“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Did you catch a few creative expressive moments in your summer journey? I hope so! But how can we keep this inspired creativity with us throughout the busy year ahead?
For me, when I am feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, it is difficult to remember the joy and energy that creative expression brings. Soon, the sun will be setting before we leave the office, or finish the sports practice carpool, or run the errands. As we look ahead to the shorter days of fall, it is easy to imagine the loss of the creative energy inspired by our summer days.
How can we hold onto those precious creative moments with our daughter when she comes home with a less than glowing report card or when we feel more like taxi drivers than artists? Well, to answer it simply: priority! I know, most of you have now balled up this newsletter and thrown it across the room, but after all, the things we value in life take effort, commitment and time.
In her book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Twyla Tharp discusses the importance of setting aside time and space for a creative life. She reflects on practical suggestions for maintaining creative energy whether you are a dancer, writer, painter, technician, teacher, or mother. Ms. Tharp argues that creativity takes focus, preparation, determination and habit, no matter who we are. “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Creative expression is a gift that you deserve to indulge in. Modeling this indulgence may lead to discoveries of inspiration, presence and joy you may have not imagined could occur during the hustle and bustle of life. Creative expression may help heal when we become disconnected from ourselves, and our families, by the distraction and chaos of our busy lives.
Ordinary and small events can inspire our habit of creative expression. Remembering this, we can remain inspired all year round. Here are some tips for habit-forming creativity:
• Take a walk for just a few moments every day. Even if it is just to walk away from your computer to reflect for a moment. Take deep breaths. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings.
• Write some summertime poetry as a family. Post these poems on the wall to warm you when the chill of winter is here.
• Start journaling! (Yes, I’m a broken record!) Continue that journal you started over the summer. Maybe you started it with your daughter. Or, maybe you’d like to start one now along with your daughter. This ritual enjoyed throughout the year can provide the inspiration and enrichment you felt in the summer. Also, how fun is it to re-read some of your creative insight when the memory has faded from your everyday experience?
• Have a family night centered on creative expression. Hey, Pictionary might be just the thing you need to get the family talking and laughing.
• Visit a gallery or museum as an excursion with the family on the weekend. Become inspired by other artists; challenge your kids to do the same.
• Turn off that TV and listen to some music. High School Musical will be on again, I promise. Discuss the lyrics as a family. So much inspiration can be found in music.
• The holidays are a great time to get creative. Whatever holiday you celebrate, incorporate family creativity–making cookies, cards or gifts–anything that will get you engaging your imaginations together.
I hope that this series has left you a little inspired and your daughters a little more enriched by creative expression. Remember that each of us possesses our own unique “creative DNA” (read Twyla Tharp’s book to learn more) and it is up to us to discover it and allow it to grow!
Some creative resources:
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
Making Things: A Book Of Days For The Creative Spirit by Janet Carija Brandt
Making Room for Making Art: A Thoughtful and Practical Guide to Bringing the Pleasure of Artistic Expression Back into Your Life by Sally Warner
Please note: Nothing in what you find here should be construed as medical advice pertinent to any individual. As is true with all written materials, and especially information found on the internet, you must be the judge of what appears valid and useful for yourself. Please take up any questions you might have regarding the content of this website with your psychotherapist or physician.