Do Something Creative
One of the daily habits I’ve been working to cultivate follows a simple guideline: do something creative every day. At least I thought it was simple until I tried to do it. As happens when establishing any new habit, resistance arose. I needed to find effective ways to move through the blocks if I was going to persist.
My creative block spoke in the voice of the Inner Critic, who said, among other things: “You’re not creative.” I spent a length of time working with creativity coach Quinn McDonald around how to have a different relationship with that Inner Critic. Quinn’s book, Inner Hero Creative Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Silence Your Inner Critic, provides creative ways to relate effectively with the Inner Critic. As Quinn has often reminded me, the Inner Critic isn’t always bad. You just need to know when to turn down the volume on that critical voice and when its perspective may be helpful.
Quinn encourages people to develop their “Inner Heroes,” positive aspects of ourselves that can stand up to the Inner Critic. Some of my Inner Heroes are the Gardener, the Poet, the Preacher, the Seamstress, the Theologian, and the Baker. I’ve learned how to call on them when I’m feeling stuck, and to draw on their creative energy. Who are your Inner Heroes, and how can they help you to flourish in your creativity?
My inner Theologian has helped me develop a broader, more sacred, definition of creativity. My theology claims that we are created in the image of God, the creator. Being creative is a fundamental part of who we are as human beings. Therefore, when we are being creative we are most deeply connected with the Sacred. (See my sermon Divine Artistry for more on this.) So creativity isn’t optional, it’s inborn in each of us.
If we broaden our definition of creativity to include everything from building relationships to baking a loaf of bread to problem solving to making art to growing old gracefully then there are dozens of opportunities to be creative every day.
What will you do to express your creative soul today?