10 Things I Want You to Know When You Are Discovering or Recovering Your Creative Heart
1. Your creative awakening is a blessing! When any one of us begins to discover or recover their creative gifts, it is like the first promise of spring for all of us. If your creative heart has been hiding in the dark, hibernating, staying safe and sound, deep underground, we have missed you. The world is ready for your tender shoots to break through the surface. We can’t wait to witness the powerful growth of your strong stem. We have been anticipating the magnificent beauty of you in bloom.
2. They were wrong about you. Whichever teacher, parent, sibling, stranger told you directly or gave you the impression that the arts are not for you – they were wrong. Creativity is your birthright. If an artistic impulse is pushing on your heart or a creative call is stirring in your belly, now is your time to heal the hurt and reclaim what belongs to you – your talent.
3. You are right about you. That impulse that draws you to the dance floor, the canvas, the kitchen, the page, the sewing machine – trust it. That instinct that you have something to say, to dance, to dream, to express – follow it. That ache, that hunger, that deep desire for colour, words, music, texture, ideas – give in to it. That wild aliveness – unfurl it. Become the artist you know are meant to be.
4. It’s not too late. There is no age restriction on creativity. When we shelve our creative desires because we believe it is too late for us, we lose even more precious creative time. Dance now. Draw now. Paint now. Act now. You won’t regret time spent on what you love- not a moment of it.
5. It’s not always fun. I know. That’s not what you want to hear. I’m not saying it will never be fun. It will be. But it will also be challenging, enlightening, inspiring, soul-shaking, spirit-wakening and more. Be open to all of it. The arts are a gateway into the full range of life’s experiences, including, but not limited to, fun.
6. Start where you are with what you have. Though creative hearts are drawn like magpies to the shiny and the new and though we love supplies (and organizers for those supplies), the truth is that you can return to your creativity with nothing more than you and what’s around you. Exercise your imagination. Doodle on scrap paper. Cut shapes and colours out of magazines. Start with whatever you have, right here, today. The most important part is that you start.
7. Take your time. Don’t be in a hurry to get to the “accomplished” stage. Enjoy these tender new shoots of your creativity. Enjoy the freshness of it all. Take in all that this creative stage is teaching you. Let yourself feel all that it brings up – joy, sadness, anger, all of it. This is your life. Don’t be in a rush to get through it.
8. Demand better. If you encounter a teacher, a colleague, a friend who is making it harder for you, who is reminding you of old fears and dousing your creative fire, take it as an opportunity to create a different outcome. Now is the time to ask for what you want. Now is the time to find a helpful teacher, a supportive community and loving friends. As you demand better, you become a hero not only to yourself but also to others who are aching for a world that is kinder to creative hearts.
9. Drop the darkness. When your creativity rouses after a period of being shut down, neglected or repressed, you might find that when you return to it, you discover a rich supply of unexpressed feelings, like tears, anger, frustration and resentment. Turn to your art to help you clear the energy. Don’t revel, wallow or hold on. Let it pass out of you as you move or write or paint. Release it and keep releasing it until your creative spring runs clear and you are here, in the present, again.
20. Spread the light. As you come alive with creative fire, cultivate the ability to be an encourager of other creative hearts. You have hard-won and well-earned insight into this artistic hero’s journey. You know what it is to be an artist in hiding and you know what it is to brave stepping out into the light. Make it safe for others to do the same. Welcome them to their own journey. Offer encouragement or a friendly ear. Share knowledge. Tell your story. And continue your bold and beautiful creative journey so that others can see what it means to be brave, to be true and to be you. We are in it together.