In my 20’s there were days when I felt unhappy. Days when I didn’t want to get out of bed.
There was always something calling to me, though, whispering to pull me out of the doldrums. Something saying, “You know, I bet if you did this… you would feel some love and happiness.”
Now, after many years, I’ve come to know that voice and her name is Creativity.
I like painting, writing, and reading. I like to knit, too. And cook. And I like walking in gardens, having a real conversation with a friend.
But in the past, even if that interested me, I didn’t always wake up in the morning excited and enthusiastic to do that thing I LOVED.
And that was because in the desire to have a BIG, happy, full life, these smaller things didn’t seem like they held enough significance. They seemed too unimportant to make a REAL difference in feeling like a success.
These acts of creativity weren’t the man showing up so that I could be happily married. Or my book making the New York Times Bestseller List. Or winning a million dollars.
They were just small things that gave me simple joy.
But anything we do because we enjoy it is a creative, uplifting experience. We don’t have to be artistic to be the creator of our aliveness.
When I did something creative that I loved, even if seemingly ordinary, it always had a much larger impact on my happiness than I ever could have realized. Here’s why:
1. When we do something creative, it’s a form of active meditation.
When we create (building a toy car in our garage, taking an improv. class, planting an herb garden…) we put our focused attention on it. It asks us to be present.
But even more so, because we enjoy doing it, we don’t have to think that much about being present. We just ARE. We’re in it. Enjoying it because it gives us pleasure. And that wakes us up. It gets the energy in our body flowing again.
2. Creativity shifts our perspective.
Whenever we create something (learning a new language, taking a road trip to a neighboring town, getting a puppy…) it shakes us out of the same-old, same-old. It brings brighter light. We’re stretching and growing.
These moments accumulated, begin to form new bones. Our blood gets regenerated. And we embark in a wild world of curiosity and discovery that breathes new life.
3. Once we ignite creativity, it always leads us somewhere else.
Like a river finding its sea, the current of creativity guides us to unknown territory. And even though we never know where it might lead, it’s always to a bigger body of water.
First, it takes us closer to ourselves and THAT makes a huge difference in our life, career, and relationships.
I took a cooking class for fun — only to discover later how much pleasure I got from having dinner parties, where I deepened relationships with new friends.
I learned the Tarot, thinking I was crazy, but it ended up giving me the idea to create a book and card deck set, which is now published.
I attended a painting workshop and found that I continued painting on my own for over 20 years. Through that process, I continue to develop an incredible, intimate relationship with myself.
You get what I mean?
Creativity has a wonderful way of connecting us to more happy, pleasurable things while giving us more to appreciate.
Perhaps the result is something we never thought of… and that’s the cool thing about creativity. It thinks FOR us and has a bigger plan in store than we could possibly know until we engage with it.
4. Creativity produces self-esteem.
When we show up to do something creative, we’re taking a positive action step in our lives. We’re making a statement that we’re willing to create change and do something different, just by the act of showing up.
The more we meet our creative nature, the more we’re saying, I’m doing something that I enjoy because doing something that brings me joy matters.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal or become anything in particular. We’re just doing it because we love it, and the more often we do stuff because we love it, the more self-love we embrace. And the more self-love we embrace, the more happiness and appreciation we cultivate.
5. It’s something we do just for ourselves.
We do little acts of creativity not for someone else. Not because we want or need someone to love it or buy it or approve of it. We do these things because we’re called towards it.
It doesn’t have to save anyone or better the world—although it does, it always does, because as we create we increase our happiness and then those we come into contact with feel that happiness and are energized.
So what do you feel like creating this week?
A scrap book? Building a solar panel? Hanging some new pictures on your wall? Turning on some favorite music and dancing in your living room? Taking a walk with your camera and finding new angles and light?
Each moment shared with Creativity is divine. It’s how we got here in the first place. So, why not connect and be inspired? Love is waiting for you right around the corner.