• 3-Ring Binders, Ketchup Art, and Courage

    This week I was speaking to our talented Clinical Supervisor, Rebekah Brandvold. She told me she was having such a great week because her schedule was a little less full than normal, which allowed her to find more time to be creative. I had to stop and think about the creativity she was talking about. What did she mean?  She’s a Clinical Supervisor, where’s the creativity in that?  Then I remembered the 3-Ring Binders she showed us earlier that were AMAZING!  I saw her face light up when she talked about these binders.  I saw her eyes sparkle and her body language was full of excitement.  I could see her, I could feel her, come alive. This simple bit of creativity she unfolded, magnified her strengths and she came alive.

    Many times when I hear the word “Creative” I think of paint, clay, music, theater.  As I was thinking about Rebekah and her creativity, I did what every person would do.  I Googled it.  Google says that creativity is “the use of the imagination or original ideas.”  Creativity is the birthplace of original ideas and original ideas lead us to a purpose. Sometimes it’s a small purpose like a 3-ring binder, an essay, a Saturday afternoon house project.  Or sometimes, creativity can lead us to a powerful purpose.  A bigger purpose of our life.  Being creative is an avenue to express who we are, what we feel, how we think, through something tangible. This “something” could be many things: music, numbers, cars, spreadsheets, writing, talking, and many other giftings.

    Children are creative by nature. They express whatever they want to express in many different ways: talking, dancing, climbing, drawing, sports and much more.  We all have the capability to find ways to be creative.  It may make you feel uneasy or anxious at first because of all the times we’ve been told we’re not creative.

    We need to let go of those messages.  Let. Them. Go.Because we were all creative children who played make-believe, who made ketchup art on the living room wall, who made up our own songs about dinosaurs eating chocolate, who made a game out of rocks and socks, and who organized our shirts by rainbow colors. So let go of the uneasy feeling and embrace what makes you creative and what makes you come alive.

    So, my challenge to you is this: revisit and identify how you are creative. Where does your imagination lead you, what are your original ideas?  What is your 3-ring binder?  What are you passionate about? That’s where creativity starts and purpose is directed. It can lead you on a path of passion and encourage ideas that can bring life.

    Brené Brown says “Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world”. Her “creativity” is research, writing, teaching. Those are her gifts and she sees it as creativity. “We know that vulnerability is the cornerstone of courage building, but we often fail to realize that without vulnerability, there is no creativity or innovation. Why? Because there is nothing more uncertain than the creative process, and there is absolutely no innovation without failure.”1 Many times we don’t step into being creative because we are afraid of failure. We want to be creative perfectly. That’s impossible. Being creative is stepping into something you haven’t seen before. It’s uncertain. So you have to be comfortable with being vulnerable with yourself first, and embrace little imperfections along the way. They are what bring the creativity alive.

    Creativity takes courage.   You are stepping out of safety and comfort and into the unknown.  I don’t know about you, but I like to be comfortable.  We are creatures of habit and we want comfort. If you are a student, you tend to sit in the same spot when you go to class. If someone sits in your spot you’re a little flustered and don’t know what to say. However, this comfort can cause boredom and complacency. There’s no drive or passion or purpose. Creativity is contagious. Creativity takes courage because you are stepping out into the unknown. Even if that unknown is sitting in a different spot in the class. It’s a start!

    How do I step into being more creative?

    1. Time. Are you “too busy”?  We are constantly running from one thing to the next. Make it a priority to tackle your passions and be creative. Don’t judge yourself as you start. Keep this a priority regularly, not just once. The more you practice, the easier it is and the more alive you will feel.
    2. Let go of old messages. Remember the old art teacher? Or something your mom said and she had no idea? Let them go. They aren’t true. Step into where you are today and believe what you want to about yourself. Yesterday’s messages are not today’s truth.
    3. Identify your passions. What gets you excited? What motivates you without anyone helping you? Identify what you are passionate about and drives you to change or step out. This is connected to your purpose and to bigger things than you. It can help little mundane things be exciting because you know you’re doing it for a greater purpose.
    4. Be vulnerable. To be creative means you are going to mess up. If you are comfortable with being vulnerable, “failure” is actually an opportunity to keep growing and being creative. Change your lens on how you see yourself and the creative process. After you attempt creativity with yourself, step out and share it with others, which is even more vulnerable. When you are confident in your creative process, you are okay with whatever response you get (although I suggest starting with your mom or grandma who will tell you how awesome you are first).

    Here are some quotes on creativity that pull on my soul and my heart. They take me out of comfort and into courage.

    “To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilhom Pearce

    “But out of limitations comes creativity.” ~Debbie Allen

    “Creativity takes courage.” ~Henri Matisse

    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou

    “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    Where will you unfold your creativity? What will you find that will magnify your strengths and set a path to your passion and purpose.  Where will you be vulnerable and not fear failure?  And where will you come alive?

    1Brown, Brené. Dare to Lead Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts. Vermilion, 2018 (p43).

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