Creativity isn’t just for creative people. In fact, if you think of yourself as more academic, let me assure you that you, too, have a creative side. When you learn how to nurture your creativity, you practice healthy self-care.
Creativity or Exhaustion?
“You’re so creative!” my friend informed me at the end of the senior play. I wilted to the stage in exhaustion, not feeling an iota of creativity in my tired body.
For the past six weeks, I had cut and sewn costumes in every spare minute. I’d directed rehearsals during class time and organized set building on the weekends. For two months I had taught seniors in high school all I knew about blocking, acting, line memorization, and voice projection.
I blushed a little and thanked her for her kind words as we looked at the students taking down the set and tossing costumes on the benches. Creativity and I had an uneasy relationship. I can’t draw or paint (unlike my dad and daughter), nor can I play the piano.
Directing and producing a play didn’t seem to take much creativity. After all, my students had the task of mining their creativity to make the play a success.
“I could never do something like that,” my friend’s voice broke through my musings. “I’m not creative.”
Her statement made me pause, after all, I’d spent time in her beautifully decorated house. The combinations of fabrics, textures, artwork, and furniture screamed creativity. And I knew for a fact that she had done all the interior design herself.
Her praising my creativity made me rethink my definition of the word. Maybe I had more creativity than I gave myself credit for. Perhaps you have more creativity than you give yourself credit for, too.
Are You Left-Brained?
Some people insist that they are either right-brained or left-brained. Meaning they either have an academic, logical bent or an artistic, creative bent. I contend that since God created us in his image, we all have a little of both. Throughout our lives, we nurture one side or the other. Society might even insist that both sides can’t exist in the same person, but I beg to differ.
Maybe academic wholeness resonates with you—you love to learn for the sake of learning. Your mind loves to work out problems with logic and precision, and you see yourself as analytical. The world might throw in accompanying adjectives that give you a sense of satisfaction—steady, dependable, logical, problem-solver.
No matter which personality test I take, I end up on the logical, analytical side. When someone needs a schedule made for a complex event, they call me. No one calls me for artwork, music, or drawing.
I began to see myself as logical and analytical and thought I lacked creativity. I felt unartistic, stodgy, and a smidge dull.
I beg to differ (both for me and for you). God created you in his image, and although the first set of adjectives helps describe his nature, no one would accuse God of lacking creativity. Have you ever looked at an aardvark?
Are you Right-Brained?
Perhaps artistic wholeness resonates with you—you love to create, whether on canvas, in the studio, or behind the lens of a camera. Your mind loves to leap and bound with delight as it creates something of beauty out of seemingly unrelated objects. You love to see yourself as artistic. The world might throw in accompanying adjectives that
You may begin to see yourself as illogical, unreliable (after all, who has time for that when you could create something?), a poor learner, or absent-minded. I beg to differ. God created you in his image, and although the first set of adjectives helps describe his nature, no one in would accuse God of unreliability or lacking logic.
Despite what you may have grown up thinking (I know I did), scientists have debunked the either-or theory of left- or right-brained exclusivity.
Magnetic resonance imaging of 1,000 people revealed that the human brain doesn’t actually favor one side over the other. The networks on one side aren’t generally stronger than the networks on the other side.Healthline
The two hemispheres of your brain work in concert with each other, performing discrete tasks that enhance each other. It takes creativity to solve logical problems, and logic to solve creative problems.
Kick-start Your Creativity
Don’t let the world dictate who you are. Spend time nurturing the side of you that you have ignored over the years. If you relate more to your artistic side, find a free class and delve into something new and academic. You may discover that you really do love to learn—but now that the pressure of performing for grades has disappeared, learning takes on a new zest.
Don’t let the world dictate who you are. If you relate more to your academic side, take a creativity inventory—you may discover that you already enjoy artistic expression in some form. Discover what you can create. I drew a blank when thinking of artistic expression, so I invited my Facebook friends to share how they express themselves creativ
• Paper crafts—card making, tag making, hand-binding books.
• Music—singing, playing the fiddle, piano, guitar, or some other instrument.
• Traditional arts—drawing, coloring, watercolor, painting, diamond painting (this one intrigues me), Zentangle.
• Photography—taking photos and scrapbooking.
• Kitchen arts—baking, cooking, cake decorating, creating new recipes, brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
• Academic arts (that’s not an oxymoron)—writing, poetry, solving math problems, bullet journaling, forming Facebook groups, public speaking.
• Physical arts—hiking, swimming, target shooting (hey, I invited people to share!), dressing creatively (colored leggings and tutus) and picking up trash around town.
• Nurturing arts—parenting, gardening, work (this from my sweet friend who has a coaching business for pain management).
• Domestic arts—crocheting, knitting, sewing, quilting, needlepoint, and cross stitch.
