I know for me, taking time for creativity often feels frivolous because there are more important or pressing things that I have to do.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown had a similar experience in her 40s when she became busy with her career and thought “creating for the sake of creating was self-indulgent at best and flaky at worst.”
However, this changed after researching for the book because she found that the most whole-hearted people who lived embracing their imperfections – all practiced creativity.
That’s because creativity is how we express meaning, and meaning both forms and connects us to life itself. It’s meaning that keeps our hearts beating with purpose.
“If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing and I’ll add: write, build puzzles with my kids, create plays with my son, host in my home (while mindful of COVID restrictions), play playdough, bake cookies.
She goes on to say, “How doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning” (p. 96).
Which all makes sense, because we’ve been made in the image of the ultimate Meaning Maker.
When we look back at the beginning of Scripture, we see how God made everything. He brought the world’s story to life with breathtaking creativity by hanging the stars, forming land out of the waters and creating every thing that moves and breathes. When finished, God said: “Behold, it is good.”
And it is good, isn’t it? I know when I create, it’s the space where my soul comes alive and I feel connected – whether it’s to my kids – nature – God or others – and most often – the creative work is something that I can share and give back. It amazes me how God draws our creative work out of us and then uses it to delight our souls and and expand His Kingdom. He truly is The Great Creator, Maker and Multiplier of goodness.
That’s why God said, “Behold, it is good.”
Notice, He didn’t say, “Behold, it is perfect.”
And that’s what stops us.
When we think the goal is perfection, we find all sorts of reasons why we can’t do the creative thing. Whether it’s because we are afraid it’s not the “perfect way to spend our time” or we think it won’t be “good enough” or worse- it won’t measure up to the creative work we see our friends or neighbors or coworkers doing, so we shrink. And before we know it…we aren’t creating.
But remember – creativity is part of our original design, so it doesn’t go away just because we stop using it.
Yesterday in yoga, we looked at how we can foster the goodness of creativity on our mats and in our lives.
Don’t worry if you missed class, fill out the form below and I’ll send you the video!
Enjoy a 35 minute flow that fosters creativity & opens your heart to delight ($8) or join us next Tuesday, 2/23!
But Brene Brown knocked me off my feet when she said this:
“Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear” (p. 96).
So we get to choose
Will we express or neglect our creativity?
Will we allow creativity to free us into the space where we birth our unique contributions to the world?
What if we try it this week?
What if we begin by creating, just for the sake of creating…. we can even start small.
Yesterday at 4:30p my daughter asked to bake cookies and I thought – “No way – that is not a wise use of time! I need to prep dinner before the clock strikes 5p and you and your brother turn into hunger-possessed monsters.” And not to mention, it’s way to messy! But then I stopped and thought – “Ok, Lord, I accept your invitation to create.”
So we did. We made puffy unicorn cookies with way-too-sweet of frosting – and I found enjoyment in spreading the frosting across the tops of the cookies and felt our hearts connect over the delight of powdered sugar flying through the air. When we finished and the kitchen was destroyed, she couldn’t wait to deliver cookies to her auntie and Nana and brother and dad. And I realized, it may not have appeared productive – but it was meaningful.
It was a memory where I got to see my daughter fully in the moment with no distractions, and tapped into my own little inner-child who remembered using the same rolling pin with my grandma years ago. Something about the creative act connected me to the past – the present – and others. Creativity really is a flow that operates outside of time and connects us to our connectedness, and that is good for my soul. Very good.
So would you like to join me?
What if you grant yourself the permission to carve out time for a moment of creativity this week?
Brené Brown closes the chapter with an invitation to
- Risk feeling vulnerable and new and imperfect and do something creative, maybe take a class?
- Try something that scares you or something you’ve dreamt about trying. You never know where you will find your creative inspiration.
And from me: Allow God’s flow of creativity to inspire you and connect you with yourself, God and others.
Instead of perfect, may it be good.
PS – If you struggle with comparison, you’ll want to read this chapter in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection! I know from my own life, it’s hard for me not to compare – even when I know it kills my creativity and is the thief of joy! Her chapter helped me A LOT and I’d love to learn alongside you. Maybe you will consider grabbing a copy of the book and we can read and process together!? I’m just a text, email or call away.