A Warning About Creativity

“…society does not value its artist, partly because of the apparent lack of productivity that comes with the creative life. Art begins with receptivity. Making art can be a subversive act, and act of resistance against the deadening lure of consumption…”

Mirabai Starr

The creative side of all of us is dangerous.

It dares us to entertain the drifting thoughts, to stop and consider the what-ifs, to take a longer look at those alluring ideas sitting on the inside of us. This month, I gave myself permission to delve into writing everyday for two hours. At first, it hurt, like a workout you haven’t done in awhile, muscles I didn’t know I had being stretched. Eventually, after a couple weeks, I found the rhythm.

My creativity became easier to tap into, it wasn’t as far down as I thought it to be. A few notches below the surface of my serious mom face and endless adult responsibilities, there was a flowing river and it tempted me to take the plunge.

Creativity isn’t one side of us, it pervades our entire being, streaming through our veins, asking for our attention . There’s no place it cannot touch.

But most of the time we build dams and deny our creativity the freedom to carve us open and form new pathways through barren soulscapes.

I had a few ideas about what would transpire during this month, and they all revolved around my love of writing and words. What I didn’t expect out of this month was for my creativity to stir up anger. I prioritized two hours in the afternoon strictly for pulling out these paragraphs of poetry normally contained in a few random words on scraps of paper. The river swept me up and showed me around my own soul.

Acknowledging the creative spirit within me this month caused me to see all the areas where I’m stuck in crusty ruts and ragged ideals.

As I let the words come out in full force, giving myself permission to be present in my reality and say it like it is, I simultaneously became aware of all the hidden anxiety. The decisions I didn’t want to face, the circumstances I didn’t want to admit, and experiences I was curious about but that felt too far off from my well-traveled route.  

I could feel the anger rising.

The end of the month is near and here’s what I want:  I want to go back to the way things were. When my two hours every afternoon was for working on ignored projects that felt more productive, safe, or delving into someone else’s words, and writing only if the inspiration came in like a flood.

Creativity expresses itself differently in each of us but demands the same- it wants our whole self to come along. Like I said in the beginning, it’s dangerous.

Once you decide to give it your best attention, be careful because it will catch you off guard and swipe your feet right out from under you.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself swaying back and forth, where you once thought you were standing on stable ground.

Don’t be alarmed if you suddenly have a desire to go a different road.

Don’t be surprised if you encounter the childlike you, a girl unbridled by love.

Don’t be dismayed when the anger or exhaustion or the tears surface from out of nowhere.

Now is the time to bend and twist with this wild river inside you. Let your creativity guide you into and through the unknown.

Keep taking the risk of creativity. Don’t retreat from its curvy path, you are headed in the right direction.

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