Creativity is a virtue because it allows us to improvise and act in innovative ways. A successful life requires that we approach it in a creative way, open to new directions, challenges, opportunities and solutions. Life is ever-changing, evolving, always becoming something new. Everything is in the process of becoming something else. Your family, your career, your friendships, your personal growth are all evolving, changing and morphing into something fresh. The only constant in life is constant change. This dynamic, this continual flow of life is to be embraced, for when one embraces the process as an artist and uses one’s life as a painter would a canvas, or a sculptor a piece of clay or rock, amazing things can happen. Most of us don’t think of ourselves as being creative. We assume creative people are artists, poets, playwrights, potters, those individuals who practice the “creative arts.” But creativity is called for in all of life’s activities, if we are to be successful. It takes creativity to parent children, run a business, plan a vacation, throw a dinner party, or to perform thousands of other activities that we normally don’t think of as creative, but which in fact are.
Which brings us to an important point. When did we stop thinking of ourselves as creative? If you ask a five-year-old if they are creative, over ninety percent of them will say ‘yes’. If you ask a twenty-five-year-old if they are creative, less than ten percent will agree. What happened? Somewhere along the way we have been shamed, told that we lack talent and creativity, and we have erroneously accepted that. Who knows what the incident was that turned us away from our creative talents. The psyche is a very fragile apparatus and often it can be an seemingly inconsequential event, a thoughtless remark, a meaningless gesture that we misconstrued, that triggers our response. Whatever the cause, it is time to reclaim the natural, inborn creativity that we all possess. Yes, I said all. Every one of us is creative and all of us can live our life in a creative way. It is a virtue to embrace our creativity. To reclaim it. To welcome it back and to become artists of life. For if the truth be told, the greatest art of all is living a successful life.
An artist knows that there is no one way to paint a picture, write a poem or shape a piece of pottery. There are hundreds, thousands of interpretive ways of expressing what you feel. Being true to your vision and what speaks inside you is the only goal. One doesn’t always obtain that goal, but one tries and one creates and something is produced. The same with the living of life. Creativity is a virtue because when you are creative in your life you can relax into it. It is not about getting it right. There are no rules, no rights and wrongs. No one can tell you how to live your life, or what your goals and objectives should be, though they often will try. Artists have only one obligation, and that is to be true to the vision they have inside them. And what if you have no vision inside you? Then be true to your feelings, your insights, your passion. Be true to what calls you. Be true to what gives you joy. Be true to the living of life day by day in an authentic, dignified way that recognizes your right to be creative and live in a way that might be totally different from those around you.
Too many people feel trapped in their lives, trapped in their surroundings and present situations, and they see no way out. An artist never feels trapped for he or she knows that there are always creative ways to solve any problem. An artist of life can relax and trust life. Everything changes and this will too, they reason accurately. An artist of life will look for opportunities to use the creative impulses that we all possess but most ignore. They know that life responds favourably and often in the most miraculous ways to creative individuals who act from the voice which speaks within. Stop and listen to that voice. The voice of the deep self, the well of all creative and innovative ideas. The voice that says, “You are creative. You were born with the creative impulse to act and originate. It never left you. You left it. Come back to me. Trust. Act. Be creative. A glorious life awaits.”
Reclaiming our creative self is in itself creative, and so it takes trust and courage. It means leaving behind your fears and feelings of inadequacy. It means letting go of hopelessness and despair, and perhaps these have been companions of ours for some time. Not particularly pleasant companions, but familiar ones. We give them up because we notice how they make us feel, how they drain us of energy and keep us trapped. They are abusive, and so we decide they must go.
Creativity brings with it excitement, hope, new possibilities, exhilaration, feelings of inner peace, trust and joy. We feel not so much in control of our lives as in the flow. We feel as though we are being directed by something infinitely larger and greater than ourselves. To have this is a wonderful blessing, and it is available to every individual who embraces the virtue of creativity.