Pick and Choose!
Over 50 people from all walks of life and career paths responded to my Facebook plea. While the number of responses and methods of inquiry would never fit the classification of a valid survey, you get the point. We all have a creative spark within us. Don’t try to put it out! Nurture that flame and learn to lose yourself in creativity.
When I look at their ideas of creativity, I realize that even though I can come up with schedules and act logically, I also enjoy many of those creative endeavors.
My friend and I both suffered from wearing blinders when it came to our inherent creativity. God wired our brains to excel at both artistic and academic pursuits. Nurturing each side is up to us!Nurturing our creativity is one of the highest forms of self-care that we can practice. #creativity #SelfCareSunday #selfcare Click To Tweet
Great post Anita!
Our posts compliment each other this week!
As a therapist… for years I questioned the left v right brain theory as I am both & I knew that in psychological tests it’s the questions one asks that can produce a set outcome of one or the other 😉 then with the discoveries of Functional MRI’s…. They agreed!
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…Preventing Dementia…
Hi Anita ! I’ll post my link-up on your Facebook page.
Thank you for your inspiring posts.
Speak with you soon.
Enjoy Alaska ! Love your pictures !
Take care of yourself and family.
Susan B at life in poetry.
Susan Rouchard recently posted…⌗WEP-IWSG challenge, CAGED BIRD, Friday 14th June 2019
I definitely agree that we can build our creativity side and vice versa for our logical side. When I was in school, I didn’t do that great academically but I won awards in drama and public speaking. Then, after school I improved in math and english.
I love the idea that we bring our creative selves into all our doings. Not sure whether I’m left or right brained, but I am grateful for God’s creativity that gets funneled into me by His Spirit.
I believe that God gives us ALL some degree of creativity. I am very “right” brained, but I do think logically and strategically when it comes to handling problems. Just don’t give me one of those “story” math problems about the train leaving the station…lol! When I tap into my creative side it rejuvenates me and it is exhilarating getting in touch with my God-given creativity. Any time I make room in my schedule for creativity, I think…why don’t I do this more often? Great post!
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Fresh insight. Love this post. Thankful for…”Despite what you may have grown up thinking (I know I did), scientists have debunked the either-or theory of left- or right-brained exclusivity.” So good to know academic and artistic wholeness can thrive together!
I’m guilty of this also, the either/ or mentality. But I know that I have tendencies in both directions, and it works. I can be logical and matter of fact, and still have creative outlets. 😀
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Great post! I agree we’re not either all one way or another. I used to think I wasn’t creative because I wasn’t “artsy” – my drawing consists of stick figures and I could not paint anything recognizable. But I noticed so many of my friends were creative in different ways – turning a simple lunch into a special treat, playing inventive scenarios with their children, even handling disputes at work. That helped me look at my own avenues of creativity. It wasn’t until I read a book to my children about what it meant to be made in God’s image that I realized our creativity stemmed from His. That helped me as well.
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Dear Anita, thank you very much for this encouragement and validation! Retired in May to write and haven’t been feeling especially creative. It’s good to be reassured that the seeds God plants will bloom in one way or another. Blessings!
I alway encourage women to try something, you may be better at it than you think. I’ve seen them painting, 50ish, like never before. He still gives good gifts.
I’m more of a left-brain person, too. Logic puzzles are some of my favorite things to do. 🙂 But yes, regardless of how we’re wired, we can be creative in different ways! Thanks, Anita.
I didn’t know this, Anita! “The two hemispheres of your brain work in concert with each other, performing discrete tasks that enhance each other. It takes creativity to solve logical problems, and logic to solve creative problems.” So, my brain is not lopsided after all …
I may not be a creative in the traditional sense, but managing my life is definitely an art form! I hope to learn to excel at it!
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I, too, used to judge my creativity (or lack thereof) by my inability to draw and paint like Dad did. I decided that needlework was going to be the only way I could be creative. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I discovered card crafting and started to explore my OWN creativity, not holding it up to someone else’s.
Funny thing. In my exploration I ran across something called Sketchnoting. It’s basically doodling with a purpose as you take notes (forgive the odd explanation). I love it, and it has become yet another way that I can express myself creatively. 🙂
Anita, your posts are always well thought out and articulate. You do a very excellent job. I wanted you to hear that from me. xo
I am one of those who likes to think she doesn’t have an ounce of creativity. But you are right, I do. It just looks different. I love taking pictures. Thank you for your post. You have encouraged me to explore my creative side a little more. Oh, but I do love learning.
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I love this, Anita! And I’m right there with you. God created us in His image and He is the ultimate Creator! Blessings to you!
[…] Creativity for People Who Think They’ve Lost It. I used to think I wasn’t creative because I wasn’t “artsy.” But creativity involves much more than art. […]