“Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best.”
–Henry Van Dyke
What did the most creative period of your life look like?
For me, my childhood first comes to mind. I’d sit on my bedroom floor surrounded by books, paper and colouring pens and design my own magazines about the world and its wildlife. I loved drawing, writing and creating – and I still do. Since then, more distractions have got in the way. Back then, creativity was the distraction… from homework, coming down in time for dinner, the other annoying things of childhood.
I still worked on creative projects during my degree. I’d look forward to the promise of getting back to my desk and making handmade cards I’d sell or working on one of my websites during free time. In those moments, I’d always enter a state of flow and spend hours without any real effort.
But with age comes responsibility, it seems. During my last full-time job, my creative projects all but fizzled out. There wasn’t space for them. I’d finish work tired and with just enough time to make dinner, shower, and talk to my boyfriend before wanting to sleep. Not much was created during that time.
I don’t know about you, but I feel healthiest and most fulfilled when I’m being creative and have a project on the go. My state of flow can look like stress – breathing quite shallowly, working fast, zoning out the rest of the world – but there’s sheer joy in it. I feel something in me that I want to get into the world. It doesn’t need to be forcefully extracted with a good pair of tweezers; when I let it, it just happens.
Think about your ideal level of creativity. Not what you think you should be doing, but what makes you feel most alive and fulfilled.
When you’re feeling most creative, what does it look like?…
- do you have ideas coming to you from all directions?
- do you have a project on the go?
- what are you reading?
- how are you spending your free time?
- how are you spending your empty time between appointments?
- how do you feel – excited? energetic? calm? balanced?
Think about what your prerequisites are for that. What has led to your most creative periods in the past?
Maybe it’s a lot of space around your job, family, partner, or other commitments. Perhaps it’s feeling healthy, happy and fulfilled in other areas of your life.
If creativity is important to you too, try and work out how to open more channels to it. Welcome into your life the space, inspiration, and acceptance it needs to flourish.
When you check in to see how you’re doing in different areas of your life, don’t forget about your creativity.