I spend a lot of time (some people would argue way too much time) thinking about “the meaning of life” and for me the idea of “creating” is a big part of it.
I’m not typically a goal-oriented person, so I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions. But, I thought 2012 would be a good time to try something new and make one and challenge the assumption that I’m not a goal-oriented person. It was also a good way to stay focused on getting in touch with understanding the meaning and importance of creativity in my life. So I resolved to “Be More Creative.”
In order to do that, I had to figure out what that meant. I used to think “creativity” was having a piece of art or some other item you could see, touch or smell after you performed some creative act. Sure that can be part of it, but now I define “creativity” as an every day act. Think about it. We are creating things every minute.
Part of my creativity-defining journey included reading what others thought about creativity. My favorite books on the topic are How Music Works by David Byrne, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and Just Kids by Patti Smith.
I also participated in this fun project called, “30 Days of Creativity“. The challenge was to literally spend time intentionally creating something every day for 30 days. You can check out some of my projects on my Tumblr page, where I still share many of the things that I create.
I did a lot of writing about creativity as well. I went back through my journal and organized my list of things I wanted to create more of at the beginning of 2012.
Goal: “Be More Creative”
What does that mean? Making things, sharing things, opening up to people, accepting myself, accepting change. Remember you create your own experience!
Things I want to create:
- More friendships/deeper friendships
- More vulnerability
- More positive work environment
- More kindness
- More imagining/dreaming
- More curiosity
- More possibilities
- More authenticity
- More empathy
- More poetry
- More art
- More music
- More hikes
- More laughter
- More fun
- More volunteering/time spent helping others
- More love
- More hugs
- More bike rides
- More adventure
- More travel
- More gardening
- More peace of mind
- More presence
- More physical strength
- More effective communication
- More reading
- More writing
What I realized after writing the list and spending a year working with intention on incorporating more of each into my life is that I had all of these things already. What I really needed to do was to redefine my stale definition of “creativity,” find a way to keep appreciating all the things I already have as well as the people that help me create them by encouraging me to make more prints, write more poems or by giving me a hug, sharing their own stories or taking a bike ride with me.
That being said, there’s something glaring missing from my list. Do you know what it is?
Many thanks to all the people in my life who spent time with me this year. You each help me create this wonderful, challenging adventure we’re on. Can’t wait to see what we create together in 2013!
Heidi Wachter is the Community Engagement Specialist for Experience Life.