The Gift of Creativity

The Christmas wrapping paper is put away for another year and now it’s time to consider the coming year. What have you planned for? What do you want to accomplish in 2011? Visiting writer Maril Crabtree considers the gift of creativity, connecting Christmas and the New Year. Enjoy!

            A friend’s blog recently posed questions about creativity:” As we move towards a fascinating new year . . . how can I open myself more  to my creative energies? How can I offer myself the time to play with self-expression? How do you offer yourself these gifts?”

            Good questions. My intention is to live a creative life. That means more than writing, which is my first love and which I look forward to doing at least a little of each day. It has to do with seeing creativity as part of my ground of being, the stuff of everyday living. It means finding ways to honor the creative energy hidden in even menial tasks.

            I do this best when I take time to focus on what I’m doing and really pay attention. I’ve decided that this year my goal will be to relegate “multi-tasking” to the bottom drawer, where it belongs. If I’m successful at doing this, it will mean big changes. It will slow everything down. I’ll probably get fewer tasks accomplished. And “accomplishment,” achievement, getting lots of things done, has always been a big motivator.

            For the next while, though (I’m not going to commit to any length of time – this is an experiment, after all!), I’ll use creativity as the way to help me focus. How can I make each task more creative so that I truly enjoy it? Example: meals. It’s all too easy to get in a rut and fix the same old things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why? Because I don’t have to think about it, it’s routine. But “routine” is often what takes the life out of things. Why not try a little cinnamon in my coffee or some fresh cilantro in the salad?

            This holiday season abounds with opportunities for gifting myself with more creativity. Martha Stewart aside, I can still focus on each package I wrap, thinking about the recipient and finding a special “something” to put with the wrapping. I love to reuse and recycle, so most of my holiday decorations come from the local thrift store, where it’s fun to browse and see what I can find for a mere quarter.

            I looked up the word “create” in the dictionary. It means “to cause to exist; to bring into being.” Now and in the new year, I look forward to seeing what new thoughts, words and deeds I will bring into being – by focusing on my innate creativity and letting it guide me, instead of being driven by accomplishment.

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Creativity

  1. Thank you, Maril, for reminding me of what I often to say to clients experiencing an “identity crisis” due to the illness/loss of a loved one or even a job loss. We in the western world tend to find our sense of personal worth based on what we ‘do’, rather than how we ‘be’.
    I think for the New Year I will remind myself more often of one of my favorite quotes from an elderly lady at a seminar I once taught.
    As we were introducing ourselves, a classmate asked her, “What do you do?”
    She replied, “About what?”

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