Day 8 #NaJoWriMoPrompt: Write About Your Creative History

For today’s prompt, write about your past in relationship to creative expression. What are your earliest memories of being creative? Describe some great opportunities or missed opportunities for creative expression? What do you think helped or hindered you from being creative? Do you have creative people in your family? How have they inspired you? These are general questions. Write about the topic and see where it leads you. Happy journaling.

My creative history. Wow. That feels like a massive assignment. Especially since the Create the impossible-course I took at the beginning of the year, which made me realize that there is (an opportunity for) creativity in everything, even something as mundane as making dinner is a creation.

My earliest memories…. ah, I honestly I have no clue. But, my maternal grandmother taught me to crochet (and later on to knit as well), and I do remember being at kindergarten an crocheting endlessly long threads from a ball of yarn. Rolled it into a skein, and voila, had myself a new ball of yarn, in a manner of speaking, to start all over again. So I crocheted yet another endlessly long, but slightly thicker, long thread, from the initial endlessly long crocheted thread. Think I might even have repeated the same procedure yet once again. Limited use for long crocheted threads most definitely, but I did create. And I might have been around 4 or 5, I’m guessing. There’s remnants of other kindergarten creations still remaining at my mom’s place. Various ornaments for Christmas and Easter for instance.

wrist warmersAs I’ve written about before, I think my creativity has, to a large extent, been expressed using my hands, in handicrafts. When I think about creativity, that is where my mind goes first of all. And perhaps there’s a bit of a need for results and usefulness in my thoughts around creation, for myself. I create something which is needed, or desired, or that which is useful. Like the wrist warmers I’m wearing right this instant. I knitted them a few years ago, when the urge to create something with my hands grew within, until I couldn’t contain it anymore, and dug out needles and yarn from my various hiding places… Having a set end goal in mind, I started to create them, working without a pattern, but knowing what I wanted them to become, once finished.

I wonder if that’s a bit of a hindrance I’ve imposed upon myself: there must be a need, an end-result that can be put to use? Have I ever created just to create? For the sake of making it? Without any hidden agenda, a lack of purpose? Just. To do it. Nothing more. Nothing less. I don’t know.

I mean, even my blogging is to a certain extent purpose-driven. I blog with the intention to get my thoughts and ruminations down on paper, making them come alive outside of my head. So… How do you do it, when you just create, for creation’s sake itself? I honestly don’t know. Do you?

Be creative versus Take action

On one of the first weeks of the Create the impossible-course the theme was Be creative. Michael Neill spoke in the daily audio on creativity, giving different assignments, one of which was to create something from nothing. Overall, the entire week centered around creativity.

And you cannot imagine the magnificent examples of creativity that my fellow classmates birthed and shared with the rest of us. There were songs, blog posts, paintings, elaborate meals, and also a lot of headway of the various create-the-impossible-projects of people in the group. The energy was mostly light, bright, bouncy and joyful, with a lot of play and openness as to what wanted to be created. 

Then a few weeks later, the weekly theme was Take action. Michaels daily audio gave instructions to take action, even to take massive action, to just-do-it, and really get down to work, so to speak. 

And the difference, also in me, was amazing to witness. Some people jumped right in and took action, being totally fine with it. But myself, and a lot of the others on the course, got up in our thinking. I had thoughts such as

Is it really appropriate to force myself into action? 

What if I don’t feel like taking action? 

Should I really force myself into it? 

Will I take the correct actions if I force myself, or will that mean I’ll be working against my intuition? 

Well, you can probably hear my inner dialogue spinning around and around on this, with a lot of judgement thrown in, ideas about right and wrong, and a fear of going down the wrong path. 

Then something happened. Michael spoke about the theme of the Take action-week during the weekly phone-in-session, and I was reduced to hysteric giggles at how silly I’d been. Because what Michael so aptly pointed out, is that being creative and taking action, are really jusy two different ways of talking about the same thing. 

Doh!!! 

I had a huge Homer-Simpson-moment when that hit home. 

