“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Unknown
For a very long time, I was living a life that did not foster the flow of creative energy.
I would move through phases of depression.
All the while holding on to feelings of deep sadness and guilt.
Guilt that I wasn’t doing enough.
That I wasn’t helping enough.
That I wasn’t enough.
It took a monumental shift in perception to jolt me out of this state of mind.
The choice of death versus life literally lay before me and I had to choose what I wanted for myself.
Having to make that choice was devastating and simultaneously freeing.
I chose to break free from what was slowly choking the life out of my spirit, like an invasive weed.
I had to light it on fire and burn every last root, completely extinguishing it from my life.
When this purging of toxicity was completed, I was left with an empty field.
A blank slate, and the question, “what now?”
I had to find my creativity again.
I also had to re-learn how to use it.
Once I did, my life blossomed like a wild rose.
Strong and beautiful.
Creativity is an integral part of our life force.
It’s our passion and a fundamental piece of our happiness.
But, if your creativity has been smothered for any reason, it may be difficult to even identify what it looks like for you.
Here are ten ways that you can not only find, but also fuel your creativity.
Self-Expression: Creativity is self-expression in its purest form. Self-expression is driven by the things that you enjoy doing, that make you feel like your true self. They’re the things that make you burst with happiness and joy. This can be anything from expression through art, the food you eat to the clothing or jewelry that you wear. It can also be things that aren’t necessarily shared publicly. One of my favorite forms of self-expression is through stones. I love collecting different types of rocks and crystals and generally, I don’t share them with others, they’re simply for my enjoyment.
Listen to Your Dreams: Those ideas that may sound crazy, but stir a fire within your belly, follow them! They are your creativity! They are leading you down your life’s path! We tend to ignore our dreams because our mind gets caught up in the day to day life. We tell ourselves that there isn’t enough time to pursue that dream, or it’s too wild, or there’s not enough money. All of those thoughts are simply opposition to your progress. Don’t let fear stand in the way of you creating something wonderful for yourself.
Education: Find something that interests you and educate yourself on it. Creativity thrives on knowledge. Even if something doesn’t jump out at you as an immediate passion, think of a topic that strikes even the smallest bit of interest and learn about it. Read books, find blogs and listen to podcasts that discuss that thing. Pretty soon you’ll find that even the tiniest of interests has blossomed into a way for you to express your creativity.
Connect with Like-Minded People: Think of a fire. In order to build a sustained fire, you need heat, oxygen and fuel. Education is the heat, it’s the base of creativity, the spark of passion. Connecting with like-minded people, is the oxygen. Sharing is what breathes life into your creativity and your passion. When you come together with people who share a passion with you, it’s lightning. Find social media groups, local gatherings, classes or workshops that are in the same vein as your interests. Connect with the people there and before you know it, you’ll be co-creating something amazing with them.
Help Others: In our fire analogy, service to others is the fuel that keeps creativity burning bright. Often times when people think of service, we think of these grandiose examples, like volunteering every weekend at the Food Bank or the shelter or donating large sums of money to charities. Those things are amazing if you have the resources to do them, but a lot of us don’t. Service can also take the form of simply being kind. Maybe that’s offering help to someone in need or offering an ear to someone who needs to talk. It can be as simple as holding space for someone, thinking well of those less fortunate than you and sharing love. These are all things that we can do every single day, with a little awareness and not much effort.
Take Risks: A wise friend told me recently that in order to progress you have to step outside of your comfort zone. You have to push yourself to the point where you think, “This may be too far! It feels uncomfortable, it’s going to make too many waves around me!” That is the exact place where you need to be. Say yes to things that foreign to you, that are the great unknown. If it feels scary but exciting too, that’s a good indicator that you’re in exactly the right place.
Be Vulnerable: Vulnerability is something that a lot of us have been taught to resist. We’ve been taught that strength is shown by achieving things alone. That when we need to rely on others or when we show the sensitive side of ourselves, that indicates a weakness. I cannot even count the number of times someone has said to me, “Ky, don’t be so sensitive.” As if it was an ill desired trait. But, it’s actually the exact opposite. Being sensitive and showing that sensitivity in a vulnerable way is incredibly liberating. It will help you step into your power.
Forgive Yourself: We are all human and we are all doing our best with the awareness that we have at the moment. Life is hard and when we hit roadblocks to our creative power, we can’t beat ourselves up over the set back. These creative blocks are anything that stalls your progress. Maybe you worked on a creative project that failed. Or maybe you inadvertently did something that hurt another person. Recognize your limitations and forgive yourself for any shortcomings that you may have. Don’t let those roadblocks douse your creative fire. Instead see them for what they truly are, an area that needs your attention and work toward healing them.
Trust Yourself: Listen to your intuition. If everyone is telling you to turn right, but your heart is telling you to turn left, then TURN LEFT. Your heart will never steer you awry. It will show you exactly where you need to be, in order to progress on your creative path. Listen to it, hear it.
Take Action: Often times we can get stuck in the monotony of the every day. If you find that your routine is dampening your creative fire, that is an indication that you need to make a change. Shake things up in your life and try something different. Maybe a monumental shift is needed, as was in my case, but often times the smallest of changes can have long-lasting effects. Creative blocks can only be broken through action. Review what’s working in your life and what isn’t and actively work to free those things that are sticking and causing resistance.
As human beings, we are wonderfully intricate and complex creatures and we thrive on creativity.
Having the ability to express our uniqueness and to share it with others, is truly awe-inspiring. It’s not just finding a passion or working the muscle of self-expression, it’s so much more than that.
At its core, creativity is our pathway to growth and expansion.
It’s a beautiful gift that is just waiting for us to use it.
Once we do, our lives will be transformed.