Rooting Out Creative Blocks

As I mentioned in a previous post, though I may have the same “artistic” genes as some of the more talented members of my family, creating art (per se) has always been a bit more work for me. Despite having the want/need to express my creative self, it has often been a concerted effort to do so. When I was a younger woman, it was the busy-ness of life – working, raising children, and the multitude of other pressing issues that seem (at that juncture) to curse our existence – that made it difficult to find the time to stretch those muscles of imagination. Now, it is chronic pain and fatigue that challenge me. (More on that another time.)

My mother, who unfortunately passed from this world a couple of years ago, was one of the greatest influences in helping me understand the significance of creative expression. She weaned the five of us (me and 4 brothers) on the gift of permission. We were allowed to be children. Back then it meant climbing trees, wandering the woods, pretending (remember pretending?), drawing, painting, coloring, cutting, pasting, running like the wind, riding miles on our bicycles, and just generally living in the world of daydreams and freedom – that special place where we get to try out all the ideas, win or lose, succeed or fail. It was all ok, …and fearless.

But after having lived over two thirds of a lifetime, I’ve come to realize that because not everyone had that kind of idealistic rearing there are many who are expressively crippled. When you are a child, you think whatever you are experiencing is the norm. Though it might seem naive, it has always been curious to me how difficult it is for so many people to convey the inventive part of their spirits freely and without fear. The need/want is there. Apparently the permission, real or implied, is not.

You have permission. Whether you are 28 or 80 give yourself the green light to grow your imagination. If more people allowed themselves to see their lives through the wonder and curiosity that are hallmarks of a child’s frame of mind, we might be having much more fun. The anger, resentment, ubiquitous fear, and general unhappiness that seems to pervade humanity these days might vanish as mist in the morning sun.

Root out the cause of your mistrust that being creative is not acceptable, or worse, not an integral part of who you are. Expand your idea of what behavior is permissible.

Embarrass your kids. Laugh, burp, or sing out loud. Dance if you can and wiggle if you can’t. Have fun with your food, walk barefoot in public, wear a fancy (or silly) hat, make gingerbread cookies, join a band, build an adult-sized swing, and use it. Play a game of gin rummy (using real cards) with your mate or kids or grandkids, instead of watching TV. When is the last time you cut out a paper snowflake? (check out these instructions http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/christmas/snowflake) – or one of those long chains of little paper people with joined hands (http://www.parentsconnect.com/do/hand_in_hand.jhtml)? When is the last time you let yourself just get dirty (I mean the dirt-type dirty, not the other kind…tsk.).

Cut loose and have fun. It truly is the other side, the important balance, the yin to the yang of the All Holy, Responsible Self.

Louise

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