Securing the Chinese coin in the center of the stone, I wrap the leather cord around once and add a bead and then twelve small metal washers. Two more times around the stone and then up through the middle where I fasten it with a knot. Smooth. Cool. A talisman of comfort now nestles perfectly in the palm of my hand.
Deeply engaging with words, paints, cloth or paper mache taps part of us that often lays dormant in a busy life.
“But I’m not creative,” you say.
Creativity is manifesting something that did not already exist. If you gave it a minute’s thought you will remember that you have created. We are always participating in acts of manifestation. Doodle and interesting designs appears. String together a few words and a poem begins to unfold. Combine ingredients from your pantry and you make a meal. Glue and nail scraps of wood together and you have a birdhouse.
Our mistake is that we collapse the idea of artist and creator. Artist is a loaded word. It invites the art critic, living in our head to well, start criticizing. Once we tune into that voice our creative impulse dwindles. Our energy wanes. Giving up seems wise. By my definition no one can say, “I am not creative.”
We are all creative.
The impulse to create has a direct connection to our authenticity. A mystery at our core awaits our attention. We honor it with self-expression. The object, poem, quilt or rattle is held in that mystery until we bring it into form. Every time we listen to our muse she gets the message that we are willing to go where she leads. Next time she calls us her voice is stronger.
It is clear. If we don’t tap into the stream of creativity we can live on the surface of our lives. We can even become a danger to ourselves. I watch myself return to the lifeless energy of TV and food when the whisper of my muse is overlooked. Ignoring her has consequences. Enter my hungry ghost who begins to guide me from refrigerator, phone, email, Facebook or screen time. All these acts are laced with the hope that something will capture me. Something will awaken me. Something will delight me. Yet I do not pick up a pen or paint brush which would say I am ready to receive, I look away.
Mucking around in the creative process requires we rely on often unused parts of who we are. Paint on canvas, words on a paper, spices in food these are areas where we can do little damage by trying something new. But as we do the voice of the muse becomes louder and our intuition becomes stronger. The operational part of our mind takes a much deserved rest until it is once again needed.
The question isn’t, “Am I creative?” The question is, “Do I recognize it?” “Do I nurture it?”
Well, do you?