This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about me and creativity.
I looked up the definition:
Creativity (noun): The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
As the first “re-boot” month ended, and I’m 7.5 pounds down (yay), I noticed what’s keeping me from hitting the refrigerator or even thinking much about food in the wee hours of the evening: Creativity.
I’ve been writing a lot more, started a blog that chronicles my home renovation, journaling, taking photographs, and figuring out my next tv project. All of this to say, without really thinking about it, the minute I woke the heck up from my big fat unconscious sleep, all that awareness was dying to become something.
I’m always surprised when someone says they’re not creative. I don’t think there’s a human on the planet who isn’t creative. We survive with our creativity. We are creating with every moment we breathe. Our bodies are creating new cells, our minds crunch through all the details of our reality, and our thoughts create things. What we tell ourselves manifests into a thing, or a way of being, or a goal. This can also mean that we give birth to some dark stuff if all we allow ourselves to focus on the negative, feel powerless to make change…that BECOMES our reality. Thoughts become things.
If you don’t think you’re a creative being, it’s time to make a list. I’m not talking about becoming the next DaVinci or winning the Nobel prize. But you are creative. Maybe you’re a stellar gardener, or you knit, or you can balance a spreadsheet to absolute perfection, or cook, or you re-shape your body by working out, or sew, or build things, or blog, or manage your kid’s schedules, or help with homework, or troubleshoot a problem. All of that? Creativity.
“I got to thinking about how manifesting the creative might affect weight loss. For one thing, when we are creating, our energy shifts. Brainwaves change.”
Ever have a day when you were so immersed in something the time just seemed to evaporate? You started something at 10 in the morning and suddenly the kids are bounding in the door from school at 3pm? Some might describe it as the rabbit hole. I often feel like I disappear, like I become one with whatever I’m doing. All the little demon thoughts, the what if’s, the regrets and judgment… They all disappear. It feels like an expansion, like living in the question that you’re about to answer.
“When you allow yourself to take flight, there’s a peaceful fluidity that takes hold. In fact, it’s a whole lot like meditation. We are focused, determined, in the zone, and at peace.”
Going back to the definition…it’s not just about having thoughts, it’s about engaging those thoughts, “the use of the imagination” is key here. For instance, if you’ve been thinking about buying a house, but stop at thinking, not much is going to happen. But when you start to make a list of what you want, begin touring homes for sale, and figuring out a plan for next steps, that is creativity in motion, and damn if you won’t end up finding the perfect home as a result. Maybe you’re not going to build that house, but how you think about it and respond to those thoughts, is creative.
“Anything that helps us focus the mind and keeps us in forward motion helps us to steer clear of the thoughts and ideas that derail us.”
So I have a challenge for you this week: Find something you’ve been meaning to do, something that when you think about it makes you smile or gives you a tinge of excitement. Maybe it makes you want to pee your pants a little – don’t worry, that’s probably a GOOD sign. Go out and buy a pack of crayons and a coloring book if nothing else pops into your mind. Dive in, be courageous. Maybe it’s some crafty thing you’re curious about, or trying a new recipe, learning how to knit, or a dance class.
Commit by writing down the steps, maybe even a due date or schedule. Perhaps you’re thinking about that garden sitting under the snow. Sit down with some graph paper and sketch out some ideas, and research what plants you’d like to see there and when you’ll begin planting.
If you’re not into a solitary project, how about joining a group activity? Helping someone else to get something accomplished is also just as creative. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to play chess or poker. If you need inspiration, try walking down the aisle of a craft store. It doesn’t have to be some lifelong passion, just something that feels good when you think about doing it. Then carve out the time to do it.
If your schedule is already packed to the gills, sit down with your calendar and treat this like it’s the magic bullet. That just MAYBE, this will free up or expand something in you and make all of the other “must-do’s” a little more manageable. Carve out the time.
When I get into the “zone”, I tend not to sweat the other stuff nearly as much. I tend to feel like I can take on more rather than feeling burdened by each and every task that isn’t as fun. After a year of feeling depleted and discouraged around the weight loss journey, I needed to snap back into it and re-frame things a bit in my life. I AM a creative being. When I get too caught up in the stresses of the day, I ignore taking time to do what I want to do, instead feeling tethered to deadlines and other peoples’ anxiety. I scramble for comfort, I deplete my inner resources, and then, I trash my eating plan, and I eat. I stop caring for myself, carried away in the tide of self-doubt, forgetting to check-in with that creative spirit.
Every day I’m grateful I get to earn a living as a creative being, but that’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers all have a tendency to get out of control with substances, whether it’s food or alcohol, or drug use. In my case, I think it happens when I get too caught up in wanting other people’s approval, worrying that I’ll never work again, doubting my creative efforts, not trusting in my ability, like someone will figure out I have no clue and then I’m busted. All those insecurities are a big fat trigger and I will run for whatever comfort I can get my hot sweaty hands on. I want to escape from all those deep dark unpleasant feelings. Whatever the trigger, the way to avoid all that dark and ugly stuff is by re-framing and re-focusing the mind. And there is no other way to do it: You have to take action.
Take some time today to think about your own creativity. You might be surprised at just how creative you’ve been without even knowing it.
Think about all the times you’ve used your imagination or ideas to make something. And then go make some more.