Friday, January 28, 2011

Creativity - a Kaleidoscope of Ruminations

Angel's Window - Grand Canyon, North Rim.
Looking closely, you can see the people on the top walkway.
And the Colorado River peeking through the "window."
Creativity - exploring it from different points of view can be fascinating.

Backstory: among the things I am currently doing for my personal growth as a human being is learning more about healthy eating and lifestyles.  To that end, I'm following some blogs on the subject, and one of the things they (okay, WE)  are doing is exploring, via the Self-Discovery Series, a different word each month.  (Anyone is welcome to join in!)

These bloggers include women with eating disorders, professional counselors, life coaches, fitness trainers, yoga teachers, art teachers and more.  Participation has included blogs with photos, or artwork, or recipes, or poems, or video clips.

For January, the word was Creativity.  For some it was specifically linked to Body Image, for others, more a stand-alone concept.  I found the input so interesting, varied, and so applicable to a writer's life, I wanted to share a few (of so many!) nuggets here, as there wasn't a single post where I didn't come away feeling like I'd learned something or been inspired to think a little more, well, creatively.

1.  Megan's Ascension Blog post writes about how creativity isn't simply a state of doing, it's a state of being.  "Creativity is something that is intrinsic is all living beings, and which we humans embody in every living moment by default."

2.  Michelle's Healthy Cultivations post goes into how creativity is related to how we think about and talk to ourselves, whether negatively or positively.  "...I came across another definition I like better from the University of Southern Maine.  It defines creativity as 'the experience of thinking, reacting, and working… characterized by a high degree of innovation and originality, divergent thinking, and risk taking.'"  And she offers a recipe and photo of salmon with mango chutney.

3.  Katie at Health for the Whole Self waxes poetic.  "the days when a similar pad of post-it notes/ kept record of my worth" in a beautiful poem that chronicles the desperation and sadness of disordered eating, to the triumph of post-it notes used to connect with one's loved ones, instead.

4.  Rosie Molinary relates Creativity & Body Image.  "And when we go inside, when we consider what we think and feel, when we are receptive to that which is inside of us which sometimes we can only access through a creative medium, we further our self-knowledge.  And furthering our self-knowledge is an essential step in improving our body image and self-image."

5.  Creative Reflections from Joy Tanksley on Vimeo.  (above)  Left me feeling, well, joyful!

6.  Ashley at Nourishing the Soul therapizes herself to get over her block/fear of being creative:
"What is the worst that could happen (if you tried to be creative)?
You could all laugh at me. (But that could happen even if I didn’t try to be creative. Come to think of it, it often does.)
I could fail. (But then again, can you really “fail” at creativity, really?)
I could learn that I am not so sucky at being creative. (And then that might mean I have to try more often… scary!)"
7. Elizabeth Patch's More to Love Sketchbook on Creativity, Self-Love and Body Image slams the evil twin thoughts of negativity “I don’t live up to what a woman should be.”  “I don’t live up to what an artist should be”.

8.  Aspire to Be Juliana connects creativity to sports: "I’ve learned over the past couple years that creativity is not confined to one aspect of life, such as music, painting, or writing.  It also resides in sports- someplace I never would have thought to find it.  The greatest sports players are creative geniuses, able to think around a situation in an instant."

9.  Heather at Jumbling Towers challenges the myth that in order to be creative, one must suffer.   "What I didn’t realize is that great art doesn’t come from the self-centered place of focusing on your own need to be known and understood. It comes from unselfishly sharing yourself so that others might better understand themselves and the world."

10.  Curvy Yoga's Anna brings together creativity, body awesomeness and yoga.  "I realized how closely yoga and creativity mirrored themselves in my life.  The more I opened up on the mat, the more I wanted to open up off the mat and try new (previously unthinkable) things like sewing my own tea bags as gifts.  The more I embraced my body on the mat, the more I wanted to express it off the mat."  (I realize myself that on days when I skip my yoga, I feel less creative.)

11.  Mara of Medicinal Marzipan (now that's a mouthful!) writes of the release and relief brought about by sharing "shameful" secrets via writing: "I made the conscious decision that I was worth that safety. I was worth revisiting the scenes that caused me so much pain, and I was worth rewriting them in my own words, reclaiming them for myself, and repurposing them to reach out to others."

12.  Taron of Mind Body & Scroll (love that blog title!) talks of the importance of giving oneself space, and freedom to be creative, and not denying creativity because it's not in a prescribed form: "From thank-you note writing to cake baking, gardening to applying makeup, I believe there aren't boundaries when it comes to what constitutes creativity. There are people who can make you a good meatball and those who can make you laugh until tears are running down your face."

13.  Rosie is a Loser, enchantingly, find many creative ways to try to sell the argument that she's not creative. "It seemed that no matter how I tried to explain it, I could not convince people that I did not have the talent to create, only to imitate."

14.  Big Girl Bombshell's (another great blog title!) Jules shared creativity with her daughter: "When she was younger, she thanked me for teaching her that the sky could be green and the grass could be purple." and is honoring it in her own life: "I will pursue my fashion sense, my cooking, new recipes, and a variety of EXERCISE."

15.  Dorry of Living with Healthy Hunger shared stunning photographs, and a great tip about: "being a WARRIOR, not a WORRIER." and not wasting creativity on inventing things to worry about.

16.  Health Misfit's Janet explored the intriguing notion that creativity is about destruction: "When allowed to breathe, creativity breeds independence and individuality, eventually freeing – or breaking down – inhibitions. To create something new – say a belief – we need to destroy the old thoughts through a series of demolitions, and find new routes around the barriers that hold us in."

17.  The hostess with the mostest, Margarita of Weightless brings together the big picture: "creativity is in our bones. It is in our hearts.   It is in the photos you take to document a silly smile, a fun family outing, a celebration, an anniversary, a favorite thing.   It’s even in your cereal."

18.  I also wrote a piece for this, in my other blog (yes, I'm a two-timer,) about the way we limit our creativity: "isn't it sad, for anyone to let their creativity get shut into a deep dungeon, not allowed to come out and play, because it might be messy?  It might be laughable, and not deliberately so.  It might be - horrors!  imperfect!"

Finally, there was this beautiful video, a wonderful, short guided meditation.  (I had listed the blogs - mostly, in the way Margarita received them, but I am putting this one last with the idea that it can now help you to connect with your creative spirit, and move on to create something.  Be it a short story or a customized bowl of oatmeal.)

I have to confess though, it was been hard at first for me to get through it.  I tried at work, closing the door, getting comfortable in my chair...  My Mistake was, I forgot to unplug the phone, so I got several Important Calls just as I was feeling relaxed.

So I tried again at home.  Had a nice dinner, adjusted myself comfortably in my chair, and pressed the play button.  I was just starting to sink into it beautifully, when the cat decided that was the ideal time to take a big, noisy dump (her litterbox is in my office five feet from where my 'puter is.) 

Finally this morning, I was able to align the stars and moons and planets so as not to disturb my meditation, and I'm so glad I did, because it's lovely, and I will be replaying on a regular basis.

19.  The Colors of Your Creative Spirit from Christie Inge on Vimeo.

So, what are your thoughts on Creativity? 
Did any of the above nudge you in a new direction?
Leave a Comment or Reaction, below, and let me know.