I’m so excited to be writing the very first blog post for Creative Wellness Retreats! Christina and I both fervently believe that creativity is not only fun and fulfilling but an essential part of health, right up there with mind, body, and spirit. And yet so many of us have guilt around our creativity. We’ve been taught that it’s frivolous, a luxury thing to play with in our free time. Certainly not something to be prioritized and nurtured.
So we set it aside for later. We put other things and other people first.
When I was a young mother, trying to figure out how to pursue my writing while raising my kids, a well intentioned older woman once gave me this advice:
“You young women need to learn what’s important. Don’t be in such a hurry. Right now you need to focus on your children. The writing will wait until they’re grown.”
She meant well, I’ll give her that. And I’m sure she believed what she was saying.
The truth is, I believed her. Those words infused a little more guilt into the already bubbling tankful I’d been carrying around since the writing bug first bit me.
That lovely, well-intentioned woman was flat out wrong.
Putting a creativity on hold for twenty years is like waiting to breathe until your baby is in Kindergarten.
Imagine that somebody walks up to you and says, “Don’t worry about breathing, or drinking water, or eating, or getting exercise. Now is not the time for any of that. You can worry about that later, after you retire.”
It would be easy to dismiss that statement, because you know you can’t live without these things. And yet if somebody suggests that it’s okay to defer our creativity until we retire, it’s so much easier to believe that they’re right.
But the truth is, it hurts to be cut off from your creativity, and it hurts not just you but those around you.
The famous psychologist Carl Jung (who is also the man behind the Myers-Briggs personality inventory) had this to say:
“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their children than the unlived life of the parent.”
– Carl Jung
There is so much truth to this!
If we have an unlived life, in other words, if there is a vital, necessary part of our selves that we are blocking and neglecting, then we can’t be fully present to those around us. We become discontented, irritable, and unhappy. We might even become physically ill.
On the other hand, when we nurture and value our creative calling, we grow as human beings. We are fulfilled, and therefore more open and receptive to those around us. We are more present to our loved ones, our co-workers, and our clients, rather than less. We are engaging in one of the greatest privileges of being human.
I find it fascinating that the very first words in one of the oldest books in the world are these:
“In the beginning God created.”
Here at Creative Wellness Retreats we encourage creative exploration and development. At the same time, we know that life is busy, and that creativity doesn’t require hours of your time on a daily basis. In fact, devoting even 15 minutes to your creativity on a consistent basis will help you feel more fulfilled (and make you easier to get along with!) Prioritizing your creative process makes the world a better place for everybody.
When you’re ready for a bigger investment in your creative wellness, we’ve got you covered there, too, with our fantastic creative wellness retreats on beautiful Whidbey Island.
I’m going to leave you with a small question to ponder. You don’t need to have an answer right now — our brains love to play with questions and your subconscious will send some fun suggestions your way if you play along with the pondering program. Here’s the question of the day:
“Where in my life am I already making room for creativity?”
Ask yourself this before you go to bed at night, and when you wake up in the morning. See what comes to you, and know that what you are already doing is the seed that can grow even more creativity if you tend it. (I’ve written more about how focusing on what we already have can lead to more here)
We’d love to have you share your answers with us here as they come to you!