Saturday, September 1, 2012

79/365: A Creator's Manifesto, Unedited

Today I made:
the beginning of a manifesto...

When I reread last night's post I nearly fell out of my chair.

"Could it be that deep down I still don't value the creative time I've given myself?!"

What the WHAT??!!
Did I really just say that?! Crazy!
I must have been playing devil's advocate in a one-sided conversation with myself. Writing it out really did the trick. I think last night's rant was a major turning point in my journey. Today I see things a little more clearly. I can accept that what got done is more important than the intended to-do. These 79 days have been a gift.

That brawl with my inner critic must have toughened me up because I'm feeling rather fired up about my own libelous statement. Who knows how long this will last, so I'll get it out now.

I obviously value the time I've spent being creative and reflecting on my creativity if I would spend this many days (in a tidy row!) blabbing about it and showing off my efforts. Who was I trying to fool anyway- making my journal accessible to the world and then pretending it was all for me? Truth is, I have a message to spread.

It took me a while to get comfortable with sharing my voice and my truth. If you know me, you know I have a tiny voice. But there's heart behind it and I can get real loud when I think I have something important to say. And golly, I do! So tonight, I'm turning off my censor, no matter who is following along. This is my manifesto in the making.

Excuse me while I climb my soapbox.
This is how I see it:

Creativity is important.
I had this inkling as a blossoming artist a couple years ago when I just wanted to fit more creativity into my life, and focus on the creative process (totally separate from talent and achievement in the arts) because it felt good. It made me feel alive between the mundane day-to-day. It helped me gain confidence in speaking up. It helped me find an even bigger purpose than I set out to have. And it was just plain fun.
Creativity is important.
This message is reinforced for me every time I reflect on my work as an elementary school teacher.
Creativity promotes learning. Creativity should be fostered in children and adults. Creativity empowers us and builds our self-esteem. Creativity lets us practice being brave, making decisions and taking risks that push us to discover our own potential. This I learned by watching kindergartners play, and that is the most honest play there is.

Betty Edwards says it beautifully in her book, Drawing on the Artist Within.
"Creativity. It is the force that drives problem-solving, informs effective decision-making and opens new frontiers for ambition and intelligence. Those who succeed have learned to harness their creative power by keeping the light bulb turned on."
Is it just me or does anyone else believe we need to be creative in order to ensure our survival on this planet?

The creative process is in every thought we entertain, every action we choose to take, every desire we manifest. We are the creators of our experience. Shouldn't we all be living joyful lives of our own making? Whether we are creating a little art eye candy that makes someone smile, writing that makes someone think or whether we are redesigning our lives to make them feel like our lives, creativity is key.

I choose art and writing to create my happiness. I choose community to support it and my passion for teaching to share it. Art, writing, community, passion, fashion, music, medicine, and cupcakes- these are just a few of the things we can create and they have one common thread: in the act of creating them we make ourselves happier. This inspires us to live more creatively on a consistent basis. When others see our energy and passion for what we are creating, it inspires them to choose creative acts that in turn spread more happiness.

creativity + your spin on it = happiness

So is creativity worth our time? Yes oh YES!
This is what I've been "working" all summer to help myself realize. This is what I want to help others realize, for the common good. For ourselves, our families, our communities and the future of our world, each one of us must use our creative license. 
Each one of us has that creative spark. Find what makes you happy and fan the flame.

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