• Dr. Jill Bakke

Your Creative Spirit

Small, daily acts of creativity can enrich your life beyond your imagination. Creativity grows by exposure to new things, by mixing old ingredients in new ways, by learning new skills, and by a willingness to spend some time experimenting.

Creativity is not the domain of artists or scientist only. It is not an innate characteristic that some have and some don’t. It is available to each of us.

We can act creatively in every aspect of our life. How visible is creativity in the way you dress, decorate your home, cook your meals, relate to others? Like our breathing, we perform many of our daily activities without thought. We get in a rut doing the same things repeatedly in the same way. Thus, we become lethargic. Yet creativity is always trying to call us into action, and some things automatically foster creativity: a new job, a change of residence, growing older, more or less money, our children leaving home. How do you handle such changes?

Do you have something you are passionate about? If not, creativity can help you find a passion.

Creativity requires permission to follow whatever stirs your interest. Creativity calls for an open mind. We learn to see differently. We tackle things we think we cannot do–and learn we can. We have no expectations engraved in stone. We dream. We experiment.

Robert Moss in Sidewalk Oracles declares that the essence of the creative act is to bring something new into the world. If you already have the passion in some area of your life, he feels it is important to “marry” yourself to this field. For this we use all our senses.

If our field is cooking, we try new recipes and create our own. We love playing with spices, the taste of the food, its appeal and balance. In other words, we are willing to explore every aspect of our “field.” And, like marriages in the world of everyday living, there are good and bad days. The relationship calls for full commitment. We are engrossed and seduced by it.

Those who achieve greatness in their work and leave lasting legacies for the world, such as Picasso, Einstein, and others in a wide variety of fields, exhibit that passion and focus. They are married to it. Their work is their all-consuming interest. For this we should be grateful. They learn the rules, which must often be learned before they can be broken. They are not content to be as all the others in their field. I recall seeing some of Picasso’s early paintings in the New York Metropolitan Museum. His early work took my breath away; it matched any master’s. But his creativity flourished in his cubism and blue periods.

However, most of us live, or attempt to live, a more balanced life. And by using our creativity in all areas of our lives, and not towards only one special endeavor, we can achieve much to give us and others happiness, and to produce beauty of our surroundings. It too has value in the world.

Every creative gift is welcome.

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