A few weeks ago, the vibrant Tim Ringgold posed a question on his Facebook page that has been rolling around in my mind ever since. I am so thankful that he posted this question, and (unsuspectingly) offered me the opportunity to work on this for myself.
Do we ever invent or create anything without purpose?
Yes or No and why?
Oof. I think I actually blinked a few times and read it again. It has a lot of really awesome responses that include a wide range of yes and no answers, and some links! I love it when people link things. It’s like information Christmas! But I also love reading the responses and adding them to my own perspective. You don’t know what you don’t know, and I find that I really don’t know much.
If I’m being honest, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this question. I think it may be because the answer is dependent upon one’s perspective, but you’ll have to let me know. This question has taken root in my mind, and is starting to unfold as something quite different than I originally thought.
Originally, my almost visceral response to Tim’s questions was, “No, of course not! Why would anyone create without purpose? And can’t even ‘creating without purpose’ even be considered a purpose?” That was a rabbit hole…. After such a powerful reaction to his question, I immediately went back and edited my response because I believe it’s about more than a “yes” or “no” answer that definitely needs to be handled with delicacy. Why the delicacy? Because Tim wasn’t just asking about black and white, he was asking about purpose.
What. A. Word. PURPOSE. Whoo….. It makes me blink my eyes when I consider purpose. Which lens do we use to view creative purpose, or clinical purpose, or personal purpose, or…or…or…. The list can go on, really. Thankfully, we’re only dipping out toe into creative purpose.
When I think about purpose, my mind immediately pairs purpose with service. This seems like a pretty rational pairing, as I find myself thinking, “what purpose does this serve in my life/in this moment/for this client/etc.?” In addition to service, intentionality provides the final side of the creative holy trinity. Creation – service – intentionality, or even going backwards, my intention is to ______ because I need _______ service in my life, so I’m going to create ______. It sets us up to lift the fog that often sits upon creation and to serve ourselves and our creative gifts more truthfully.
As a creative person, working in a creative job, how do we find creative purpose? For me, creative purpose looks so different depending on what I need, and where I am. I find that making space for the caring for, cultivating of, and embracing of my creative purposes is one of the most important things I do. It so important that The Marketplace was born out of a desire to offer MTs the opportunity to share a creative community, and has even inspired a few new projects focusing on the goodness that comes from creative community, clarity, and wellness.
I know I’ve said it before, but it needs repeating: I am so thankful that you’re here, sharing creative space and giving a little bit of creative kindness to yourself. So before we all go, I would like to put a gentle challenge on the table. I would like you to challenge yourself to identify your creative purpose, or range of creative purposes, in this very moment, or this very day. Typically one would set content requirements for a challenge such as, “must do such and such” or “must state such and such things”, but I like stories, links, and good juju so I’m leaving this open to your discretion. And, no challenge is complete without a follow up, right?
So here it is, our very first Creativity Check-In Challenge: for those of you who feel called, share your creative purpose in a comment below or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday, June 9th you’ll receive early access to The Marketplace’s Customer Love Week, and all of the fabulous discounts/freebies/special offers! Winner will be announced June 9th via social media and e-mail!
As always, I am yours in creativity.
Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace