Cultivating Creativity

"it pays to dwell slowly on the beautiful things in life." 
~ Atticus

Creativity is an active word. It implies movement to create, design, prototype and produce. However, I am discovering that creativity is often born in stillness, solitude and silence.

Creativity is an edge for many. It evokes memories of judgements received long ago for creative endeavours, be it in school or at home. It also spurs a lot of comparison and many will judge their own creations as “not good enough”.

I believe that all people are innately creative. It’s part of the human condition and desire to leave an imprint. I believe people yearn to express themselves through some creative channel. I often I hear people share their dreams, hopes and wishes for being more creative – through writing, painting, music, photography, carpentry dance, singing, pottery, culinary art, gardening, decorating, etc. Some crave creativity to be the source of their professional identify while others want it for pure pleasure.

However, just because people may crave creativity it doesn’t mean it is easy. Most people need to get over their own limiting beliefs and inner critics to claim the creative spirit that lives within them.

Recently, I have been experimenting with my own creativity. I am participating in a women’s writing workshop series lead by the amazing spoken word artist Holly Painter. She has a lyrical gift with words that combine to tell powerful, evocative stories. Through witnessing her perform and being in the workshop I have learned that we must be open to letting stories emerge through us. Our own life experiences are valid sources and must be honoured.

In the spirit of letting stories emerge through myself, I decided to embrace this notion while on vacation. My muse became a paddle board. It is from that experience that I discovered that when stillness and movement combine, I opened a channel of awareness that allowed words to flow through me.

I do not identify myself as a poet, yet one magical morning as I paddled on the still and quiet lake, words emerged and they arranged themselves in the form of a poem.  

The final phrase contains the wisdom I needed most. I am grateful for the time to capture the experience in words.

The Dawn’s Early Light

First awake, the water calls. My paddle boat stands ready.
She slips effortlessly into the water.

The loons call “come play”.
I heed their invitation.

Standing strong, feet planted.
Rhythmic movements of the paddle gently propel me forward.

Holding soft focus on all that surrounds me.
The stillness. The calm.

The water is mirrored glass reflecting sky, trees, and rocks. Nature’s abundant glory.
Gliding softly. Unbroken silence.

Grateful for the beauty of this early morning dawn.
Breathing in. Breathing out.

Mist rises off the water as I glide.
Sun at my back. Energy infusing every cell.

With each dip of the paddle I move forward.
A telling reminder of how easy and gentle that can be.

 

Written at and Len and Jody’s camp on Carlyle Lake, Killarney Provincial Park. I experimented with paddle boarding for the week and fell in love with this peaceful way of combining stillness and movement to cultivate creativity.