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Kristi Tencarre : Mission: Creativity!

Mission: Creativity!

By Kristi Tencarre

Wednesday, April 11th '007

I love that this year can be abbreviated to '007. It's like it is the year that we can all be secret agent wo/men in disguise. We can all be on a mission. I hear you asking: "A mission for what?" Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discover, to uncover, and to recover your gifts and to put them to use!

Your creativity is under attack and it is up to you to defend it. It is your right to be creative. It is worth fighting for.

This is not necessarily an easy task. You may have already taken the first steps. You may have bought that little laptop. You may have cleared a space on the table for your artwork. You may even have bought those cute little cupcake tins for the latest baking craze. But… will you actually do the things your soul is saying that you want to do and that you can do?

If only we adults could lose our cynicism, our sense of failure and loss and regret. If only we could scream like Buzz Lightyear: "To Infinity and beyond!" Oh what leaps we would make! Perhaps we can. It's possible to view this creativity thing as a mission — our mission. We can accept the challenge that lies before us.

Choose to listen to that still small voice inside your self, which whispers: "I can do that!" … "I want to do that!" … "I have something to say!" … "I have something to contribute!"

Believe. Hope. Persevere. These are things we tell children. These are things we tell the sick in recovery. These are things we tell soldiers. But what are we telling ourselves? Are we giving our own hearts the same message we would give a child? We are more likely sending messages to be practical. Quite a few of us are critical and abusive to our creative natures. How many of us cage up our creative side? How many people are closet creatives who, at the slightest hint of light, slam shut the door? The saddest thing of all is when we lose the key.

It's time we started being nice to ourselves. It's time we stood up for ourselves. It is time to accept the mission. It is time to get creative! Dodge the excuses. Scream "NO!" out loud if you have to. Remember, you are now a creative agent and this is war. The war is against your creativity and you must engage the enemy. You will face challenges. You will fight some fierce battles. You will not give up. You will not give in. You will persevere and overcome.

You will succeed.

"And will you succeed? Oh yes, quite indeed (98 and three-quarters percent, guaranteed!). Kid, you'll move mountains!" — Dr Seuss

In order to move that mountain, you must first begin. Think the Grand Canyon:

"A single drop of water, once joined with others, can transform a mountain"
— Chinese proverb

Think of how a child learns to walk: wobbly at first, then as he/she continues to take another step, with time, that little one grows stronger, gets better, and is soon running!

Success does not have to mean fame or fortune. Evaluate how you view success and change its meaning, if needed. Success may mean learning how to use the computer so that you can blog. Success may mean that the child of a friend asks you for advice on painting. Success may mean that you give your creative endeavours away as gifts. Success may mean big or small things. The important thing is to personalize your interpretation of what success is.

I can't think of any examples of people who have achieved success overnight. If you look at the world's interpretation of successful people down through history, you will find that it took small steps continually and that is what led them to "success." Sometimes those baby steps get bigger and bigger until it seems that a certain person can do nothing wrong!

However, do not be too influenced by the world's concept of success. Personalize what it means to you. As a creative agent, it is essential that you be a critical thinker. Not critical in that you belittle yourself, but critical in that you are conscious of what you are taking in. Be alert! Analyze what you are being fed. Not all the information you receive is true.

Art is a process, a journey. It takes practice. We may be born with natural talent, but when we cultivate it we take it to new levels. It's okay to have less-than-perfect outcomes. As we continue on in our creative endeavours, our gifts can only develop into something better than what they were at the beginning. I have seen Picasso's early works in Paris and they are nothing like his later works in big name museums.

Fight discouragement. On your down days gather reinforcements. Use the tools available to you. Seek out like-minded friends, books on your chosen creativity (or the creativity that has chosen you!), browse the Creativity Portal. Do not allow yourself to succumb to the pit of despair.

Act on your creativity. Do the thing that wants to be done. It is whispering to you. It has been whispering for a long time. Listen to it. Nurture it. Allow it into the light. Enjoy the process! Enjoy the journey. Allow yourself the gift of time, the gift of play, the gift of practice.

"Ideas are like doors. It might just be a door that gets you to another door. But it might lead you to a secret door that opens up to the green meadow outside the castle." — Tomie de Paola, children's author and illustrator.

And so Creative One, will you accept the mission? •

© 2007 Kristi Tencarre

Kristi TencarreKristi Tencarre is a long-time and valued contributor to Creativity Portal, sharing her creative perspective and photo writing prompts with its readers. More »

5/22/07