Without it you feel disinterested, uninteresting, apart from,
Without it you feel sad and overburdened by responsibilities,
Without it you feel frustrated by not being able to express your higher self.
Without it you feel only a fraction of who you are.
Without it you feel bored.
Being overscheduled and overburdened with activities and musts encourages worry about finding the spark that ignites feelings of joy and freedom.
Luckily, this spark is not extinguishable. It is an eternal light and burns whether you are watching it or not. What is important is finding a way back to allowing the spark of creativity to once again light your path.
Four Easy Exercises for Finding the Way Back:
- Sit in a place you don't usually sit. What looks different to you from this vantage point? Make a sketch of it or write about it.
- Make a visit to someone you haven't seen in awhile. Bring something along to start a conversation. Tell the person you are visiting about the object you brought and what it makes you think about. Ask her what it makes her think about.
- Move something around in the rooms where you live. It can be big or small, a piece of furniture or an ornament or counter top appliance. Every time you pass this moved object, you will notice yourself noticing it. What does that feel like? What thoughts does surprising yourself this way bring up?
- Make up a name for something that doesn't have a name - the way people smile when they pass on the street even when they don't know one another, for instance. Or the way someone else's dog licks fingers to say hello. Think about instances in which to apply this new word. Have fun with the invented word.
Coming at things in fresh and unexpected ways is a way to step back on the path lit by creativity.
The above post is Sheila's final post in her three-part series on the "Courage to Create."
Sheila Bender has taught writing at colleges, universities, public school classrooms, writer's workshops and conferences, teacher training events, and private seminars. This fall she will be a distinguished guest lecturer at Seattle University teaching Poetry and Spirituality. In addition to writing and publishing poetry, memoir, essays, and instructional books, she has been a contributor to Writer's Digest magazine and The Writer. Her work has appeared in the Associated Writing Program's Writer's Chronicle.