Making stuff (up)

I attended a workshop a few months ago where we spent quite a lot of time making stuff and being creative. We also heard about how we sometimes (often) make stuff UP about ourselves and about life in general too. For example: “I’m not creative,” ” I’m very unlucky,” “I’m not good at those sort of things,” “Life is hard” etc, etc.

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Highly recommended workshop

Over the course of the day,  I made a pebble art creation which I called ‘Mother Willow’ and a beautiful piece of wall art which included one of my favourite Rumi quotes. One of them is ‘nicer’ than the other and I know which one I like more but both are evidence of my creativity.

It wasn’t always like this….for years I thought I wasn’t creative and that was that. Sure I hadn’t even ‘done art for my junior cert’ and I often joked that I couldn’t draw a straight line. You see, I thought being creative meant being able to paint or sketch. I had no idea that creativity was so much more than that. I didn’t know the many ways creativity turns up for people. These days, I know that creativity can show up in the spoken word or in poetry. It may show up in knitting, sewing, felting or crochet. It could be in cooking or baking or sugar craft. It can be how someone problem solves or learns something new. It might be how they deal with anxiety or a difficult work colleague. There are literally hundreds of ways creativity can emerge from the human soul – it’s part of who we are and is waiting and wanting to express itself all the time.

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One of my favourite Rumi quotes

However, for this creativity to emerge, there are a few key factors that make the whole process easier. These include:

– Time dedicated to it – its hard to be creative if there’s no time!

– Space for it to happen – a safe place, free from criticism and judgement.

– No expectation that the ‘art’ has to earn something, be something useful, have a purpose etc. Spending the time doing it needs to be the priority rather than the outcome / finished item.

– Encouragement – from someone, anyone, (even yourself) really really helps the process.

I’ve been lucky and blessed to have friends who provide and support these things in my life. If you’d like that kind of support, check out www.instagram.com/creativecalm/

In the world I lived in once upon a time, I thought every moment spent doing something had to have a purpose, an outcome or a monetary value. I hadn’t yet discovered the importance of sacred idleness. Now, it’s jugular.

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Very Important Sacred Idleness

In that world, I simply didn’t have the time, space or encouragement to create. But more importantly than that, I’d made it UP that I wasn’t creative.

It’s useful to be happy with what we’re making UP about ourselves….it mightn’t be what we want or what makes up happy! What are you making UP about yourself? Is it working for you? Remember, ‘the tragedy of life isn’t that it ends so soon; but that we wait so long to begin it.’

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