“Unused creativity is not benign, it metastasizes. It turns into grief, judgement, sorrow, and shame. We are divine beings and we are by nature creative.” -Brene Brown
Even though I’ve often denied it, hid it and spit on it, creativity has kinda saved my soul. On two occasions, in particular. Serendipitously, I started my freelance art biz at age twenty-three. It was fraught with self-doubt, crisis and renewal – all the awesome ear marks of a solid creative breakthrough. Ten years later, I had to give up the biz due to degenerative arthritis in my right shoulder (a condition that came with my SED dwarfism.) The sorry sitch shook me to my quivering core.
After a year of depression, decline and a seriously stinkin’ pity-party, Dad suggested I learn computer graphics using my left hand. Hmm. Before I could even look at the graphics software, I got hooked on something far superior. Email. It unleashed my languishing creative soul.
I never knew I could express myself as a writer. But frankly, our creative voice will take any ol’ outlet provided. My memoir, Nothing Short of Joy, came barreling to the surface. It was the most cathartic therapy EVER.
The creative process dragged me out of my dwarfed little self. When the shift hit the fan, it brought relief, joy . . . and a lot of kicking and screaming.
Turns out, it can be quite an epic battle to recover our true self. It isn’t always pretty. But the alternative is WAY less appealing.
From an early age we’re taught to conform and stuff our individuality away. Gaining acceptance from the outer world becomes our mission impossible. But the never-ending hamster wheel can’t bring the treasures inside of us OUT. And the goodies have gotta come out!
Of course, our societal training will scream for us to STOP. Resistance will storm in like gangstahs.
But hang in there.
You can learn to talk that chorus of inner critics off the cliff. They’re just trying to protect you. They’re terrified you’ll get hurt again. Just remember, though, the deepest darkest pain comes from allowing those secret fears (the beliefs, people or circumstances that say you’ll never be enough) to smother your light.
Stephen King says, “If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”
Heh. The quote applies, not just to writers, but to everyone wanting to live more authentically. I’ve been way too concerned with what others thought of me or might think of me. It’s a gargantuan creativity crusher and suffocates our soul’s call. It leaves us feeling hollow. Like a fraud. A replica. Stuck living someone else’s vision of life.
I once thought I had to *arrive* somewhere (to be an “expert”) before I could fully express myself and commit to the creative, spiritual path. I’ve since realized that sharing the journey AS IT UNFOLDS is the creative work. We support & inspire each other as we heal ourselves.
Our creative core, our soul, is an ongoing celebration of every curvy road we continue to wrangle. The things we’ve lost. And the soul-self we’ve won. They make up the whole picture – a beauty that emerges from brokenness.
My free eBook, “Release the Blocks So Creativity Rocks! A Spiritual Pep Rally for Breaking Up with Your BS (Belief System,) Ditching Polly-Perfectionist & Energizing Ginormous Joy,” is available for download here at my web site. It’s got 60 packed pages of inspiration, calligraphy, watercolors and oodles of reminders of the Love we were born to forget. I hope it’ll ignite your creative courage. Set-backs and sorrow can be transformed into spiritual springboards to greater self-expression.
Our heartaches & handicaps are creative curriculum. In sharing them we get to 1.) dump personal pain & brutal baggage 2.) realize it’s safe to be wholeheartedly ourselves and 3.) own our unique story and discover it’s actually a universal story. We’re no longer alone. Holy headtrip.
Your life’s work, your genius, is to reveal that singular, amazingly glorious YOU. Then go inspire others to set their own soul free.
Expressing your truth is the highest & most important art form because you’re the only one who has dibs on it. In the history of the universe, there will only be one spectacular, complex, phenomenal you.
Giving our whole self to our life and our dreams is scary. I regularly try to dodge the job. There’a a lot of gunk to sort through as we get back to being who we really are.
Being a true-blue you is the most personal & profound offering, prayer and gift you have to give. Don’t cheat yourself and the world by holding back your glory. Maybe you wish you’d started years ago. Today is as good a time as any. (Well that’s what I keep telling myself, and it helps…)
The masterpiece of your life is to rally the real YOU, remember what’s right with what’s “wrong” and express your exuberant soul. It doesn’t matter the medium – a kickin’ canvas, bodacious blog, dirty dance floor or ingenious engineering – just that you unblock your beaming.
Give your imagination, dreams & creative soul some more airtime. The crusade will be worth it. While you’re taking steps toward positive changes in your life, I’m with ya. I’ll be doing my best to follow my heart, (while fingernail-biting) and face my greatest fears, too. You deserve the real-deal me on deck and we deserve the full-out you. C’mon.
Give us all you got.
With lotsa love and ginormous joy,