Thrown into the most exhausting and painful time of my life, I’d just had a baby – my third child, lost a business, moved house, had family members diagnosed with life altering illness – all within weeks of each other. It was all too much. I felt spun around and unsure of which way was up, let alone the next step to take.
I felt like a tortoise, upside down on her shell, wiggling her legs in the air, trying to turn over but the shell just sliding around on the floor. Eventually all I wanted to do was hide in that shell and not face pain and disappointment again. Have you ever felt like this?
It was a struggle to do anything, even the former things that I loved to do. I had worked as a designer and loved to be creative with design and layout, and in making a home for my little family. That had all been taken from me and I had no outlet, inclination or energy to be creative at all.
As I travelled the path of depression and learning about my mental health, re-discovering creativity was an essential part of healing. Learning how to restart my creativity against the odds, learning how to rest and finding out what brought me joy. Silencing my inner critic voice, creating from a place of vulnerability, and chasing down truth and beauty.
I had to learn to come alive again.
Creative practice helped me to move through disappointments, it helped me focus on the things that mattered, it helped me find meaning in life and feel valued again.
You see, creative, I believe it is the essence of who we are. Every action you take is a creative act. When we who were made in God’s own image, move into our identity, foremost we are creators. Overwhelmed with life, it is possible to forget who we are. We can lose our voice and courage and as Brene Brown says:
“Unused creativity is not benign, it metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame”
Our unused creativity eventually destroys us. Feeling disempowered by life threatens to take away our identity. We can believe the lies that we don’t have anything to offer. I had to make a tiny first small step to be creative again and in doing so I discovered more of what I loved to do and what made me feel more like me. It’s not always easy but I have found ways to keep going.
I have come up with small ways that keep me exercising my creativity and help keep me flourishing. This is good for my soul, it is life-giving. When life is full of boring tasks or lists of chores, then I know I can take just 10 minutes a day to do one thing that will connect me to my creative essence.
3 tips to start
1. Always carry pen and paper for notes, thoughts, doodles, lettering and more.
2. Make a practice of doing one thing a day even if you only have 10 minutes.
3. Remember that every act is a creative act and you are creative.
If you used to be more creative but it has just gotten away from you and you know that you need to be creative then I wrote the “3 steps to fitting in creativity for wellbeing” sheet just for you. Click the link to join my email list to get it.