How Simplicity Encourages Creativity
If you’ve ever been moved by a book, brought to tears by a painting or photograph, gotten goosebumps hearing a song for the first time, or tasted a culinary masterpiece, you know there is more than sheer talent behind each creation.
There is something majestic, something bigger. You feel it and the artist feels it.
If you are an artist or like to create, you might notice that sometimes creativity just happens.
You may write, draw, cook, throw pots or paint on a schedule, or get started when you think you are ready, but there are times when creativity takes over and moves you to make something, regardless of talent, time or any rational reason.
If you are the creative type, there are things you can do to maximize productivity, but there are also times when creativity dictates the when/how/where/what. When that happens, listen.
For me, that often comes when I’m practicing yoga or working out and in the 30 seconds just before I start drifting off to sleep. If sleep is as important to you as it is to me, you know that it’s a struggle to get up and be creative instead of continue to drift and dream.
In this beautiful TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how past civilizations believed that magical divine entities invisibly assist artists.
I particularly love when she talks about meeting American Poet, Ruth Stone, who tells her that when she was growing up in Virginia, she would be working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. When she felt it coming, she knew she only had one thing to do and that was “run like hell”. She would run like hell to the house and she’d be getting chased by this poem and she had to get to a pencil and paper fast enough, so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it.
If you’ve ever had a creative idea “thunder through you”, you know you want it to happen again. I think the thundering happens more often than we might imagine, but we miss it, because we are too busy paying attention to the things we think matter.
I believe that we all have creative abilities. In fact, I think many have no idea how talented they really are. My uncle started painting when he was in his seventies. Beautiful landscapes had been sitting in his heart and soul, but only when he had the time to listen, could he put it them on canvas.
By simplifying our lives, we can listen and respond when creativity calls.
Creating is not just painting. Creativity comes in many forms… writing, fine art, teaching, cooking, working out, exploring and more. When these things speak to you, do them. Even if you have to clear 1/2 a day to make 4 flavors of hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Even if you have to stay up late to hike and watch the stars dance.
Please make creativity matter and…
- put your words on paper
- put your paint on canvas
- put your music in my ears
- put your cupcakes on the table
- enjoy the creativity that others have to offer
Let’s embrace our creative moments when they present themselves instead of waiting until we are ready.
Recommending reading on creativity
How do you create?
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If simplicity is changing your life, imagine what it could do for your business.