Cre-ateverb: to produce something new by using your talents and imagination.

Today I invite you to look at the other half of the A in MAPS—an acronym to help us remember how to nurture ourselves. Have you ever noticed how the letter A has two sides? We’ll call those two sides Academic and Artistic. Notice how both sides start at the same point and have a bridge in between them? Just like the letter A, we each have two sides that stem from the same point. I invite you to consider that we should nurture both sides—both our academic and our artistic natures—in order to experience wholeness.

In order to experience wholeness, we need to nurture both our academic and artistic sides. #mentalhealth Click To Tweet

Do You See Yourself as Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

Some people insist that they are either right-brained or left-brained. Meaning that 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 to describe you that give you a sense of satisfaction—steady, dependable, logical, problem-solver.

You may begin to see yourself as lacking creativity, unartistic, stodgy, or dull. I beg to differ. God created you in his image, and although the first set of adjectives help describe his nature, no one in his right mind would accuse God of lacking creativity.invite

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 to describe you that give you a sense of satisfaction—creative, talented, artistic, quirky.

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 help describe his nature, no one in her right mind would accuse God of lacking logic or unreliability.

Nurture Both Your Academic and Artistic Sides!

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. I invite you to discover what you can create. In fact, yesterday I drew a blank when thinking of artistic expression.

I decided to invite my Facebook friends to share how they express themselves creatively, and they offered up a plethora of ideas—some of which I never would have thought of!

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.

I Invite You…

Over 50 people from all walks of life and career paths responded. While the number of responses and methods of inquiry would never fit the classification of 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 art.

I invite you to share your favorite form(s) of creative expression in the comments section.


  1. Thanks for that creativity isn’t limited to a few artistic endeavors. I like writing, pictures and layout. Sometimes it’s hard to make time for creativity.

  2. I wouldn’t have thought of some of these either. Love how comprehensive this list is. And today on my day off. I think I’m going to work on nurturing one of my fave artistic skills.

  3. I love this Anita! I never thought I was creative, even when I was writing poetry in grade school and after teaching and competing in ballroom dance in my early 20’s. It took me a long time to I’m discover my creative bend. I’m still exploring and experiencing new things. I love to cook and have always found that I use recipes as a guideline. I also loved the class I took on pottery throwing! It was!

  4. Over the years, I have tried quite a few of the things on the list. I have made cards, sewed clothes some for my kids and myself as well as curtains and drapes for my home. Now, i love to quilt…more accurately, i love to piece and have someone else do the quilting! With all the fun rulers, shortcuts and precuts, quilting is lots of fun now. It’s not the tedious job it once was. More recently, I’m inclined to make table runners rather than full quilts (they’re expensive in both time and $$).
    I love what you say re the left and right brain. i liked to think that i was only right brained but it wasn’t true. the things that help me create also help me analyze. I play the piano, but not as much as i once did.
    in more recent years, when i started writing on my blog (2007) i sometimes was surprised that i had more of an analytical streak than i realized. i found that writing turned into a fun way to express myself as well…and create in another format.

  5. This is great, Anita…but there are those who were off drinking beer when the brains were being handed out.

    Or should I say, those of US, because I gained a measure of fame for using my head as a hammer, and, in construction work, disdaining safety equipment because it slowed me down (as if a fall from a fifty-foot scaffold, or dropping a 200-lb piece of steel on a foot shod in light hiking books wouldn’t!).

    Safety glasses? You have two eyes, so if you’re a worried little sissy, keep one closed.

    Barbara has been heard to lovingly say, “He’s a bonza bloke, but he’s dumber than a box of rocks.”

    Thus my everlasting (and proudly held) nickname – Mongo.

    #1 at FMF this week.

  6. Such a great post, Anita! I discover both sides in me and I love them both! My creativity mostly comes from writing, it’s my way to process the world. But I also really love cooking and trying out new things in the kitchen.
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    Katha recently posted…Open House, Open HeartsMy Profile

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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