It’s 5:30am and although I’ve had little sleep, I am up with my alarm, getting ready to go to the flower markets with a surprising level of energy. I am generally not (okay, almost never) someone who ‘springs’ out of bed, but today I would classify my getting out of bed method as somewhere between a spring and a dishevelled roll. Not bad!
Something is definitely up.
As I walk by the roadside, the evening sun casting its golden light on eucalyptus trees, vineyards and dry grass, I look down with satisfaction and curious delight at the basket full of flowers and foliage I’ve gathered. I realise I’ve been walking a lot more than usual recently.
What’s gotten into me?
I am standing on the bonnet of my car in the hot sun, vaguely wondering if my flip flops are at risk of melting, reaching up high to pick a few stems of vibrant flowering red gum. Hopping back down with my prize, I carefully put them in my bucket along with other foraged goods, and drive on in search of any pretty looking flora I can see. My emptying fuel tank is of some concern, but my daydreaming of what I might create seems to have overtaken my anxiety around money (or lack of it).
And that’s it: ‘What I might create.’ That’s what’s going on here. I’ve discovered a new creative outlet, and I can feel myself coming alive in a new and long-awaited way.
Where did my creativity go?
Up until recently, my creativity felt like a dried up well. Even writing, which had always seemed to flow easily, felt like wading through treacle.
I don’t fully know what caused the well to dry up, or at least the illusion of it. I do know it felt impossible to change. It also felt incredibly frustrating.
Part of me was aware of a deep, swirling pool of beauty, ideas, thoughts, dreams and passions inside my soul that were crying out to be released…yet I could not give voice or expression to them. It was like a fire shut up in my bones.
Maybe you’ve been feeling like you’ve lost your creativity. Or perhaps you don’t believe you’re creative.
Listen here. You cannot lose your creativity – it’s woven into every part of you. You were created to create. You are made in the image of God, the Creator of all things!
Your creativity will find its expression and voice in a way unlike anybody else on earth. So, don’t be discouraged, no matter how creative you’re feeling right now. You, by your very nature, are creative – you can’t help it.
Here are some thoughts on how to give voice and expression to the creative substance inside your soul. It’s waiting to be released, carrying with it the glory of God, purposed to change the world!
Busyness is so fashionable these days. We wear it like a badge of honour. Somehow we equate it with success.
Yet it gets us stuck in a rut of doing the same things over and over, without even stopping to realise we are no longer finding much life or joy in all our activity.
It’s important to pause and slow down. To quiet the noise around us. To breathe. To be. To stop and realise or remember the things which spark joy and bring us alive.
Just like a beautiful painting begins with a blank canvas, we need to allow ourselves the space for whatever creativity is inside us to come out and find its expression.
Be intentional about making space in your day or week to try something new, or to do something you enjoy. We shouldn’t constantly feel the need to be ‘productive’.
In my times of creating, I often feel close to God – and what could be of more value than that?
Lose the fear of failure
Brene Brown says, “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.”
If we aren’t willing to take risks or fail, our creativity will forever remain shut up in our bones. Stepping into territory we’re not sure about is essential on our path to creating something new.
I once went through a period of thoroughly enjoying photography, but as I looked at a few of my siblings who are incredibly gifted in this area, the joy began draining away and I stopped pursuing it altogether, thinking, ‘What’s the point, I’m nowhere near as good as them!’
Our world puts such an emphasis on being the ‘best’. It’s equated with being accepted and celebrated, and we all desire that. But this unachievable standard makes us afraid to fail, and causes us to compare ourselves with others. Because we measure up short every time, we give things up before they’ve even had a chance to grow.
We must know who we are. We have to know we are loved, valued and accepted, and it has nothing to do with what we produce. This is the beauty and mind-bending grace of God. He loves us, unconditionally.
When we create with abandon, feeling no pressure to ‘succeed’ or be the ‘best’, we get to fully enjoy the process. Our creativity will take us in directions we never even imagined or dreamed of.
God has put something creative in all of us. These things are gifts to fill our soul with joy and bring us alive in new ways, and gifts to the world around us. As we give expression to the creative inside us, others get to experience an aspect of God’s beauty!
We won’t always feel motivated, inspired or creative. Creativity doesn’t always flow. Sometimes it seems to remain out of our grasp for long periods. But it’s there, in each of us, purposed for something great.
So keep going. Keep creating. Keep pursuing what sparks joy, what brings your soul to life. Keep dreaming. Keep taking risks to express the endless well of beauty God has put inside you.
Do all you can to wake up your creativity. The world desperately needs it!
Bonnie loves all things old-fashioned, travelling, beautiful things (especially flowers), coffee with friends and being with her family. She is passionate about broken hearts and relationships being restored through the power of vulnerability and honesty with God and others.
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