I never thought I was creative because my mom always said she wasn’t.
No one else in my family was either.
My friend Angela thought she wasn’t creative because her father was an artist and she thought there could only be one in the family.
We were both wrong.
Everyone is creative.
(You are creative.)
You just need to find your particular path, your particular voice.
What grabs you?
What juices you?
What do you love?
These questions are harder than they appear.
Because creativity always leads us in surprising ways.
It’s scary to trust that voice.
It’s much easier to trust other people’s voices.
Those voices that instruct you, telling you what to do and how to do it.
When you go with your creativity you often go against the norm . . .
I need space to let my creativity flourish.
Lots and lots and lots of space.
I moved to Montana to find more space.
Space can include a lot of different things.
It’s kind of like “breathing room.”
Sometimes it’s breathing room from people.
My friend Angela wants me to be her friend always and forever.
That makes me feel like I’m in prison.
To be creative, I need freedom in my relationships too.
Sometimes space is breathing room from too many ideas
weighing me down.
I especially suffered from this in graduate school
Now, when I read too much I feel ill.
I know when I’m “too full” and need to quit.
I need room to breathe, space to think, and freedom from the ideas of others.
I need to discover my own ideas.
Everyone says critical thinking is important.
The other day a Ph.D. Astrophysicist from Princeton was on National Public Radio. (*WOW@!)
He spent an hour talking about how he was trying to get people to think critically.
For example, he wanted people to know that they were at the same risk of dying from an asteroid hitting the earth as dying from an airplane crash. And that days actually grow shorter in the summer, not longer. (The longest day of the year is the first day of summer.)
But this is simply inserting a different (perhaps more correct) set of information into our heads.
To me, critical thinking is more like creativity–
Going underneath the information he provided and pondering it,
Putting new thoughts together . . .
I wonder . . .
What would it feel like if an asteroid hit the earth?
Would it make a loud bang?
Would I lose my hearing immediately?
Creativity can happen in any subject.
There are creative mothers, creative gardeners, creative builders.
There are creative engineers, and maybe even creative politicians.
Can you think of any?
Some subjects are heavier than others
but all subjects can be made heavy.
By giving us too much information to swallow.
Information is heavy.
Creativity is light.
Critical thinking requires space just like creativity does.
I need lightness and space to think creatively.
What else do I need?
But mostly, not being afraid to be a fool.
Have you noticed that many creative things are childlike?
Think of Picasso’s art, Robin Williams, the Beatles (“Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” “We all live in a yellow submarine” $@#!)
Creativity needs play.
What is play to you?
I like rolling down hills, wrestling with my friends, exploring new city neighborhoods.
When I lived in Chicago I would stand in front of Grant Fountain and fantasize about climbing in.
Creativity requires paying attention and noticing.
It requires trusting myself.
Pushing myself to “work hard” stops my creative flow.
Lots of breaks are good.
And if something comes up,
I need to follow it.
Even if I’m driving, or standing in line at the grocery, or trying to sleep.
Creativity is a gift,
And it’s my job to put it out there into the world.
Even if it makes people laugh,
Even if it makes my face turn red.