As so many things go with creativity, we find ourselves putting off our creative experiences until later (my version of “later” is a big black hole where things go in and don’t come out…. Later doesn’t seem to work for me!), or until we feel __…. I think this happens for a lot of reasons, some of which may be that we wear a million hats and are fatigued, that we are over extended with a massive case load, or are emotionally unavailable to ourselves because of any number of circumstances. But it happens, regardless of your reason, and sometimes despite your best timing and desires.
Sometimes when we attempt to create under these “extreme” circumstances we are unable to find peace, joy, and autonomy in the experience. Like perhaps we’re creating in a way we feel is expected of us, or perhaps we find that the creative experience is causing us more anxiety because we can’t do it “well enough.” These feelikngs, my friends, are all part of our human experience. And unfortunately, the big green monster behind all of them is fear. Fear that others will look on our creative experience and pass judgement, or even that we may pass judgement on ourselves, which can be so much more hurtful.
Having recently experienced a bout of creative fear, I stumbled upon this video of Lady Gaga speaking at the 2015 Emotion Revolution summit. This video is packed full of amazing wisdom and inspiration that deserves it’s very own post, but for this post, she says something really beautiful. At the 9 minute mark (ish), she starts sharing about how she started saying no to all of the things people expected of her (like selling fragarence), and started intentionally engaging in experiences that allowed her to maintain her creative integrity without sacrificing her JOY. Guys – we do this all. the. time! And maybe we don’t even know it.
So today I am here to invite you to partake of the creative autonomy that Lady Gaga so beautifully described, by saying NO to the creative expectations that cause you fear, and by saying YES to the things that bring you great creative joy. They don’t have to be musical, or fancy. All they need to do is fit your specific need for creative satisfaction so that you can achieve creative autonomy. As a creative, autonomy is one of the best presents you can gift yourself.
Now is the time, my friends, to dust off your courage and dig around for that nugget of creativity that is living within you. It’s there, just waiting to come into the light!
I cannot wait to see how brightly your creativity shines through you! Keep your face towards the sun, my friends!
Yours in creativity,
Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace