We’re so very busy, so very distracted and often so very tired. When life is so demanding, who has time for creativity? How can we play when there is so much work to do? How can we pick up our paintbrush when we haven’t tidied up our home? How can we dance when we haven’t done the laundry? How can write a poem when there’s dinner to be made?
And if we do, what will other people think? Will they see us as self-indulgent, deluded, weird? Will our family resent us taking time away from them for time for our creative hearts? Will they see our desire and our dreams and support them or dash them? Have we experienced that before?
So many questions lie between us and our creative time. So we go to Pinterest and pin what inspires us. We follow creatives on Instagram, join groups on Facebook and buy books and magazines to satisfy our artistic needs – and all of that inspires us but when we least expect it, it turns in on us too. Where once we felt raised, now we feel razed. Our inner critic viciously reminds us of all that we are not. Our creative hunger doubles us over like a stomach punch. The world seems like a dark, dark place where only a few, and certainly not you, are living the life you long for.
Sometimes it is easier to numb out than to feel that pain. It’s easier to buy paints for your daughter and watch her play instead of showing up to the canvas yourself. It’s easier to criticize the phony perfect lives of all those so-called creatives and all their fans who bought the hype than to admit that you’re aching for a piece of that dream. It’s easier to write in your journal over and over again your inner secrets than to risk taking even the smallest step.
You must take that step.
You must risk the vulnerability of exposing your creative heart.
You must risk going to the water and drinking your fill even if predators lurk.
If that creative thirst is in you, you simply must drink.
So often we believe that the safest route is the one that is most taken. Everyone we know works regular hours in an office environment so probably we should too. Having a steady paycheque and health benefits is a blessing. If you have an artistic leaning than probably the safest thing you can do is teach. Or maybe you could train in a more dependable field and do your art in the evenings and on the weekends. Until you have a family, of course, but don’t worry then you can do your art when you retire.
And if that works for you, amazing!
But if you are sad, if you are empty, if you are under-expressed and overly full, if you are heartbroken, if you are suffocating, if you are crying in the washroom stall at your regular job, then step up to the creative rivers and drink.
This does not have to involve quitting.
You do not need to suddenly leave your entire world behind to become a creative entrepreneur or a full-time art student or flog your wares on Etsy.
You don’t need to make a grand gesture, move to a new town or dress boho. Though, of course, you can.
All you have to do is create.
It’s that simple.
I know that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There will be feelings for you to feel, powerful ones, light and dark. There will be judgement from you and others and that will threaten to shut you down. There will be so much to learn that you’ll wake up to a whole world of what you don’t know and that may be overwhelming.
But you will be free.
Your heart will pour right out of you once it gets going. You will fumble and you will fail and you will discover and you will delight. You will laugh and you will cry and you will breathe once again and you will be alive. Most of all, you will remember who you are.
Welcome to your creative life.