Addicted to the “creative spark,” I have always felt the urge to make something new, bringing an idea from its initial concept, through the creation stages and into reality.
Most often this creativity takes the shape of choreography, poetry, or some sort of other writing. I love beauty. I could sit and ponder its form in nature, in dance, in children playing, weaved through the lyrics of a song…
Splash. I look up from my moment of pondering and my toddler-aged son has just dunked his light saber into the dog’s water bowl. My attention returns to “reality” and I deal with the situation. Soon he’s back to playing—away from the dog’s water bowl.
Although this scenario could easily be defined as one in which I wasn’t present with my child, I think it speaks to something deeper. Creativity is in my makeup, but in the midst of busy day-to-day life I often let it fall by the wayside. When I don’t nurture it, it pops out in moments, begging me to pay attention. Then I get splashed with water from the dog’s bowl.
But maybe I need a little a wakeup call. Maybe my life gets too full of things that don’t really satisfy. Like how you can eat and eat and eat and never really be nourished because you’re filling up on junk.
Remember What Matters
So I’ve been contemplating what it looks like to fully embrace my motherhood while also wholly embracing my creative self. In this new territory of motherhood, there is room for the expanse of creativity—I just have to look a little harder to see it at times.
I’ve realized that I have to make an effort to manage my energy levels. This seems obvious, but in practice it can be easier said than done. For example, rather than doing things at a certain time of day, I try to do them when I have the most energy for them. If you create best in the morning, try to carve out some time to honor that. Night owls, you should indulge your imaginative energy and set to creating then. If afternoons are a desert energy-wise, don’t attempt to create during that time.
Part of managing energy levels also involves respecting yourself enough to not take on too much. I realize that this is inescapable in some seasons of life. Most of the time, however, it’s almost second-nature to take on way too much. But the effort required to carry those commitments out with excellence far exceeds the effort it takes to say yes. Margin is essential.
Creativity Takes Time
Along these lines, I’m realizing that I have to be consistently diligent to make time. This is hard for me. I don’t naturally thrive on routine, and instead I gravitate toward the spontaneous. However, I’ve learned to use routine as a way to provide the structure and organization that actually allows time for creativity. In this season, I have to schedule time for the “margins” within which creativity has a place to grow.
As I embrace motherhood, I’m also seeing more clearly that creativity isn’t something that should be compartmentalized. Although there are times set aside for creating, I need to nurture creativity in a holistic way. Creativity isn’t separate from reality, but rather, it should inform reality.
We should ask ourselves: “How can we integrate creativity into the daily so that our reality comes into line with the dreams of our hearts?”
Creativity is for everyone, not just for artists. It goes beyond a commodity to leave a legacy, a way of seeing the world that is often needed. A perspective that is much larger than it would’ve been otherwise. Even in motherhood, creativity does just that—it expands our worlds and makes them more abundant and rich. It invites us to see life in a new way, a powerful tool for bringing refreshment and lifting loads.