“But I’m not creative like you!” I responded to my long-time friend recently. Without a pause, she argued, “What are you talking about? You are too!” She then proceeded to list the many creative things I’ve done over the years. (That’s one reason why I love my long-time friends. They remember and help us see things about us we may not see in ourselves.)
For all those busy years of kids and career, I rarely had the time to do what I considered to be large creative projects. However, I tried in small ways to “up my game” with creative table settings, holiday projects, and interesting vacation photos. I felt like there was very little creative energy in my life. I admire my highly creative friends and appreciate beautiful things made by others, and love to go through magazines and the internet for ideas and inspiration.
When I retired from my full-time career, time opened up. I now have more opportunity to pursue creative interests for the pure joy of it and to feed my curiosity. As I dive deeper into the creative waters and writing about midlife explorations, I decided to revisit my limited definition by starting with the dictionary.
Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.”
Based on this statement, in using our imagination to create something, we are ALL creative! This can be as simple as cooking something new and not following the recipe (my preferred way of cooking), pulling together a costume with various pieces of clothing, or solving a problem in a new, more effective way. I’ve done all that and more as I’m sure you have too. So, yes, I am creative. Each of us are in an infinite variety of ways every day.
Create is to bring something into existence.
Birth, of course, is one of life’s greatest creation. And so is bringing something new into the world. Whether we build it, bake it, write it, sing it or by any action, it is creative energy and can enrich the world, as well as our own lives.
Consider ways you been creative this week?
How did you feel while creating something?
Here are five reasons to add more creativity to your life.
1. Creativity nourishes our spirit and engages our curiosity.
Once I get started, I always feel renewed, energized and enthusiastic about what I’m doing, regardless of the outcome. It’s a fun, almost playful energy, fluid as it moves us from one idea to another as we grow and learn along the way.
2. Our creativity is good for our brain health.
By challenging ourselves in creative endeavors, our brain connects in interesting new ways. Increased creative activity can be traced all throughout the brain and there is no such thing as just right-brain creative activity. When we engage in creativity, it leads to a better-wired brain for cognitive health. There are so many studies and interesting findings all the time about how good it is for our mental health today and in our later years.
3. Creativity reduces stress in several ways.
It’s been labeled by some that creative activities are “yoga for the brain”. It helps us be more flexible in our thinking, adapt to new situations, and connect with others with greater empathy.
4. Creativity builds confidence.
When we are creative, we feel more confident about ourselves. At any age, that feels great!
5. Creativity makes life more meaningful.
It is very often through creativity we connect with our life’s purpose and find greater meaning in our life. We feel that we have brought something new into the world and have made a difference. We have.
I encourage you to do something fun, creative and new today. I plan too!
For more information, check out one of my favorite authors Julia Cameron. Her more recent book is filled with ideas about creativity. Check it out. It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond (Artist’s Way).