The meaning of creativity and creative soul-need.
Beliefs around what is of value/has meaning in life.
Today I'll chat about the first.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved two things.... books and stationary/art supplies (pens, pencils, paints). I have never been able to have enough of either. One of my favourite things in early school was to create my own books. I still own two from about when I was 10.
A very early memory, right back to my first year in school, was colouring in a worksheet. When I claimed to have finished, the girl next to me told the teacher that I hadn't coloured in the thumb. There was this lone thumb for some reason. Anyway, the teacher looked, smiled (a smile that only now I can decipher), and said that I had simply done it realistically.
You see, my thumb was neatly outlined in medium brown, and then shaded softly in a mixture of brown and pink. It was a very adult colouring-in method.
My mother taught me how to colour. She also taught me how to behave. As well as telling me that I could be and do anything but that the preferable choice would be becoming a doctor. Yup, I learnt all about perfectionism very early on.
And learning that, and believing it, stifled and stomped on my creativity.
I have owned all types of art supplies that have either remained untouched or barely used. Something drives me to have them, but between my soul and my hand lies a malfunction. And it has nothing to do with ability.
I believe everyone has a creative side and it is expressed differently - writing, art, cooking, ideas, problem solving. Yet some people have a creative soul. These people need to create, or unhappiness tinges everything in their lives.
Unfortunately, this soul-need can become stifled, muted, side-tracked, thwarted, and down right abused. In believing the lie of perfectionism, my mind interpreted creativity as Art.
Creativity for its own sake is wasteful, pointless, something for children, fun for a frivolous workshop but not more, and on and on. A creative soul is an artist's soul. I'm no artist. I can't even draw. So I told myself subconsciously.
Might as well put my energies into the academics. Reading, studying, teaching, learning, all relatively safe. Put a pencil or brush in my hand and a soft vulnerable centre feels wide open to attack.
Motherhood triggered my creative soul, and I have been spinning around in circles trying to find outlets. Coming across crafting has been a paradox. On the one hand it provided that creative outlet, on the other, I was trying to be crafty. I even bought felt for Pete's sake.
T-shirt I've owned since I was 16ish, used for art projects across several years.
I just 'happened' to find it a few days ago.
But you know what? I'm not crafty. I enjoy craftiness, to a point. Crochet is sticking around for a looong time. And I certainly enjoy seeing other people's crafty works. But this is about my creative needs. Ultimately, I'm arty, or is that artsy?*
But that realisation was frightening! I'm not an Artist! I shouted at myself.
The understanding finally came.
A creative soul has absolutely nothing to do with being an artist.
Nothing, zilch, nada.
A creative soul is.... a creative soul. A need to create. That's it!
After that it's up to the individual how it manifests.
But of course, despite the amazing fabulousness of that realisation, I needed to work through the perfectionism. The next foothold seemed to step into an abyss. Just create?? Seemed infinite, without bearing, without solidity. Create what? What was worth creating? What am I good at? What could I do well enough? Could I learn oil painting now? On and on, all centring around ideas of worth and results.
And finally, back I came to the centre, my centre. If creativity was nothing more than that, to create, then it's the process that matters.
No, the process is everything.
Ohhhhh, those people that had this simple yet profound understanding as children and never ever lost it. You lucky people.
* This is NOT a question of any being superior! Just what is authentic for an individual.