meeting creativity where it is

11:11 AM

When you come of age during the "golden era of social media" separating fact from fiction and reality vs. perceived reality can become a complicated task. It's the old adage of "if you didn't post it did it happen?" As we all know, it did happen, so much in fact happens outside of these apps or sites. I have found myself stuck in this tension for the last decade - feeling that the best things in life are invisible and yet comparing my invisible to the polished, visible, squares of others. So much of what transpires in our lives is un-writeable, un-consumable and often un-glamorous. But truly does that make it any less worthwhile? We know what the knee-jerk answer is but do we live like we believe it?
I'll speak for myself and say that I have been stumbling through this for the last few years and not always gracefully. But recently I've become aware of the way in which this mindset can directly affect creativity. I can see now how for the last decade I was struggling with how to fit my creative pursuits inside the framework of social media. I felt, misguidedly, that without outside validation my work would be somehow less worthy. I racked my brain for ideas and kept coming up to a brick wall. After all not all of us share a talent for selling oils, hair shampoo and/or vacations to exotic locals. But when we really start to look at things rationally we can see that this "score keeping" system is deeply flawed. It is not tilted towards those of us who consider ourselves introverts, the quiet ones. Our talents are not so easily marketed, not so easily visible in this fast-paced consumerist society.
Yet inside all of us is a completely unique, incredible and powerful creative energy. Tapping into it is not easy, in fact it will probably be the biggest hurdle we face as adult women. From hormones running amok, to chemical imbalances to the massive undertaking that is motherhood our minds are oversaturated and overburdened. Our souls get tucked far, far away from reach and those cries for creative energy to be released feel more and more faint over time. I've found that over the years every time an idea begins to sprout I weed it out telling myself that "it's not ready, it's not good enough, it's not smart enough, etc..." I keep waiting for the "perfect" idea - the one that appears already fully formed, consummate and tied with a bow. But alas years have gone by and I'm still waiting. How often do we tell ourselves it's not worth our time, it's not convenient, it's not "cool" and we fear that it won't get the validation we so desperately crave.
But that's the thing about tapping into your truth - you won't need validation. The release of your work or your art will be the validation itself. Whether that creativity lies in finally donning scrubs and healing animals or humans. Whether it lies in baking those croissants that only your hands can create. Whether it lies in being part of team working towards something exciting and new. Or whether it lies in teaching little or big ones. When you find it, when you tap into it and when you are able to eventually "birth" it your creative energy will propel you forward in a pure and thrilling way.
I think we've grown so accustomed to seeing people receive validation for creative energy that when expressed fits neatly into the milieu of social media and perceived as successful that we've forgotten that success doesn't need to be measured by follower counts, clicks or dollars. Success can mean changing a life, saving a life or enriching a life. No numbers. No stats. Just real, human connection (or animal in some cases :)).
So if you're feeling that nudge of creativity and you feel lost as to how to tap into or where to channel it I really recommend you find the a professional who can guide you toward uncovering the layers of fears, excuses and rationalizations that often surround our creative energy. Find what it is inside of you that needs to be released and know that no matter what it looks like - it matters. You matter. Get out there and paint the world with only the brushes that you posses!!

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

ps. If you may be interested in a list of books/podcasts that have helped guide me towards unlocking my creative purpose I would be more than happy to share!

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