Our guest blogger this week, Connie Mims Pinkerton, has made it her mission in life to convince regular folks like you and me that we are creative. In today’s guest blog she shares a simple, but powerful way to find that creativity we all have inside. Enjoy.
If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, “Oh, I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, or, “I’m not a creative person at all”, I would be a very wealthy woman.
The more I investigate these odd observations people have of themselves, the more I want to encourage them to pursue their own particular “why” that convinced them to make that declaration. In my years of coming alongside to shepherd and embolden many frozen or wounded creatives, I’ve found that all it takes to be more creative is to simply look at the world, and yourself, differently.
So, if you’ve ever said anything equivalent to those two sample responses to the question of “how do you use your creativity?”, I’m here to tell you that you ARE creative, no matter what you may think of yourself. Some of us just need to hop on our creative bicycles and start peddling. Some of us may need training wheels on that bike, so here are some easy ways to start injecting some creativity into your everyday life:
1. Aloha is not just for Hawaiians.
We all have our typical ways we greet or acknowledge others. I have a friend, a fully grown man, who uses “Have an Exceedingly Groovy Day” in his everyday vernacular. It can be fun to change up our usual “Hello, How are you?” with “Tell me something I don’t know” or “How are you changing the world today?” You’ll start a conversation with someone in a lighter mode, showing true interest in them, and it will either lift the other person up to your happy tone, or it will make it easier for them to share what’s actually pressing on them. Like the word Aloha, the word Shalom is packed with sentiment. It can be said upon greeting or departing, and it carries a whole bunch of blessings with its meaning. So, Shalom, y’all!
2. Adjust Your Zoom Lens.
We tend to look at the whole big picture of something more than the small, incredibly fascinating features that go into it. Renaissance painters had a knack for putting subtle little scenes in the background for intrigue. (What was Mona Lisa smiling about, anyway?) A sidewalk or driveway isn’t necessarily marred by unruly weeds that pop up overnight. Sometimes those weeds have tiny, pretty little flowers, too. They’re also strong enough to bust through concrete and gravel, so give them that respect before spraying or hacking them into oblivion. The same is true with people and the situations that come with knowing them. Adjust your zoom lens and search their eyes, their smiles, or their body language, to capture what’s going on with whatever big picture they may be projecting. Chances are you’ll find some inkling of beauty that’s waiting to unfold, or the need of encouragement to bust through whatever situation they’re facing. You both might witness a tiny, pretty little miracle, too.
3. Captain Hook and Tinkerbell are Real.
As children we actively lived out our make-believe world and friends; playing dress-up, building forts and fighting space aliens with Jedi light sabers made from foil-covered wrapping paper tubes. The more adult we get, the more we put those playtimes and imagination sessions into a box or a drawer to pull out “when we have time to do such childish things”. Sadly, we don’t ever make time for those childish things. God loves for us to come to him like little wide-eyed children, and when we let ourselves look, see, hear and feel like a child, the world can be a most wonder-filled place to explore. So, when the everyday boring tasks or paperwork appear, keep a wand in your desk drawer to whisk it all away with a “Bibbidee Bobbidee Boo!” Pretend your grumpy, quiet co-worker is actually a super hero waiting to reveal his or her true identity. Make mud pies often, in all flavors and varieties. Go out and play. It’s good for the soul.
4. Be VanGogh with a Ballpoint.
It’s easier for most of us these days to whip out paragraph after paragraph of an email or strategic document with a variety of typed fonts and emoticons. Handwritten notes of any kind far outweigh the long, eloquent and perfectly punctuated typed offering. Treat yourself to the feel of the paper or card, a palette of colorful ink pens and out of the ordinary postage stamps. Think of how much more valuable something handwritten from you to another person can be to that person. Whether it’s as simple as a thank you, get well soon, or bon voyage, make it special, heartfelt and memorable. Adding your own artful squiggle or doodle could be your way of signing your painting. Someday, it will be worth more than you ever dreamed.
5. Catch Some Fireflies in a Jar.
Life is filled with moments to remember and cherish. It is also filled with moments that we hope to never experience, but bad things do happen. We need to keep our eyes, ears and hearts peeled for those small flickering lights of hope out there in the darkness. A baby’s first smile, a soft pat on the hand, a kiss on a grandmother’s cheek, a proud and happy tear in a father’s eyes, an out-of-tune rendition of someone singing us Happy Birthday– these are the moments that we need to keep seeking, keep catching, keep treasuring. Those little bits of lightning- may they forever twinkle in our darkest moments.
Creativity is something that God, The Creator Himself, put in all of us. It’s a gift that is meant to be enjoyed and shared with others. When we limit ourselves as being non-creative, we are in fact limiting God and the plans He has for us and how He wants us to use our gifts. He wants us to delight in His Creation, and in our own creations, to honor Him. God loves to put our crayoned pictures on His refrigerator. God makes a pretty fine mud pie, too.
Connie Mims Pinkerton is a Song Mechanic, Dream Engineer, Creative Architect and Texan.