I used to think I wasn't creative because it didn't look like my brother's creativity. Jason is an artist who expresses his imagination beautifully with a pen. I've always wanted to be able to draw, but because I can't - outside of stick figures - I didn't believe I was creative.
As a teen, I began to recognize there are many ways to be creative. But I thought being an artist meant being tortured, misery an important aide to any artistic endeavor. Counting Crows was my favorite band. Enough said. I believed if I wasn't sad or depressed about something, I wasn't a true artist.
More recently, I've thought my choice of career - if it wasn't a creative role - meant I was a failure. That if I couldn't make money from my art, and I had to work a day job, I couldn't say I was creative.
I've changed my mind about creativity.
I'm reading/listening to BIG MAGIC for the fourth time this year. It has become my bible for creative living. And it's another nod to the idea of there being an internal treasure within each of us, which I love.
I am creative because:
- I allow my intuition to guide me.
- I'm open to change.
- I write my soul.
- I decorate myself with tattoos.
- I think strategically.
- I can suck my upper lip to my nostrils, essentially holding my nose without using my fingers.
- I piece together silly lyrics to sing to myself so I won't forget anything on my grocery list.
- I post videos of my distorted face on Instagram.
- I think outside the box.
- I doubt.
- I streamline processes for efficiency.
And that's just to name a few. I believe we are all creators, and our creativity isn't limited by someone else's.
"I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
"The hunt to uncover those jewels - that's creative living.
"The courage to go on that hunt in the first place - that's what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one."
Elizabeth Gilbert, BIG MAGIC