As a child, you may have yearned to play the piano professionally, to act on Broadway, to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Perhaps you mentioned your aspirations to someone and were met with laughter or the assurance that there was no money in it. You swallowed your creative dreams and satisfied yourself with listening to music on the radio, to reading books or watching movies. How often have our creative selves been swept to the sidelines, to being the observer? We internalize the belief that we don’t have what it takes to make it big, and of course we don’t because we have hardly tried.
Its time to go for it. There is no proof that you will get rich, famous, or even produce anything worthwhile. What you do know is that ignoring this urge to create isn’t making it go away. More and more people are heeding the call from within themselves to act upon their creative urges. We have tons of ideas for stories, for songs, for decorating or creating in our homes, gardens, workplaces. We sense that there is something behind this creative urge, that expressing ourselves creatively may be the missing piece to a fulfilled life.
Creative expression, whether through mundane means or through art, is worth the effort. I coach writers and creative types, and have seen the difference in my clients’ lives when they are expressing themselves. I have compiled a list of benefits of expressing creativity that myself and others have experienced. Added up, they amount to a lot of benefits that might not make you a lot of money, but instead can give you a richer life.
1. Expanded sense of time. Countless artists have discussed the experience of timelessness that one encounters in the creative zone. Time is limitless when you are in the creative ‘zone.’ Strangely enough, when you give time to creative pursuits, you gain time. Who couldn’t use the feeling of more time?
2. Freedom. Creativity invites messiness and exploration. Here’s an opportunity to return to that feeling of being a child, to not know, to not be ‘good’, smart, the expert.
3. Enhanced relationships. Many people fear that if they begin living their creativity, then their relationships and other priorities will suffer. They won’t want to drag themselves away from the creative zone. However, when we are actively creating, we feel better about our relationships. We tend to be more generous to others. We have more to give because we have answered our urge to create.
4. Living integrity. When we are actively working on our projects, we honor our innate creativity. We live the belief that creativity does matter. This feels better than wishing we were writing, or talking about writing, but not doing it.
5. Save money. Expressing yourself can control the urge to impulse buy. Do you ever find yourself shopping just for something to do? Expressing yourself creatively can often fill the need to shop for the heck of it. Save money and do something creative instead of buying something you don’t really need or want.
6. Energetic, lighter quality to life. Call it a good mood. Call it a natural high. When we’ve done our creative work, we gain energy for our other responsibilities.
7. Connection with other creative people. When we are creating, we are connected to all of those who have gone before us and those who work now in the challenging but rewarding field of artistic creativity. What a gift in a world where we feel more and more isolated from each other.
8. Faith and confidence in our impulses. When we create, we recognize that our work does matter even if it is not published, displayed or presented to the public. We trust our instincts and gain confidence from expressing them. This confidence carries over into decisions we make in other areas of life.
9. Honoring the source of creative ideas. Where does creative inspiration come from? Some think it is God, or other divine source. We honor the gift of creative inspiration when we listen and act on our ideas, and by doing so, we are connecting to a deeper wisdom than our own.
10. Self-knowledge and discovery. Creativity is the route to authenticity. As we create, we plumb the depths of our being, accessing what we think and believe. You may be surprised at the resources, thoughts and impulses that you discover there.
These ten benefits do add up to more fulfillment and balance in life. I invite you to create a plan to match your creative vision. Give yourself the time and space to be a beginner. Write to me and let me know what benefits you have experienced. Have fun!
Cynthia Morris is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, writer and author of Create Your Writer’s Life. Visit her web site for more information at http://www.originalimpulse.com