Unused creativity is not benign — it metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame. We are creative beings. We are by nature creative. It gets lost along the way. It gets shamed out of us.
Let me assure you of something. You will ALWAYS have time for what you put first. Yet everyone loves to explain how they have no time to be creative or explore their non-work related passions.
Remember this – before we are employees, parents, spouses and friends, we are individuals. Our gifts and talents – the ones we reveled in exploring as a child – are still as present as they ever were. And they silently beg us for release (sometimes we quieten them with over-spending, alcohol, food and other temporary but un-lasting fixes) . It is our obligation to make our creativity a priority like we do with exercise, work and our relationships. Our creativity is a gift to be not only used but also enjoyed!
These tips are for the majority of us whose passions make a rare appearance in our frantic lives.
1. Stop lying to yourself
How many hours a week do you spend at the bar, or watching TV, or drawn into the proverbial social media suck? If you just watch your favorite shows (two or three, maximum), only go to the social events you really care about and limit Facebook and Instagram to 10 minutes a day, how many hours have you saved?
2. Double up!
Say your creative release is something like pottery. Why not take a class with your friend or spouse? This counts as creative time and an awesome, different way to spend time with someone you love. A former client of mine spends her Saturday mornings painting with her children as a local arts centre. This is cool parent-child bonding time and an artistic release for her!
3. Use your wait time well
Commutes, standing in line, any time you might be early for an engagement (or someone else is running late) all adds up time-wise. I use times I need to be patient to write my articles on my iPhone or iPad, including this piece you are reading right now.
4. Say no, nie, non, nien, lo!
No is one of my favorite words. If you are uncertain as to whether or not to attend something, let your answer be no. You don’t need to explain yourself either. A simple, “Would love to — but sorry, I can’t” will suffice. Think of the hours saved!
5. Create a Vision Board
And be intentional about it. I host these events regularly and people relish sitting on the floor, rolling up their sleeves, cutting and gluing/pinning down beautiful images that “speak” to their heart. In fact some of the most popular feedback I hear is “I loved being creative tonight, I kinda felt like myself again!”
6. Just book it
What did your vision board show you? Or what do just know that you really want to do? Don’t overthink it. Just do it – book a dance class, cooking course or singing lesson. Email your local writer’s club about attending their next meeting. Opportunities are everywhere when you just open your eyes and look. Nothing beats the power of action – let your inner creative stirring win and take action this week. No excuses my friend. You can thank me later for the fun you had.
As many of you know, one of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities!” And creativity is as a big priority for all of us.
Now tell me… what is your dormant creative passion or hobby?