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You have gifts to share. When used well, creativity isn’t just about you. It’s about what you have to give. It’s about leaving a mark, changing lives, and sparking a legacy that others can pass on.
Back in the day–way back–I enjoyed wrapping gifts. My mom often talked about the year I designed and taped ribbon angels complete with with clouds of hair on package tops. It was fun to wrap a small item in graduated boxes or send the kids on a hunt for a special gift by following a trail of clues.
These days I just slap on the paper and usually forgo a bow. I find a white or light-colored space to scribble a name.
I’m guessing the recipients are more anxious to get to the contents anyway.
I’ve set aside other creative pursuits like quilting and soapmaking and home decorating.
I gave up the garden.
I’ve even misplaced the joy of cooking.
Hours spent in the kitchen are gobbled up in minutes leaving me with a mess.
But I miss it.
I miss the feeling of accomplishment. I miss the delight and fun of it all. I miss the warm glow and self-applause as I survey my creation.
I did bake pies last week, but I cheated with ready-to-bake, pre-rolled crusts–much to my sister’s disappointment. She was looking forward to my made-from-scratch recipe.
Lately I’ve even let life sidetrack my writing. Some days, honestly, I wonder if it’s worth it. If there are more practical things I should do. And sometimes I feel guilty about the time it takes to be creative.
Even though I know better.
Can you relate?
But here comes Ed Cyzewski with his new e-book, Creating Space: The Case for Everyday Creativity. It’s a reminder, an invitation (okay, a shove) to make space in our lives to resurrect the creative gifts we may have buried. He reminds us that because they are God-given gifts, they are sacred, and we dare not neglect them.
I’ve been working on creating external space as I work towards clearing out the clutter and the excess that distract.
But there’s also internal clutter.
Distractions, entertainment, and hectic schedules are the enemies of creativity. If you’re committed to your creative calling, then you need to ask yourself tough questions about how you use your time.
The more things I turned off, the easier it was to turn my creativity on.
Ed goes on to say:
When you create something, you aren’t just making something that you need. You’re participating in a greater story that has been woven into our world and that links us to one another.
"Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.