December 16, 2022  by Linda Wattier
December 16, 2022  by Linda Wattier

The sound may be as soft as the flapping of butterfly wings or as loud as a rock concert.

Or you may not hear a sound at all but feel an urging, an inner pull, a sense of enthusiasm and longing that resonates from within.

It’s the call to create.

It’s right there within each of us, and it invites us to bring something new into being.

You are creative despite what you may have been told or are telling yourself right now based on past experiences. We all are.

Creativity is as much a part of us as our voice, our fingerprints, and our breath.

We just have to activate it.

Creativity isn’t just about making “art.” Cooking, gardening, crafts, and journaling are all creative acts.

Arranging flowers or rearranging furniture, painting a picture or painting a room, singing on stage, or singing in the shower—these are all responses to the call.

Creativity is a way of living. It’s being spontaneous and playful, exercising the imagination, finding solutions, embracing possibilities, and doing it with passion.

Creativity Squashing

Many of us have become uncomfortable expressing our creativity, afraid of judgment, criticism, and rejection.

So we lose our willingness to engage actively, intentionally, and joyfully with life in this way.

We are influenced by societal messages like “time is money” and “art is frivolous.” And old messages like “stay inside the lines,” “you can do better than that,” or “her sister’s the creative one” have remarkable staying power.

Some of us have always expressed our creativity, but the well dries up one day. Our creative pursuits feel empty and pointless; we have nothing to say.

Life loses its sweetness, and we lose faith in our creative selves.

I don’t recall the details of my own creativity squashing. I only know I was utterly disconnected from it for a large part of my life.

The good news is that I intentionally started reconnecting with my creative energy about fifteen years ago. It has been a healing journey of discovery ever since.

An Exercise to Connect With Your Creative Self

Using these questions as a guide, write a paragraph or a one-page statement that reflects your purpose and goals for new creative pursuits.

  • What creative ideas are calling to you right now?
  • What is your vision for how you want these ideas to take form?
  • Which idea do you want to explore first? What are the first three steps in that exploration?
  • What do you predict will be easy for you, and what will be the most challenging?
  • What promises will you make to yourself to keep you connected to your process? How will you reward yourself?

Why Activating Your Creativity Is Important

Here’s what I’ve learned so far about why it’s essential to nurture our creativity. I hope these insights help you awaken, or reawaken, yours.

We create to express our unique visions and perceptions, to communicate and form a bond with our fellow human beings.

Creative expression nourishes and helps us grow, fostering awareness and deeper insights.

Creativity is not about producing something “perfect.” It’s meant to be fun, stimulating, exploratory, uninhibited, and messy. It relieves stress and releases tension.

Creativity provides a way of communication when normal channels may be blocked or insufficient. It allows us to speak in colors, textures, and flavors, in shimmering visions, movement, and music.

Honoring the creative self means finding time, making space, being patient, and taking the chance to look foolish. You can’t care too much what others think or say.

You must be willing to start over and stay with it — creativity helps us practice stamina and courage.

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.

— Alan Alda —

Creativity is love expressing itself; it heals and renews. Our creations are manifestations that say, “This is how I saw it,” and mirrors in which others may see themselves. It’s a way back to our true nature.

Like the body’s natural urge for motion and the human need for connection and community, the spirit longs to express itself. So when you hear the call to create, honor your true nature by answering “Yes.”

Understanding the Psychology of Creativity | Very Well Mind

My Three Favorite Creative Living Books

"Creative work is... a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got."

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield | Amazon

"Q: What is creativity? A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration."

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert | Amazon

"The magic of the creative process is that there is no magic. Start where you are. Don't stop."

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin | Amazon

The One Question We Should All Be Asking Ourselves and Our Friends

We've been conditioned to just keep going, keep pushing, keep smiling, and keep reminding ourselves that we are lucky, we are blessed, and we should be thankful.

It seems that the only socially acceptable response to the question how are you? is always good, busy. But what happens when we stop with the niceties and are brave enough to ask the more profound question?

This Is the One Question We Should Ask | Sunday Paper

About Your Mental Health (and Your Daughter's)

We must be informed about and care for our mental health to keep growing and evolving. Many mental health conditions impact women differently at different stages in life.

Read this informative article and learn:

  • Why—and how—mental health can impact women differently than men.
  • How mental health conditions change—and which appear—over the life span of a woman.
  • The causes, effects, and treatment of women-only mental health conditions.

Understanding Mental Health Over a Woman’s Lifetime | McLean Hospital

Why People Born 1955–1964 Aren’t Baby Boomers

Overlooked even more than Gen X, Generation Jones is the coolest generation you've probably never heard about.

Ode to Generation Jones: punks, yuppies, but never hippies | Medium

Little Bits of Light

Words to open your heart and refresh your spirit

Photos by: Anya Berkut, iStock  (#1)  & Linda Wattier (#2)

About Linda Wattier

Founder and Bold Wellbeing Coach at How She Thrives. I help women over fifty design their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling experience of midlife and beyond.

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