Permission to Create

As a holistic life coach and an artist and art teacher, I love that “AHA!” moment when students and clients claim their own creativity. It’s palpable: they glow. There’s a hum in the atmosphere akin to falling in love. It’s the beautiful process of their re-enchantment with the child-like experience of creativity and play.

Several years ago, an acquaintance asked me how I found the time to create.  This was an accomplished woman who did a lot of entertaining and traveling.  She had several homes and enjoyed decorating and gardening.  She loved to shop, and expressed herself in the way she dressed: colorfully, with lots of sparkly jewelry.

I thought about how creatively she lived her life, with so much expression and zest. Her question stayed with me: How do I find time to create? How did she NOT see her own life as filled with creativity? In my mind, the answer was clear: there is a trade-off, because there are just 24 hours in each day, and if we are giving our time and energy to things other than a focus on art making, we cannot or will not have time for art.  On one level it’s that simple: life is filled with urgent demands and yummy distractions. But it’s also true that there are infinite ways to be creative. The tricky part is finding creative expression that’s authentic and satisfying; being mindful about how one uses one’s time and energy; and paying attention to priorities.

The interaction with this woman happened before I became a holistic life coach. If she asked me that same question today, “How do you find the time to create?” I would be curious to know her perspective on how she spends her time, and could ask questions that would support her exploration. If in fact she feels unfulfilled creatively, despite how expressively lived her life seems to be, that would be such a good opening for discovery. Maybe our conversation would lead her to affirm that in fact she is finding time to create, in her own ways, but that for some reason she’s disparaging her own forms of expression; and therefore a shift in her attitude, rather than in her behavior, would bring her more satisfaction about how she’s using her time and energy. If I felt that a direct question to her question would be appropriate, I might ask: “How do you find time to do the many things you do?”

Each one of us is creating our own life, with every moment.  I’m energized and challenged by seeing every day life as a form of creativity; and via life coaching and art making and art teaching, I love sharing that “AHA!” of falling in love with creativity over and over again.

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Published in: on March 23, 2017 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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