Thursday, June 3, 2010

Honor your Creativity

Every week I speak to many people and when I ask how they are, I get the polite non-answer …  I'm good.  If they know me, I often get something closer to the truth - I’m ok, I’m sick, I’m hanging in there, I’m coping, I’m stressed, I’m busy etc.  Only one person said “I'm great” in the last 2 weeks.  It was wonderful that he said so because in the 4 months I have known him, every week I get the non-answer … I'm good but with no heart.  But never "I'm great" with a light in his eyes and a smile on his face.  I can see how much happier he is and at peace with himself.

How did that happen?  In his job, he sees the dark side of human nature all the time.  To his credit, he makes the effort to do things in his free time which puts him in touch with people who are positive and good and learn something fun and challenging like ballroom dancing.  So he is very guarded and even though I saw him every week for 4 months, I really didn’t feel I knew him at all.  About 3 weeks ago, he opened up and told me a little about himself and his background when he discovered that I had  started painting out of nowhere in 2001 and was adoption gone wrong (see blog post: “My Story”).

I noticed him reading in the car when he was early for his lesson so I asked him if that was what he loved to do.  He then told me he used to write a lot when he was younger.  On further probing, it turned out he has been carrying a book in his head for 2 years but has never written it down.  I was amazed and asked what was stopping him from making a start.  He gave several reasons – eg. he was clearing off some debt and didn’t have the money to hook up his computer yet.  I felt the real reason was some level of fear - What if it never gets published?  What if it is not good enough?  What if nobody likes it?

I shared with him some information which dispelled some of his concerns eg: if he was concerned about not getting a publisher, there are many authors who self-publish their books and have made a lot of money doing so.  I told him about a well known coach who made millions self-publishing his own books and he now specializes in working with entrepreneur authors.

The other important point I made was the fact that he has that creative spirit inside him and he needed to honor his creativity and give it life.  If he didn’t do so, he will not be happy or go mad.  Creative people have to create something regularly, it does not matter what it is, as long as they get to express it as often as they can, they will be happy and at peace with themselves and the world.  I have been through that journey myself, mine was more severe as I didn’t even know  I had creativity in me until it hit me over the head when I was 39 (read my blog post: “Transitions”).

That week, I gave him his dance homework and also his life homework.  I told him to go to the 99cent store, buy a journal and start writing something every day.  He thought about it and said he could start by blocking the book.  Then he said he had not figured out how to resolve chapter 2 etc.   So I told him he does not have to figure everything out now as that will prevent him from making a start.   He just needed to start writing and he will find that his book will most likely morph and change as he develops it or the problem will resolve itself.

The next week when I checked up on his life homework he said he had started writing and it felt good.  On week 2, he was still writing and realized he needed to do more research.  By week 3, he said “I’m great!” with a light in his eyes and a smile on his face.  That made me happy.

Have you ever felt the need to create something?  Have you often thought about trying some creative pursuit such as art, music, dance or writing, etc?  Why haven’t you done something about it?  What is stopping you?  Don't stifle your creativity just because you think you cannot make any money from it or you don't think it's going to be good enough.  You just need to go with that feeling – sign-up for a class and just do it.  In allowing your creativity to flow, you will be amazed at how much more fulfilled and happy you are going to be.  I speak from experience, having been through that journey myself.  Since then, I have coached hundreds of my students to their creative transformations!

Thank you for reading my blog posting.  I would love to hear from you.  Please post in the comments box what you are going to do today to honor your creativity.  I will be happy to help you with this wonderful journey.



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