A few years back, I recorded a CD of original songs. It felt like giving birth—anxious anticipation, with labor pains that often threatened to abort the project. When I finally “gave birth”, it was thrilling for me to hold in my hands something tangible from all the years I had been writing songs.
The process was:
1) Exciting—when I found the melody that suited the lyric, I danced around the room with exuberance and a joy that defies description.
2) Challenging—my nasty little critic kept popping up to tell me that what I was writing really wasn’t that good or my singing was mediocre. I had to push through this weighty self-talk and accept what I was creating was good enough (I even wrote a song about it!).
3) Terrifying—it was truly terrifying imagining how others might react to my music; putting it out in the world for the first time.
The response from others was very supportive and some people found inspiration in my words and music. What I also heard from many people were their own stories of creative expression that had been dropped over the years as demands of work and family got in the way. These demands took over their days and left no room for the creative expressions that once gave them a great deal of pleasure.
As I listened to these stories, one after the other, I heard a sad longing as well as resignation to a smaller less joyful life in their voices. In response I would give encouragement and examples of ways to bring these creative experiences back into their lives. But I soon realized that until someone is ready to take the step and make the change, all the encouragement in the world affects nothing.
Since that time, I have learned the value of deep listening and being a witnessing presence. I have also learned to only offer assistance after asking permission With your permission, I offer some suggestions to bring the joy of creative expression back into your life:
1) Clue into the creative expressions you have done in the past that still hold energy for you. Experiment and find what is fun. Try something new—what are you curious about or always wanted to try—Paints? Poetry? Clay?
2) Find time—even an hour—in your schedule each day or several times a week to play. Remember how much fun it was when you were young? It is not frivolous—it is a human need to lighten up and play in a meaningful way. Respond to that voice in your head that tells you otherwise with a “Go Away!”
3) Clue into the well-being that is created by creating regularly in a way that feeds you—Satisfaction? Relaxation? Mental Stimulation? Fun?
4) Read any and all of Eric Maisel’s books on creativity. They will get you creating!
Bringing creativity into your life, even in a small way, brings with it energy and inspiration as it feeds you and supports the part of you that needs to play and be joyful.
In this season of joy and giving, consider giving yourself the gift of time spent on what truly brings you joy. Do you know what that is? If not, take some time to explore it.
Our time on this planet is limited. Spend as much as you can doing those things that bring you deep joy and at the end you can feel satisfied that the life you lived was meaningful and left a legacy of inspiration for others to follow.
I’d love to hear if this inspired you to action. Leave your story below.
Have a wonderful, heart filled holiday~
PS—The songs from my CD are now available on my website for free to listen and download. Enjoy!