Creativity, learning to fly, and impressing the one that matters most

Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso

When I was little, I wanted to fly.

I’d jump from tables and chairs, using fly swatters, or even an umbrella in an attempt to suspend mid air.

I dove into art projects, I baked (usually inedible) cakes from scratch, I wrote and told stories, I would swing really high on the swings, and I spent a lot of time singing in front of the mirror.  I was uninterested in outcome, only interested in the process of sharing, expanding, creating.

At some point, this began to fade.  It not only faded, the way I saw myself began to change.

Creative or artistic fell from my personal descriptors.  Age, education, and comparison changed everything - my inability to be considered the “best” at anything art related and the hard focus on a “real” career path ate away at my spirit.

And somewhere, in the midst of all of that, I stopped feeling content.  I strived, I needed a lot of degrees, I needed outside validation, I became uncomfortable in my skin.

My inability to be creative created a hole that required outside approval.  I got in the habit of allowing others to tell me who to be and how to do things. I couldn’t hear or feel myself anymore.

Unused creativity is not benign – it metastasizes.  It turns into shame, grief, rage, judgment, sorrow…we are divine beings, by nature creative, but it gets lost along the way, it gets shamed out of us. ~ Brenè Brown

Then one day, after having my first baby, I felt so panicked, lost, and afraid that I picked up a pen and started to write.  My disillusionment, my fear, and my inability to feel myself came out on paper.

And when I was done, I felt like I had thrown up; it was uncomfortable, but the process left me feeling so much better.  Something that was beyond me reconnected; it allowed me to feel and tell the truth again.

So writing became a release, and even deeper than that, it became time in spirit.

I felt lighter, more fluid, and I saw good again.  Stuff just came up and came through, and I was able to share it.

Creativity is a holy calling, thoughts and ideas that come out of nowhere. ~Elizabeth Gilbert

Now my “work” is all about creativity, it’s all about feeling the flow.  But comparison and competition are still alive, and unfortunately, they distract me and put me back into the approval-hungry zone.

But when it gets too heavy, I close my eyes and see the girl; that one who flew, baked, made messes, and swung so high – she says to me in her kid voice, “Why do you do that?”

I like her; she’s awesome.  She doesn’t relate to the self-imposed external demands, she only knows what feels right.  And I love listening to her.  She is the one I want to impress.

Not with awards, status, and recognition, but with freedom.  Allowing her to speak, play, and be who she came here to be.

A soul in tension, that’s learning to fly. Condition grounded, determined to try. ~David Gilmour

 

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