2015 was marked by an uprising in “creativity study.” Books including Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller “Big Magic” surfaced as a call to return to our own lost creative roots. Adult colouring books gained in popularity as people realized that the simple artistic pleasure they had as a child can help achieve peace and mindfulness in adulthood. Creativity is important for all of us and in 2015 we started to really grasp this realization.
I think there are 2 major things going on here:
1 – People are sick of being plugged in all the time. Whether working, networking, or entertaining ourselves, always being plugged in takes away from the joy of simply being.
2 – Our society is slowly coming to realize that not everything should have, or needs to have, economic value. Paying for a colouring book and pencil crayons makes no actual economic sense – but it’s a pleasure to do.
I am always fascinated when people talk to me about this blog and, rather than asking me about the ideas or stories, they ask me about my business plan: what are my economic goals and intentions?
Sure, if I suddenly make millions from writing this today, that would be amazing.But the truth is I love travel, I love writing, and I love exploring and reflecting on “experiential” and “reflection” as concepts. This blog is an opportunity for me to share that creativity and that passion. It’s also an opportunity for me to ensure I’m being creative.
This little point does not make me unique. How many times does a student tell someone their major or thesis topic and, rather than being asked why they chose that area of study or what interesting concepts they’re learning, they are asked, “so what can you do with that?!” How often we belittle the process and the creativity and turn our focus to the bottom line?!
Half of you reading this are loving this idea of creativity. The other half are thinking “I am not creative – I am logical!” Creativity is a value-laden term. Sadly, we right-brained, artistic folk have stolen this word, leaving the purely left-brainers to think this doesn’t apply to them. But creativity is in all of us.
It’s not just poetry and design and music and drawing.
It’s the person who uses their creativity to problem solve. It’s the person who solves math problems and science dilemmas with such ease because the challenge makes them come alive. It’s the person who is focussed and creative enough to draft the rule book.
Ask yourself – “what did my nine year old self do in my free time?” There’s a very good chance this will shed light on your our creative side.
This subject has become a huge passion of mine over the last couple of years. I had realized that my primary school days of getting all Cs and Bs for my art class projects meant that I labelled myself as being “not good at art.” I realized one day, and I don’t remember how or why, but I realized that I was a woman in her 30s who never painted or drew (despite a pull towards these activities) because I still felt like I wasn’t good enough to be doing these things.
In his book “Creating Space”, Ed Cyzewski shares his own journey to creativity where he realized: If I wanted my creativity to thrive, I had to remove the parts of my life that were not creative – even if they were neutral in and of themselves” (Loc. 48).
You know when you are “removed”? When you can take yourself out of your everyday rituals and focus on either figuring out, or being, creative? When you are travelling!
When you’re from away everyone and everything you know.
When you don’t have a constant wifi/3G connection.
When you don’t have all those office projects to think about (or, even if you do, you can’t do a thing about them anyways!)
Use travel as an opportunity to rejuvenate your inner creativity. Remember – whoever you are, wherever you are – this applies to you!
Happy travelling…and happy creating!