Letting out the Creative Voice through Creative Living

by Nina Meehan

“I’m not one of those creative types.”

“Sure, I made something that I posted online just for fun, but I’m really not that good at art.”

“I used to do a lot of creative writing, before I had kids, but it was just a hobby, it wasn’t like actual writing.”

“Well, I guess I have to be creative at work with problem solving–I work in HR–but that’s different from REAL creativity.”

Do any of these statements look familiar to you? When I work with folks on accessing their creative selves, oftentimes, the first thing they tell me is that they aren’t creative or that they used to be but aren’t creative anymore. 

I see two issues in these statements: 1. We have limited the definition of “creative” to only encapsulate a level of excellence that is recognized on a huge scale and 2. We are all “doing” too much and not taking time for “being.”

Let’s tackle the definition of creative living. There is no requirement that all of us become the next Monet or Lizzo. In fact, that would likely be statistically impossible. But, it is possible that we can exist in a way that allows our personal creative spirit to thrive. This could mean picking up a paint brush, but it can also mean adding in more play to life, taking time to really notice the world around you, taking more strategic risks at work, coming up with a new way to get your kids to bed. All of these are creative actions that support creative living. So, let’s give up the myth that creativity means “famous” artist or inventor and instead embrace our everyday creative self. 

Have you ever noticed how whenever you ask a friend or another parent in the camp pick up line, “How are you doing?” the answer almost always comes back, “You know, we are BUSY!”

And that’s true for most of us. We have filled our time with activities and engagements and functions and events. And while all of these things can be fun or important for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t leave much space for doing nothing. And it is in the “nothing” that we often find and access our creative voice–the voice that exists in all of us and wants to come out and express, but can be easily shoved down amidst the hustle and bustle of daily busy-ness. To let the creative voice out to play, it needs moments of quiet. Times when there is not a planned activity and the mind can just wander and find the spark that inspires a creative act of some kind. 

So, if you are searching for your creative voice or want creativity in your daily life, let’s put aside stories of greatness and look for quiet moments of reflection where creativity can thrive in small acts. 

This article first published in The Piedmont Post June 11, 2023.