Articles

Getting Up Close and Personal with Your Creative Gifts

glassesinsnowSome years ago, I read/reviewed a terrific book by Vinita Hampton Wright titled, “The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life.”

Loved the book then.
Love it now.

As I’m rereading it, I’m smiling as I go because I am finding the exact same portions as helpful and meaningful today as I did the first time around.

With pen in hand, I’m underlining (again) the very same phrases and paragraphs…which means, I still need the same message and encouragement today that I did some eight years ago.

Some things never change no matter how you look at them…up close and personal or far away and from a distance.

Wright shares some wonderful insights specific to writing…but her observations and principles hold true for every sort of creative endeavor and how some of the people in your life will respond to your choices to “create.”

Let me share a bit of Wright’s thoughts here —

What happens when you say yes to creative gifts?

Expect to be misunderstood.

People who are not yet acquainted with their creativity will think you’re odd. If you’re fully invested in a creative vision, then they’ll suspect you’re imbalanced. If they really admire what you’re doing, they may go to the other extreme and hold you in awe. Either way, you are misunderstood. Perfectly fine people will think you are wasting your life if you don’t get a real job that gives you a nice retirement package. You’re not going to escape these reactions. It’s up to you to find loving responses to them.

Expect to scare some people.

Staid religious people, staunchly rational people and unawakened people may feel nervous the moment you enter the room. All you can do is be gentle. Speak their language as best you can. Share your life with care.

Expect to be rejected.

The creative process often leads to temporary imbalances that other people may not tolerate well. There’s some craziness to the creative life. You may be terrifically energetic for a time and then shift into low energy and mild depression. Some of this flux goes with the territory.

Expect to lose control.

Just accept that much of the time you’re swimming in water way over your head, that you are out of your realm, that this whole thing is happening in a language you don’t recognize. Think of it as fun.

Expect to become more attentive to, and engaged with, life.

Creative work teaches you to pay attention, and this is something that few people do well or often. We spend hours and days at a time just trying to get ahead of an impossible schedule or solve one of many problems. Engagement goes hand in hand with attentiveness. Once you truly attend to the details of life, you will learn how to deal with them intentionally and thoughtfully.

Expect to acquire wisdom and humor.

When you work with ideas, dreams, visions, intuition and other soul matters day in and day out, you can’t help but grow in wisdom. Your interest in life is constantly aroused. Even if you’re an emotional artistic type, you give your brain cells lots of practice. You’re an aware person. Most artists I know have a well-developed sense of humor. They see the irony and strangeness of life. They recognize connections that others miss. They have learned to take joy in small, ordinary things.

So if you are embarking on the creative journey, know that your mind will grow sharper and your heart bigger.

I like this last bit…best of all…a sharper mind and a bigger heart. How about you?

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