It was obvious very early on that I had quite the imagination! At the age of five, I used my little tape recorder to produce my own rendition of The Gong Show (a family favourite talent contest), complete with emphatic gongs when the talent wasn’t up to snuff! As host and entertainer, I amused myself for hours.
I also loved to paint and colour (outside of the lines) and use whatever I could find around the house for my creations. I traced the floral designs on the paper towel with markers and sewed napkins together to make pillows. I longed to create masterpieces in the bathtub with washable crayons (too bad mom didn’t feel the same) and marveled at anything that shone or sparkled.
Since then, I’ve often felt the call to create, dabbling momentarily in a variety of activities; scrapbooking, card making, stamping, pottery. It was fun, but I didn’t experience much “success” according to cultural norms. I’ve even had a few teachers say my projects weren’t good enough (ouch) or that I wasn’t trying hard enough (double ouch!) Mistaking a lack of artistic ability for a lack of ability to create, I gave up trying to express myself this way. Napkins became simply napkins and I learned colouring outside the lines meant that you weren’t good enough.
Last year when I abruptly found myself without a job, home, or relationship, I set out to do anything and everything to restore and repair my aching soul. One Saturday evening I found myself in a mermaid painting class. The teacher told us she would give us ideas and guidance, but would not be telling us how to do it. “We are all artists”, she said. What?! She even made up a chant the group had to recite if anyone was caught muttering something negative about themselves or their painting. The inner critic was silenced and I painted, free to create however I chose, supported and entrusted to allow my creation emerge in my own way.
And emerge she did! She was so lovely and I adored how I felt creating her. That was the first time I received the message that what I had inside of me was worthy of letting out.
I embraced that truth and danced away with it, attending other events that provided an abundance of ways to express myself by being creative. A visioning workshop where I mapped out how I wanted to feel and what I would do to feel that way, a Tribal Markings circle (a grown up version of bath tub crayons!) and Acro Yoga with complete strangers at Wanderlust. It was JOYFUL. It was HEALING. It was a total fucking surprise!
When I write, paint, arrange, assemble, I feel alive. Inspired. Exhilarated. When I share what I create; a salad, a blog post, a workshop, the feeling magnifies and trickles over into moments long after. Everyone has creative energy. I encourage you to tune in and unleash it!
Now when I hear the call to create I listen.