young child who has never seen this before? What would they see? And more importantly, what would they wonder or marvel at? Just maybe, you will see how you can approach something with an untrained, unbiased mind.
Look at your dreams in a different way...What if you constantly dream of a different life? One in which your job or finances or environment were different? What if you commit to looking at your dreams as a reality that is possible instead of as something that creates a sad cloud to hang over your present moment, something so unattainable that it continues to make what is present seem more oppressive? Just maybe, you will see an opening to make your reality mirror your dreams even a bit more.
Since the beginning of time, humans have MADE things. We have put our hands and minds around things and created. You have this innate, primal need to create. It is how we make sense of the world. And even more powerfully, when we create something, we capture joy.
Think about it, when you realize that you can still make or conceive something, anything, you realize that you are here, that you exist, that you are part of the world. A new idea, a piece of art, a garden, a new way of seeing our life...all of it connects our hearts into the world. We remind ourselves that we and the world are alive and full of opportunity. And that, right there, is magic.
Creativity is a salve for the soul.
Creativity is a gateway to joy.
See your world today from your creative eye and just maybe, the world will shine a bit more magically.