Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Making Room for Creativity in a Busy Life


I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my time and energy. I'm not talking about looking for things to do. I definitely have a full plate and am never at a loss for things that need to be done (I mean, come on. Cleaning is endless ENDLESS with kids). But I feel like my energy is compartmentalized.

There's energy for work and duties, then there's energy for creativity and play. I realize that's very simplistic, but bear with me. For so long I've thought that, since there are so many needs on the side of duties, that I could just divert the energy reserved for creativity into the duties side and become one big pie chart of accomplishment. The only thing is... it didn't work. Continually. For years and years. And not only that, the creative side of me was suffering and malnourished. And that would physically cause me pain. There was nothing to be gained by ignoring that side - only fulfillment to be lost. I've been learning that when I respect both sides, they only enrich and vitalize each other.

I think that all of us have a creative compulsion of one sort or another. For years I've dismissed it as childish, something only for the weak. But I've been learning more and more that creating is linked indelibly to my soul in an immutable way and the effort to disconnect it is like trying to make an appendage disappear.

I read this the other day from one of my favorite websites:
...when I have composed a piece just as it sprang from my heart, then I have done my duty towards it; and whether it brings hereafter fame, honor, decorations, or snuff-boxes, etc., is a matter of indifference to me. ... I have hitherto found that the pieces I have composed with least reference to the public are precisely those which gave them the greatest satisfaction. - Felix Mendelssohn (French Composer)
There is a laughable irony in the idea that the best and most popular of creative achievements are those most unassumingly made, chiefly to please the creator. It rings true for me. But there's something in our culture that frowns upon creating for creation's sake - although that's exactly what leads to the works that we most appreciate. All I know is I'm ready to start participating in creation again. No, not getting pregnant. But I am going to write, paint, play, and build. Let's do a slow fade out with a quote from Brene Brown talking to Elizabeth Gilbert - two wise thinkers in this area:

Now that you read that with an ocean in the background you can really get the message... psheewoooooo (ocean sound).

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