All the personality trait assessments that I’ve ever taken say that I’m a creative person. I sure didn’t agree with this assessment because I couldn’t see where I was creative since I don’t have a home full of paintings or sculptures of art that I’ve created nor are there any published books (yet). So I just assumed that being labeled “creative” was a politically correct way of saying that I can think in many, many directions (read: ADHD!). I didn’t feel like I truly deserved being called creative because, I felt that I had nothing to show for it.
Over time; I am learning to view the idea of being creative from other perspectives. For most of my life, I have kept all my creativity sequestered up inside my head not letting it out except in mad dash sparks of insight. I’d like to share one of these insights regarding being creative with the hope that it is helpful for you.
Since I don’t have evidence of my creative process strewn about my home in a myriad of paints and papers, I have had to slow down and try to understand what it looks like to be creative via thoughts and then understand how to express that creativity. One of the ways I do this is by writing (thank God for the Blog!).
For the past two days I’ve been driving around looking at homes with my little brother who wants to move to Texas from California. It’s been a crazy whirlwind tour of 15-20 homes per day. My brother had been running under the belief that he and his fiancée had to buy a home within the short time they were visiting Texas. They have since come to realize that maybe they’d be better off renting first and getting the feel for Austin before they jump into buying a home.
I noticed during this time of driving around with them that my brain felt like it was stuffed with clouds. I did not seem able to put a cohesive sentence together regarding much of anything except, “turn here”. This experience of being in a cloud bank was very familiar to me. I’ve felt this way many times throughout my life. I’ve judged myself pretty harshly about it as well. What I’m coming to understand today is that perhaps the “Cloud Bank” feeling is my creative bubble process. I have this same feeling just before many inspired subjects to write about come out through my fingertips.
I believe all of us creative types need time to assimilate the amazing amount of information we receive every day. Our brains need time to play around with the pieces in order to come up with the best way to express our feelings and thoughts. This process may look different for each of us, but I bet for the most part how we feel during our down time is similar. Some of us mask it with drugs, alcohol, people, and diversions. Some of us sleep. Some of us feel really, really “stuck” and wonder where the heck our muse went during this time. It’s all part of our process when we’re experiencing being in the creative bubble. The challenge is to understand that we’re in our bubble and find ways to honor that time, to give ourselves the chance to rebuild.
Lately, I’ve been making it a point to run consistently. I’ve been an avid runner in my past but over the past three years I’ve really let it go. This morning I only ran for 35 minutes, but I could feel my mind throwing out all kinds of ideas with each step that I took. I know that moving my body is a great way for me to move my mind.
What ways have you discovered to help yourself rebuild?