Because he’s right. It is. Being creative is about taking action. It’s about just doing something, making something come to life. Whether it be a song, a meal for the family, a painting, a website, a blog post or an email asking someone for assistance. Taking action is about being creative, it’s about taking steps towards a goal, or just taking a step forward anyway, because it feels appropriate to take a step forward. 

It’s just different words. And it became painfully obvious to me, that I place totally different meaning upon these two words. Which is actually a great piece of information! If I’m paralysed by the Be creative-bit, well then, don’t go there. Use the Take action-vocabulary instead, by all means. And vice versa. If Taking action feels very serious, strict and rather makes your imagination and creative playful side shut down, inhibiting you from actually taking action, well, then use words like Be creative instead. Simple right?

Because neither is more right or wrong than the other. It’s just two different ways of getting things done. Of making stuff happen. And trust me on this my friend, making things happen is a key factor for progress, for movement, for learning, for expanding. So whatever you do, make stuff happen! And perhaps play with these two concepts to find out which gets your juices flowing?

It all adds up!

I spend part of my days doing small things, average stuff. But I do them, day after day, and there is an accumulative effect of these mundane activities, that generates results that I would not have accomplished without having done them. Of course.

And yeah – it really is of course there, but the thing is – even though I know this, how many years of my life have I lived without doing the small stuff, regardless of what I know or don’t know. (And I do know the effect it can amass over time, and have known for a long time.)

My Create the impossible-project is one of these, where I’ve set myself the target of minimum 15 minutes of cleansing a day, for 90 days, as well as blogging about it. And regardless if I meet the impossible project-goal or not, by the end of the 90 days I will have spent a number of hours simplifying my life, both in my physical home as well as my digital vistas, and that will surely have huge impact on my life, in many ways.

Seven day 184Another of these small and highly average things I’m doing nowadays is my Seven-habit, doing 7 minutes of workout a day, which is something I’ve now been doing for 184 days in a row. And yes. It adds upp. I feel better. My clothes fit me much better. I have gotten stronger. And I really enjoy doing these the exercises, working my body.

And all that from a measly seven minutes a day. I mean, seven minutes – that’s nothing! But having done it 184 days in a row, that’s just short of 22 hours of sit-up’s, push-up’s, jumping jacks, squats, crunches and what not’s. It accumulates.

For me, going to the gym for an hour a couple of days per week doesn’t suit me and my life, so guess what I did all those years before?

Yup. You’re right.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

And now – I do seven minutes, every morning, come hell or high water.

What do you do every day, that in itself if highly average and mundane, but when you stack it all up, makes a huge impact?

 

 

Create something from nothing

As a part of the Create the impossible-project, we get a short audio in the morning 6 out of 7 days of the week. This week Michael Neill set off with a challenge to ”create something out of nothing” each day of the week. Yesterday, my creating was the necklace-hangers from the #cleanse4expansion-project that you can read about here: https://cleanse4expansion.wordpress.com

Not ”having created anything from nothing” today, except a few slides and tweaks to a class on quality and environmental management systems I’m holding Thursday, I got a wee bit stressed when evening rolled in, as I had choir practice for the first time this semester tonight. Luckily, that’s where it was. The creation. As a part of the last bit of warming up our voices, we were to no-no-no-sing in three tunes (Soprano, Second Soprano, Alto) to Twinkle twinkle little star. We did. A couple of times. And then, Jens, our choir leader, told us to break out into our own tunes, experimenting… and we did. I did.

Twinkle twinkleAnd as I sang, simultaneously listening to the myriad of notes soaring out into space, while still clearly being Twinkle twinkle little star…. it came to me:
WOW, talk about creating something out of nothing!

And when the last note faded out…. Jens voiced what I was thinking: no one will EVER hear that specific version of Twinkle twinkle little star, ever again.

Pretty amazing to create something from nothing, having it take form for a minute or two, and then fading away, back into the formless again.

Have you created something from nothing today?