I have been struggling with a topic for this week’s blog. The only thing that has come across my path that feels compelling is the hummingbird who showed up at our coral honeysuckle on Sunday. Unfortunately, integrating that ruby throat into my article does not seem like an easy task.
Sometimes, I feel like I have run out of ideas. When that happens, I am reminded of feelings I experienced as a child and young adult. I knew I was not an artist and felt myself also to be not creative.
It took many years before I learned that my creativity takes forms different than that of artistic individuals. At some point in the process of doing psychotherapy with some very difficult clients, I realized that most of my creativity takes the form of what I will call creative alternativism. Generating possibilities…especially possibilities for different types of behavior and different kinds of thinking…was the primary manifestation of that creativity. Helping my clients find different ways to be in the world in order to overcome their pain and problems was the most important way I expressed that creative urge.
I have since realized that I often apply that process to myself as well. Since I can be a pretty rigid person when it comes to my own thinking and behavior, I have found that I need to make systematic efforts to implement the alternatives I generate for myself. I may well come up with many ideas about how to change my behavior, but I need structure to implement those changes.
Three years ago, I knew that adding yoga into my fitness efforts would benefit my arthritic joints and relieve some of my stress. Signing up for a yoga class was the structure that allowed me to make that a regular part of my activities. After three years, I have found other structures to help me extend that one class to two and now into a daily practice. I need and use structure to implement the possible changes I creatively generate for myself.
I had an email this week from a colleague I have not seen in years. I was delighted to learn that for the past year, she has been painting! At age 60, she took a pastels class at her local community college. She was hooked on the medium and has found a new outlet for her creativity. In my experience, she has always been creative. She has been a psychologist and psychotherapist for her entire professional life. She has researched and written and published…an aspect of her professional creativity; and now, she paints!
I am delighted to know that a new aspect of creative expression can manifest itself at any age, as long as we are open to it.
How do you express your creativity? Do you manage to do this within your professional life? Does the place you work benefit from your creative endeavors, or is it just for you?
Please share your thoughts about creativity, regenerating it, and keeping our lives…and blog topics…fresh.