Monday, February 22, 2010

Creative Expression=Balanced Living?

I attended a creativity party this past weekend at my good friend author/writing coach Carolyn Scarborough’s home.

She asked her friends to bring something to the party that illustrated how they "get their creative game on.”

Guests sang, tap danced, recited poetry, read from published or yet to be published books, shared paintings, textiles, mosaics, photography, journals, played instruments, talked about new businesses that were being birthed and cheered each other on for their bravery and willingness to express whatever it is that lights their fire.

I loved this opportunity to think about what creative endeavors fuel me. I’m a big believer that it’s not about being great, it’s about picking up, continuing or starting creative pursuits simply for the joy of it (read more on this from The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal, chapter seven: Unleashing Your Creativity).

I remember when I signed up for an acting class—just for fun and because it sent terror down my spine--shortly after my thirtieth birthday. It was one of the times in my life that I felt most alive—yes,most scared—but most alive!

I was raised by an artist/musician/philosopher mother who believed creative expression was like oxygen—it was essential to being human. (Interestingly a debate broke out in my son’s second grade classroom recently about what humans need to survive; apparently a line was drawn between those who believed art was essential to our sustainability and those who believed it was not!)

I know when my plate is full (we have seven events in the next 60 days, many of them national) and I’m struggling to keep a sense of equilibrium and sanity in my life, thinking about creative expression may not be at the top of my list. But maybe it should be?

I find that when I live more in the right hemisphere of my brain and give myself breathing room to “create” from nothing, I feel more alive, more connected to others and more in touch with the mystery, magic and bigness of life. And, I feel more balanced. Not a bad place to hang out.

I love the following quote from well-known artist/dancer Martha Graham. My entrepreneur brother sent it to me when I was two months into launching my first business ten years ago and singing the “start-up blues.” It really resonated with me:

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"'

AN INVITATION: Interested in exploring and tapping into the power of self-care? Learn how you can join or become trained to lead a self-renewal circle for women. And, view all upcoming events--including March 26th and April 23-25 spring renewal retreats--here.

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The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.

Photo: A natural elements creation I photographed while vacationing with my family on the Olympic Peninsula, WA.


Yen-Hong said...

Nice to hear you are doing what you intended to do. Don't forget to not leave Creative Expression out. When my next art show comes up, I'll send you an invite.

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