By Chris Zydel, MA | Updated September 22, 2018
How many times have you told yourself, "I want to be more creative in my life" and how many times has that ended up on your New Years resolution list along with wanting to exercise or eat better, with similar disappointing results.
Well, I have good news and bad news for you today.
The good news is that you are already creative. There's nothing you need to learn, nothing missing from your basic makeup nothing at all inadequate about you in the creative realm. In fact you are immensely more creative than you could even begin to imagine. You came fully equipped as a creative being, on the day you were born. Along with a beating heart and pumping lungs, came the ability to create. In any capacity. In any realm. Now, I can hear the wheels already turning. "Oh sure, I can be creative when it comes to making my kids lunch, or maybe doing some creative accounting with my checkbook. But that's about it. I haven't tried to do anything remotely artistic since I can't remember when, and believe you me, it's really for the best. I have no talent. I'm just no good at being creative." Sound familiar?
OK here comes the bad news. You can be creative, in any area you choose. If you can pick up a pen or brush, you can write or paint. If you can move any part of your body you can dance. If you can squeak, you can sing. Now, I know I promised you bad news and this doesn't sound too bad yet. Your right. This isn't exactly the bad news. The really bad news is that you can do any and all of those things.
But you have to give something up.
Something very near and dear to your heart.
You have to be willing to give up your belief that you are inadequate, and you have to accept, totally, no holds barred, everything that comes out of you. Every word you write, every stroke you paint, every movement you move has to be held with an attitude of absolute love and honor and respect.
Whoo boy!!! Now I can really hear those brain wheels whirring. In fact I think I'm beginning to smell smoke! "What? Well, obviously she really is crazy. I mean come on!! If I accept everything that comes out of me, I'll just be kidding myself. Anything that comes out of me will by definition be absolute drivel. I am not prepared to make a total fool out of myself, and that's exactly what would happen if I tried to be creative. I'm telling you I HAVE NO TALENT. Mrs. Bobblycrow in the 3rd grade told me so, and I'm just glad she gave me a heads up."
OK. So here it is. This is exactly what I am talking about. This is the bad news. This is what has got to go! You have to be willing to give up your attachment to this voice. In case you haven't noticed this voice is not exactly the voice of love, honor and respect.
This voice is not on your side.
You see, the real trick to being creative is not about talent. I mean don't you just wonder if when little Bobby Zimmerman (AKA Bob Dylan), started twanging on his guitar, and then started singing, don't you think one of his "friends" came up to him and said "Bob, I'm just trying to do you a favor here. You know the songs and lyrics are great. But that voice.... I mean, Frank Sinatra you are not," and I'm sure Bobby said to this friend "Phooey on you. You're right. I am not Frank Sinatra, I'm Bobby, and I intend to sing." He believed in himself. And he let his creative muse fly.
Why do you think that voice is so strong? Where does it come from, and why do you believe it so unquestioningly? Why would most adults want to believe that they are truly not creative? If you give a 4-year-old a pad of paints and paper they never refuse you with "I'm sorry, but I have no talent." Any self respecting 4-year -old grabs that paper out of your hand and gets right down to it because they love it and need it. Its an essential part of being human.
The reason you believe that voice? You've been brainwashed!!! We have all grown up in this western 20th century culture where everything is a commodity, competition is rampant, what is valued is money and celebrity. Making art has been reduced to something that a few people are considered to be good at and the rest of us get to watch TV!
So we have all been hoodwinked into believing that creativity is only worthwhile if it makes us famous, or we produce something that can be sold. Which very conveniently distracts us from the true purpose and potential power of our creativity.
Our creativity was given to us, by a very compassionate and benevolent force, as a way to access and express the deepest parts of who we are. It is connected to our internal guidance system, also known as our intuition, that leads us with unfailing accuracy to make positive, optimal life choices. It is a powerful tool for healing on both spiritual and psychological levels. And it keeps us viscerally connected to what is passionate, vital, and meaningful in our lives.
What a deal!
So next time you hear that voice of the creative naysayer whispering in your ear, just smile, pick up that paintbrush, or pen or dancing shoes, and remind yourself that it really doesn't know WHAT it is talking about. It's just a little misguided. And you have to make up for lost time. You have a lot of creating to do! So get busy! Your creative life is waiting!
©2005 Chris Zydel. All rights reserved.
Using counseling and the expressive arts, Chris Zydel, MA, has worked with hundreds of people to help them joyfully grow and expand into their full creative potential. ...