Everyone is creative. Creativity is a birthright. But we seem to have lost the art of it.
As children, we played. Everything was a game. We made things with mud, paste and paper, our food. We didn’t think about it, compare it, keep it. It was just about the moment.
As adults, we hold opinions of what we can and can’t do. What we are and are not. We don’t just play anymore. We think and we plan and we judge and we don’t start. The page is always blank. The journal empty. The beautiful new pens still pristine. The bag of supplies and tools unopened since purchase.
Starting is scary. Especially when you hold the opinion about yourself that you’re already no good at this. Every idea you come up with has already been done – and done better by someone else. Or by thousands of others. Instagram has a lot to answer for.
In 2019 we set up a space, open to the garden with gentle sounds of water – a creative space to run creativity workshops, to enhance a creative experience, to gradually build the creativity muscle.
There is a creative element in everything you do and think. So our initial ideas for the space included art and craft workshops, yoga and meditation sessions, music, design, photography workshops, talks and discussions, nutrition and cooking, writing and reading groups, … there was no end to the possibilities.
Stillness is the best catalyst for creativity. A time of quiet sitting, breathing, setting aside “monkey mind” thinking or urgency, quieting my fears, all allows for spontaneity.
Stillness IS the catalyst, returned to over and over again. Stillness will always be the basis of everything we do.
One Step Beyond
So this is not about technique or skills or results. It’s about personal experience and building some creative muscle. It’s about wanting to explore the creative present. It’s about diving into the unknown, open to the possibility that awaits.
This is what it is to take one step beyond. It’s a small thing. An unknown thing. It’s allowing yourself to trust the unknown, in a safe and creative way. To make the page un-blank.
It is about the individual, the environment and the interplay between the two, to make the experience enriching and memorable.
On to 2020
In this strange and new world we find ourselves in (with COVID-19), finding our creativity is so much more important. From cooking to exercise to amusement to work, and learning new tech to keep us feeling connected, every act of creativity is flowing positivity to the world.
Anyone can be a blank sheet and couch surf Netflix for hours, but you can also take that breath and explore, make that sorrel sauce recipe (having grown the sorrel), tackle Banksia pruning, repot that poor Aspidistra that everyone assured you would thrive even when neglected, take up knitting, write for the joy of it, YouTube a dance class, call a different friend every day to catch up…
For us, it’s exploring how to move our next series of workshops from the physical space into the online world. We’ll keep you posted.
Stay kind. Stay safe. Stay creative.
Just to finish: Twyla Tharpe, speaking of her book “The Creative Habit – Learn It and Use It For Life” expressed her wishes beautifully:
If you’re starting, I hope it gives you the courage to take your first step and go in the direction of your dreams.
If you’re stuck, I hope it helps you get going again.
If you’re lost, I hope it helps you find your way.
If you manage to touch your heart and move even the slightest bit, consider it time well spent.
For me, “… to touch your heart and move even the slightest bit” is going One Step Beyond.