When I used to think about being creative my mind would instantly jump back to those art lessons at school. The ones where I felt like I was completely out of my comfort zone. The ones where other kids would laugh because my picture looked funny. The ones where I felt embarrassed, fearful and silly. I even struggled when it came to handwriting practice, I could never seem to find the flow.
Growing up, because of those experiences, I had come to think of myself as ‘not creative’. I couldn’t draw, or paint and sculpture was a no-no, but I was no longer in situations that forced me into any of those things, so I could safely close that part of me away and move on. What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was that I was simply doing things ‘my way’ and my interpretation and flare weren’t the same as everyone else. I believed that there was a right way and a wrong way and that I was constantly stuck in the latter.
The problem is, that creativity comes in many differing forms, and branding myself with the identity of a non-creative, actually began to hold me back in more ways than one in later life. I began to fear any situation that would have me thinking ‘outside of the box’, I constantly worried that what I was producing wasn’t ‘good enough’ and this, in turn, had detrimental effects on my self-esteem.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Pablo Picasso
What I have come to understand is that being creative, isn’t about being perfect and following a set of rules, but instead is about articulating what you feel, interpreting your own vision, and losing yourself in the beauty that is mindful expression.
Unleashing your inner creative is an incredible way to escape your current reality, and connect to all that brings you joy. It’s a wonderful way to lose yourself in the moment, an expression of self-care if you like. If painting and sculpture aren’t your thing then maybe turn your hand to baking or creative writing. I adore loosing myself in cooking a beautiful meal or relaxing with some mindful colouring. It’s beautiful to be able to create something that others can share in the joy of too but equally as wonderful to create something just for you.
I recall reading an article about Kim-Joy, finalist of the Great British Bake Off, and how baking had been the therapy that had truly supported her with social anxiety that was one so severe she didn’t want to leave the house. And I myself, have worked with clients who have reignited the joy of playing an instrument, crafting or gardening and have found great support and inner peace for doing so.
We live in a faced paced world of distraction, a world full of too many imperfect rules we believe we must follow. Unleash your inner creative and come home to all that you once were.
Why not get involved with some local organised activities:
The Haven on North Street have regular ‘Mindful Mondays’ and ‘Chatty Crafts’
Or maybe Adult Colouring is more your thing at Wharton Library
And for the over 65’s why not make an afternoon of it with a nutritious two course hot meal and a craft or skills session with Age UK Cheshire’s Love Later Life groups running every Tuesday and Thursday.