Chapter 2 in the book 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women was all about validating the quirky creative activities we want to do but also can feel a little guilty about doing. I think a lot of us believe that if I’m doing something that is not “productive” than it’s not important. Creative pursuits tend to fall into the category of “trivial amusings”.
Our world praises product. If we come to the end of our day with nothing but an enjoyable, inspiring experience, than we think the day was wasted. But I don’t think that is true. We need times to stop working in the traditional sense and start making time to work on our inspirations or allowing ourselves to be worked on from within. I believe we miss many opportunities because we don’t slow down long enough to look or listen.
Just like people who talk incessantly, often miss the opportunity to deepen a relationship. We need to stop long enough to listen to inspiration. We cannot hear very well if we’re running 90 miles an hour on full throttle. We weren’t created to work that way.
It’s important to honor inspiration. One way to do this is to practice playing. Gail mentioned a book called Life Paint and Passion. I love this book. I’ve read it a few times. I’ve noticed about people who come in to take classes, especially painting and drawing classes, that they get so bogged down with making the perfect painting or drawing, they forget to have fun. Kids learn by playing, but as grown ups, we think playing has no usefulness. I believe that playing is important. If we approach our creativity with a little bit of playfulness, results will eventually show up.
This chapter also talked about taking time to capture our ideas. I remember working as a graphic designer and after talking with a client about their goals and vision, I then would take time to ruminate about the conversation before starting on the project. I often put ideas in my mental marinader and when the inspiration is ready, the creative solution presents itself. But there is almost always a time of incubation. This is the law of gestation.
The last bit that was covered in this chapter was about creating a sanctuary. This is so important because we connect to our Source when we get alone. I think we are very affected by our surroundings. It’s important to have a space where meaningful things live. Objects such as books and artwork, music, and things we like to help connect ourselves to inspiration.
The last part of the chapter talked about creating rituals. I like the idea of rituals. There is something about getting centered that helps creativity to flow. I know when I’m getting ready to do something creative like painting, designing, or working on my field guide, I like to get my space cleared, have a hot beverage and prepare my materials. There’s a preparation time that is actually part of the creation process.
I encourage you to look at your own life and see where you can incorporate these things into your life. You’ll find that the hardest part is giving yourself permission to take the time. So, go ahead and realize that these things are important to live a creative life.