What does the word creative mean to you? Do you consider yourself a “creative” person?
If you immediately thought of artistic creativity, you’re not alone. It’s the most talked-about form of creativity, but it’s certainly not the only kind. And yet many of us choose to accept that we are “non-creatives” due to a perceived lack of ability in this department, even going so far as to blame this (false) shortcoming on our bones–
“I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” we say.
…to which our skeletal system likely replies, “Hey! I’m here to offer structure and stability– how creative do you really want me to get?!” …or something like that.
After all, those of us who do consider ourselves creative will tell you– it’s not because of any weird, artsy bone! But if our bones aren’t the source of natural creativity within us, what parts of us are? Whether or not you consider yourself creative, might you be overlooking another part of yourself where creative energy can be found?
Try one of these on for size:
Part One: I am a collection of creative parts.
I have a creative mind.
I have a creative heart.
I have creative hands.
I have a creative body.
I have a creative soul.
Or how about these?:
I have a creative drive.
I have creative logic.
I have a creative vision.
I have creative ideas.
I have creative style.
I have creative problem solving skills.
I have a creative thought process.
I have a creative intellect.
I have a creative way with words.
(Now try adding “bone” to the above list and see how silly it sounds!)
Still not sure if you really have a creative ability or if it extends beyond artistic abilities?
Let’s start with something more concrete. Your home likely has the same four walls, floor and ceiling structure that most of our homes start with, yet it’s not the same as my home or anyone else’s. So, think about it for a minute. What makes your home yours- unique to you?
Stacks of books? Beautiful art? Trinkets and tchotchkes? Nostalgic items? A secret wish-box or hope-chest under the bed? A poster of an inspiring person?
You may not realize it, but as you’ve been assembling your unique collection of things to make your home feel like yours, you have been creating the life that you desire. In the case of your home, you are creating the environment that you want to live in and the place you choose to call yours.
Creation is an act. It requires energy to be put behind it. It requires some form of movement and momentum.
Think back on something you really wanted to make happen in your life- landing a job, moving to your own place, saving up for something you loved… Behind the outcome was some creative force or combination of creative forces that motivated you into action.
Now, let’s widen the lens. Our careers, jobs, and projects are a great place to see these motivations in action. How is the work you choose to do an expression of the life you wish to create for yourself?
Think back to when you first started a job or project. Were you following or seeking any of these when you started?
Part Two: I am inspired into action by creative motivations.
These motivations move us to create and steer our way as we go. We use these motivations as a springboard to create our realities. In the case of your job, or projects, you are creating the part of your life where you choose to spend a good portion of your time, as well as the way in which you choose to use your talents and creative gifts (Creative gifts? Take a look at that first list again and think about it in terms of your work!).
The choices we make in our lives reflect a deeper desire within us to create a life that will make us feel fulfilled and alive.
Maybe by now you’ve gotten an inkling that there are also opposing forces to these motivations– destructive forces, we could say. But for the sake of proving your creative power, we’ll argue that they still create your reality.
These destructive/creative powers motivate us in a different way, and often result in inaction, which absolutely still creates our reality.
Do you recognize any of these goblins?
Part Three: Destructive tendencies create a reality that is separate from my dreams and my true purpose.
Can you see how these destructive motivations move us (or keep us stuck) to create a reality that is not in line with the life we dream of- which is to say, our true purpose? Freezing from fear of rejection or waiting for something to be perfect, creates our reality, too, and may additionally create stagnancy, stubbornness, defeatism, and, yep- more fear and worry.
And one last note on a particularly tricky trickster–
As it turns out, money belongs on both of these lists, being a very powerful motivator and a pretty handy tool for creative manifestation.
We typically need money to acquire shelter and food, but it’s after this necessities-met plateau point that money becomes trickier. Studies show that after we reach a certain level of monetary wealth– not as far over the line of having food and shelter covered as one might think– the amount of happiness that money can bring us plateaus.
And yet, money motivates so many of our decisions- resulting in a strange mix of actions and inactions. Think of it as positive or negative depending on your relationship to it as well as on your emotional relationship to a specific money-related decision.
Money is one tool of creativity, but it is not the only tool or even the most important tool.
It can help move us forward, yes, but so can passion, desire, faith, inspiration, and compassion. Motivating creative tools such as these can “make men move mountains”, as the saying goes.
But money also has the power to keep us stuck. One example might be that money is the motivating factor in a decision to give up a dream job or opportunity for something with better pay because we feel we would risk our safety and even our very happiness by giving up the monetary abundance. At the same time in this example, we are using destructive motivators to talk ourselves out of following our hearts, dreams, and passions. Can you think of other examples where money might keep someone stuck?
Relationships with money are deeply personal and incredibly varied and nuanced. Being aware of the role money plays in important decisions we make can be truly empowering. Approach this study with an open mind, leave judgements at the door, and pay attention to insights gained here.
We each create something unique simply by being here. Our natural gifts, the way we think and see things, how we connect with people, how we choose to use our gifts to move our lives forward- all of these are types of creativity and each of us carries a unique blend that has the power to build a entire life.
When we make choices, take action, and test our creations in the real world, we become active participants in our own lives, exercising our creative muscles along the way. And we empower ourselves to transform our real lives into the stuff of dreams.
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts and replies in the comments below. – xo