In what ways are you creative? You may think you are not, but everyone, whoever they are, has a creative side. It is the part of you that takes existing materials, and makes something new from them. Traditionally, creativity is attached to the arts: writing, painting, photography, sculpture, film, music, and many more. But there is also creativity in the everyday hum of life.
CHOOSING YOUR WORDS
Every time you open your mouth, you have an opportunity to be creative, to make something new. True, you can choose to say the predictable thing, the thing that everyone expects you to say, the safe thing. At times, this is wise. But at other times, it may be wiser to offer something new in your words, something more challenging.
In counselling, clients will often begin by using stereotypical words and phrases, which they have probably used all their lives to justify and protect themselves. We all do it: we develop a set of habitual phrases which make us feel better, and keep others from criticising us. The only problem is, the usual phrases can become a protective shell for us, and then harden into a prison. Eventually, we find ourselves talking the standard talk, but it feels hollow and inauthentic. It may have described us in the past, but, if we are to grow and develop, we may have to seek new words, new phrases.
Clients, when they grow, seem to struggle and work hard to find new descriptions of themselves and others. As they outgrow their schemas, their habitual thought structures, they become aware of a creative side of them, that seeks more accurate, sensitive and empathic descriptions of the present moment. Instead of going stale in their old, standard versions of themselves, they use language to describe the new places they want to go, the new ways they want to live.
CHOOSING YOUR ENVIRONMENT
As with words, so with things. You have a choice in how you arrange your surroundings. You can leave your house and garden in the same format as it has been in for years. Sometimes this is a good and economical way to live. But, sometimes, it is wise to review your house and garden, and find some new formats. Your home is a reflection of what you aspire to and what you like to do. Is it a creative manifestation of that? Does your home inspire you in the right ways? Does it reflect who you are right now, and what you want to do?
Do you and your family need good places to sit, which are restful and nurturing? Is your garden arranged to help your soul, to help you feel appreciative and grateful for life? What can you do to redesign your home in creative ways?
CHOOSING YOUR ACTIONS
Finally, you can also apply creativity to your actions. Yes, you can choose exactly the same actions you have taken for years. Yes, this can be an efficient and comforting way to live. But, on the other hand, perhaps you can lighten your and others’ lives by finding creative ways to add humour, subtlety, variation, inspiration and kindness to your actions.
In difficult situations, it can be hard to think of new ways to help others. The temptation is to fall back into old ruts, because they feel safer. But the person who finds new ways to show kindness, even in tricky situations, is particularly blessed.
By all means follow your usual routines where they help you. But, just for today, perhaps keep your eyes open for ways to rearrange the usual things. What new words might add humour and comfort? What changes to your surroundings might provide light relief and nurture? What creative changes to your behaviour might break the mould of depression, and bring light-heartedness and kindness to those you love?