Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are You Mindful and Creative?

At one time in my life, to be creative in my mind, meant to be a painter, a writer, a musician among other things. Creative meant to me, something you did in your spare time that was only for these things. Outside of that, I always figured that creativity really had little place in my everyday life. Sure, many of the companies I have worked for gave lip service to thinking outside the box, but few rarely nurtured the concepts past an evaluation period or company meeting.

For most of my life, I did not think I was that creative. It was not something that was allowed to be in existence while I was a kid growing up except for when I put together model semi trucks or various crafts my mom would buy me for Christmas. It was always about finding a job that you could make decent income at and functioning in life like our society requires us. There was no time for creative moments unless you did them on your own time and there was no support for this.

Yes, I was able to practice and learn the piano as a kid, but whenever I tried to be creative and just play from my center of creativity like I do today, it was often met with criticism by those who could not even play one note. I still remember the time I was creating in the moment with some music and while it wasn't a polished piece of music at that moment, my father made sure he told me that I made many mistakes. This was not helpful and it led me to hide my create in the moment capacity if anyone was around within hearing range.

Following the rules of society, I went to college and pursued a degree in a field of study I enjoyed. After graduation, I found a job that was fun and rewarding which turned into a more technical computer role. As I began to look at life and evaluate where I was, I saw myself as someone working on a computer in a solitary office cubicle for the rest of my life. I did not see the creative side in me at all and so I brushed it aside. It was not until events later in my life that I began to embrace the creative side of myself which had always been there. I just had not been open to seeing this side of myself because I did not feel it would serve any purpose to accomplishing what society expected of me.

And as I evaluate all of this while I just started reading the book "On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity",
maybe - just maybe - I'm more creative. In fact, I know I am more creative than I ever let on to be. I'm just beginning to embrace that creativity and allowing it to be more of who I am, rather than something I pull down off the shelf when I feel like I have the time.

In the book, I am seeing that to be mindful is to be creative and to be creative is being mindful. Being creative gives us the essence and enjoyment of life that we so deserve. Yet, if we only attempt to use it on occasion, we are missing so much for our lives. Being creative and being mindful is not just for a select few but it is present in each one of us, if we allow it to be. It does not matter how we choose to be creative but that we choose to be creative and mindful. Creativity and Mindfulness are like partners that go together.

Page 4 - On Becoming An Artist - by Ellen J. Langer
This book is about the roadblocks that stand in the way of our natural creativity. It is intended to be a guide to opening up creative engagement on a daily basis in all that we do.

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