Why create a Creativity Closet? Especially if one doesn’t believe that one is particularly creative? Imagination exists for lots of reasons, but it is the key element in growth and the forward movement known as progress. If we can imagine a thing, we can often find a way to create or do that thing.
Many of us resist the idea of our own creativity for numerous reasons. The first one might be the fear of failure, or of appearing foolish or untalented. We live in a world that is far more interested in product than process. What is the point of creating something that no one will use, or maybe even want? The process is often work and takes time as well as energy. The thought that others might not see value in our product can stop us cold from even beginning.
The process is a learning experience, and as such has far more value than any product produced. Fear of making a mistake, doing it wrong, can block not only the process but whatever might be learned within its boundaries. I am not just speaking here of learning how to make something, although that is one of the ultimate goals of the activity. There are life lessons to be learned and sometimes those lessons can’t be obtained in any other manner.
Very often, the creative process entails a repetitive action, something that has to be done again and again and simply takes time. That repetitive action, whether it is polishing, gluing, cutting, or whatever, allows the mind to roam free while the hands are otherwise occupied. It often becomes a form of active meditation and, it is during those periods when the subconscious can come forward and make connections.
I color with markers and artists pens. But, it is while I’m engaged in coloring that I have been able to piece together new perspectives concerning my personal life and experiences. The colors I choose often bring certain subjects to the fore and I am free to roam through those thoughts and feelings while thus engaged.
I obviously engage in journal writing on a daily basis. But there are times when I set out to write just to see where the words will take me. Writing is a creative process and as such employs that repetitive pattern that frees up my thought processes, often allowing me to find answers I didn’t even realize I was seeking.
I have written here about another new activity: doodling. Constructing an image one stroke at a time. Making lines and then connecting them in unusual ways to simply see where they will end up. It is both relaxing and quite satisfying, but also provides space for the connecting of thoughts and feelings that might not otherwise happen. Zentangles are fun, and no, they do not all turn out beautifully, but that isn’t the purpose behind doing them. They are actually meant to encourage creative flow and they do just that.
The most important reason for creating a Creativity Closet is to open the door to new possibilities. Letting ones imagination have free rein can offer new experiences and the material that dreams are made of. Far too many of us walk around angry and frustrated, wondering if this is all there is and why that is so. Never knowing that we ourselves might be the only thing blocking new experiences and adventures. If we think of ourselves as chained, held captive by our circumstances, that is exactly what we are. And no one can change that except us.
If that is our bottom line, others can make suggestions until they are blue in the face, and we will immediately find reasons (excuses) as to why those suggestions are impossible to fulfill, or follow through on. So it is up to us to open those doors that lead to our own personal freedom. It may take time and only occur in small little steps, but each step will take us farther and closer to that place we ultimately want to be.
A few months ago, I realized that I had very little mobility and it was utterly frustrating to know that. I began to think in terms of how I could change that reality. I started out thinking in terms of a scooter that would allow me to at least reach the stores and restuarants that are within close proximity.
Within a few hours, I will be registering the first car I have owned in five years, because my circumstances have changed. But, and this is important, those changes hadn’t really taken place in the mindset I had held before they occurred. That sounds like a tremendous leap in reality. It wasn’t. It occurred one step at a time while I was coloring, writing, and doodling.
The writing I do may never be more than my blogs, and may never be read by more than the few individuals who accidentally find this site. The images I create in color and with doodling may never find value in the eyes of others, but they have certainly produced far more than I could have dreamed before now. I now have the mobility I yearned for and lots of plans on how to use it. I no longer feel just this side of caged, nor am I dependent on the whims and schedules of those around me.
I am free to go where I want, when I want. What’s more, I am free to engage in other creative activities I, not that long ago, thought were utterly hopeless to even consider. My doodling and coloring had purpose and drive, a function I hadn’t considered possible. I thought I was just keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t explode because I felt so trapped. My Creativity Closet has become a priceless commodity, a treasure trove of ongoing possibilities.
It has changed my life and my awareness in ways that nothing else could. That is the why of it, its purpose and function. Have you opened that door to all of you possibilities?