For as long as I can remember, creativity has been a part of me. Whether it is drawing, painting, coming up with a performance with my sister, writing a new song, writing a story, sewing, jewellery making or whatever new project captured my attention, from a young age it seemed I was endlessly coming up with something new to do. With amazing parents who were very mindful about limiting the amount of screen time that both my sister and I had, and who encouraged and valued creativity, praising our efforts and still eating our baking when we acidentally substituted in ground coffee for cocoa, it was only natural that creativity would become a foundation in both my sister (who is the most fabulously stylish, sassy drama teacher and Head of Arts) and my lives as we got older.
Although I never focused my skills into one area to pursue a “traditionally creative” career, like becoming a writer or a painter, I have always believed that you can integrate creativity into your life irrespective of what your job is. For me, creativity is part of my everyday through writing, cooking, photography, various DIY projects around my home, graphic and interior design and expressing myself through my style. Not only for practical outcomes, but for the joy of doing it.
Why? Because getting creative keeps me grounded and in touch with myself. It brings a sense of play to my life and brings me endless joy. I also love sharing my creativity with the world. Whether it be through cooking a meal for friends, taking photos and posting them on Instagram or even writing here, it helps me to express how I feel in a way that can be difficult to express otherwise.
As Brene Brown so beautifully stated,
“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world”.
Although there is endless research about the benefits of creativity – most of us would have experienced the satisfaction of getting creative – even if it is just coming up with a way to get all of the groceries into the house in one trip.
Here are 5 reasons to get creative:
- Improve your problem solving skills. Being creative makes us not only think outside the box – but also gets us to think about new and exciting ways to use the box itself.
- Save money. My love for getting creative in the kitchen with the ingredients that I have is a direct result of being a uni student and not being able to afford to go out and spend lots of money on shopping lists for a single meal.
- Get into a state of flow. Being fully absorbed in an experience is called being in a state of flow. You know what I’m talking about, right? That state in which time seems to disappear through the enjoyment of the moment. Activities that lead to flow are intrinsically motivated and enjoyable, with an end in themselves rather than an end product. Being in a flow state leads to greater levels of fulfilment and happiness, it can help deal with stress by helping us become more present to deal with the task at hand, and improves our performance.
- Relieve stress. Creativity can be a form of meditation. For me, I know that painting is one of my favourite mindfulness exercises. Being creative for the sake of it – without expectation or pressure is also freeing and fun.
- Improve self-awareness and self expression. Creative pursuits leads to a greater understanding of ourselves by getting us in touch with things that we enjoy. The more we create, the more in touch we are with our habits, impulses and desires. Taking the time and energy to develop our own ideas helps us to respect our inner selves and better express ourselves to the world in the way that fits us best.
Today, I invite you to get creative! The possibilities are endless.
Not sure where to start? Pinterest is a fantastic source of inspiration. Find all kinds of creative projects that fit your interests. I also recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic: Creative Living Without Fear”. This book opened my eyes to some of the fears holding me back from living my fullest creative life. It also reminded me that the only limits and failures in our creative pursuits are the ones we create for ourselves.
Remove all expectations, perfectionism and pressure from your creativity and open up space in your life for fun! Enjoy the process. There is no right or wrong – just bring your own unique spirit to whatever it is you are doing and do it with your whole heart!
How do you get creative? I would love for you to share in the comments below.