You might think that you weren’t fortunate enough to be gifted at birth with creativity. You might say, “Oh, my brother got the creative genes, and I didn’t,” or “Why would I want to be creative”?
Someone once asked me that last question, to which I had no good answer at the time. That single query, “Why be creative?” prompted a lot of reflection in me. And after years of immersing myself in various creative pursuits of music, art, writing, singing, and even some quilt making, I resigned myself to the fact that being creative was the only pastime that made me truly happy. I concluded that the reason I throw myself into music and art is because it makes me feel energized and on top of the world. That’s a valid reason to create, right? We all deserve to feel that satisfying sense of aliveness that comes from exploring our unique originality that’s often hidden, dormant, just waiting to breathe.
There’s a deep sense of fulfillment that comes from creating. It’s channeling a force greater than the person you think you are. The things that we produce in that magical state of creative flow are not completely from us alone. They are co-creations with an inexplicable mystical energy that we simply allow in, to varying degrees. To create feels so magical because we’re using the skills we’ve learned, but we’re also leaving space for ideas to pop into our heads. Where these bursts of ideas come from doesn’t really matter, but it’s exciting and invigorating. What’s happening is that we’re letting go of control and trusting an unseen, mystical energy that grows stronger the more we trust it.
Here are some reasons why opening the door to your artistic self is worth it:
You can’t do it wrong
One of the strongest selling points in my case for you to explore your creativity is that you cannot do it wrong. Oh, you might think you can. But that’s because you listen to everybody else. Don’t give your power away! It takes only a split second to falsely justify why your ideas, your work, is not good enough. We’re bombarded by TV shows with perfect-looking people telling us there is a “right” way to decorate our houses, literary snobs who will say your short stories are not stellar, and a music industry who tells me that my songs are nothing like the top hits. But the truth is that we do not have to please these people to whom society has given the badge of “expert.” In fact, we don’t have to please anybody at all. If we create from our heart’s whims from a place of authenticity, we have already won by having the courage to do so.
It’s an exercise in self-love and humility
A major hurdle for all of us is quieting our inner critic and being loving toward ourselves. Our minds habitually respond with negative thoughts, and we’re frozen by imagined fears of failure or ridicule. So, then, the challenge is to ban that harsh inner voice from the room, and lock the door. Negativity and shame are simply incompatible with where you’re going: into the realm of your soul.
Stop yourself from being critical of your creative work. Remember that it takes time to find your footing and build skills in any new endeavor. If you start to explore cooking, for example, just accept that there will be some nights you chalk up as a learning experience and order pizza. And that’s perfectly OK. There is no need to expect or demand perfection of yourself. This is art. It’s subjective. Even if by your own standards your work is less than satisfactory, then be humble and commend yourself for trying, knowing you’ll improve the more you do it.
Also, if you live with people who might not offer loving support of your passions, then consider using your discretion about what and when to share your creative projects. After all, you deserve to delve into a pastime you’re curious about, where you’re free to express, and safe from criticism. It’s a profound act of self-respect and self-love.
Creativity is a better use of your time
There are active and passive ways we can spend our free time. Passive activities include watching shows or movies, scrolling through social media, or absorbing any variety of content on the Internet (much of which is upsetting these days). Active pursuits can include mundane labor like housework or yard work, and if you find fulfillment in those, then good for you. I bet your house looks better than mine. But for the people who pursue their curiosity or passion, the pure joy of creating leaves productive labor in the dust.
It’s easy to explain why making something that wasn’t there before is more fun than hard work, but what’s harder to convey is the benefit of passion over passivity. In a passive state, you are subject to being manipulated or influenced by the culture, by the status quo. For example, you might feel bad after being on social media, comparing yourself to others and wondering why your life isn’t as good as those people. In the same vein, the pastime of watching TV subtly reinforces all those unhealthy messages that society keeps feeding us: we should be thin, beautiful, have nice things, spend lots of money, drink alcohol to have fun or to cope with problems, and of course, TV reminds us to conform to be like everyone else.
Pursuing your own unique creativity is the opposite. It comes from within, not from without. Yes, your creations might be influenced by the world around you, but they are fueled by YOUR spirit, the energy of the truest, realest you. And that is where you start to unlock the magic and realize that you were never meant to just be a mindless worker bee in this life. Each of us has a spark inside that when activated, brilliantly outshines the lures of a toxic society that does not have our best interest at heart.
All in all, creating opens a door to self-discovery and a fascinating expansion of experiences, which make your life richer. Stepping out of your comfort zone into free experimentation feels stimulating and exhilarating. It makes you feel alive. Creative projects to consider include absolutely anything you’re curious about, whether it be traditional arts like painting, writing, pottery or music, or everyday things like organizing space, gardening, or cooking. The beauty of it is that you don’t need a template or a structure. Just do your own thing and see what happens, and you’ll see that self-expression through creativity is vital to feeling refreshed and happy.
Singer-songwriter Angela Predhomme’s music has been heard by millions through television, film, radio and streaming. Her songs have been featured in the popular Hallmark movie “Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane,” Lifetime’s hit show “Dance Moms,” commercials for ING Bank and Fiat, and more. Predhomme reached no. 1 on the Euro Indie Music Chart this year and has been marked as “one to watch” by music journalists.