When I was growing up, you were considered either creative or not creative. You could draw, or play an instrument, or act in plays— or you couldn't. You always knew who the "creative" ones were. They had a special status— either admired, or thought to be weird and socially limited. In any case, the kids who were "creative" were often set apart from the others in mutually exclusive ways.
From a coaching point of view, I feel this was a serious mis-education in limitation for everyone concerned.
Fortunately, we now live in the age of inclusivity and expansiveness when it comes to what defines creativity and who can be creative. As Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic— Creative Living Beyond Fear, writes, "What is creative living? Any life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear."
Since humans have an ingrained sense of curiosity from birth to seek ways to satisfy evolving physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, we all have a strong drive within ourselves to live creatively. It's a way of living that we all can do with support and encouragement. Why do we want to do it? Because in doing so, you add enormously to the energy, joy, and fulfillment that living with such awareness brings us.
With coaching, I've found 3 useful pathways for helping people infuse their lives with creativity and satisfaction—
1) Encourage new ways of visualizing the opening of your life—
This is actually the core foundation for all transformative change. It's how I often begin coaching with people who feel stuck or indecisive about how to work and live fulfilled. With envisioning, you give yourself full permission to bring out into the open everything that's most important to you in your life.
Yes, fear of the unknown and doubts about your own competency can arise as you expand your outlook on the way you want to live. Sometimes you may feel challenged letting even the vision of how you really want to live happen.
With your own desire and the right kind of support, however, you can learn to activate your creativity and imagination— and free your mind and spirit to soar!
2) Change your current career to one you love that feels totally different—
The process of changing the way you work to something that truly engages you is a highly creative act demanding awareness, commitment, and an openness to the possibilities of change. Changing your career can also be an opportunity for transforming your whole life in fulfilling new ways. One of my clients— Josh, an artist, who made his livelihood as an architect— felt his creativity stifled by management demands in the large architectural firm where he worked, though he enjoyed doing architecture. What he really minded was that he had little time to do his own art and to have quality time with his family.
In our work together, Josh developed his confidence in following his own creative path. He streamlined the way he worked so he had time to workout during the week, left his office on time instead of two hours later, was able to have several hours of time with his children, and created an award-winning architectural design.
Ultimately, Josh fulfilled his dream of being a partner in his own architectural firm, with time for his painting and sculpture. To do this, he developed innovative ways of doing contract work with his old office, while building his contacts and winning project bids for creative building projects for his own firm.
Often, opening the energy of your creative self is about tapping into the wellspring of what makes you come alive. As Rabbi Sharon Brous puts it, "Each of us participates in creation every day when we make a [conscious] choice about how we want to live in the world."
3) Bring forth a part of yourself that longs to be expressed—
What is something you loved to do when you were young that made you feel glad to be alive— that perhaps you've forgotten about? Remember Robin Williams as the grownup Peter Pan in the movie Hook? When forced to rescue his children from the pirates, he learned what he'd loved as a boy and forgotten as a man— how wonderful it was to feel free, playful, and fearless in a cause larger than himself!
Are you curious and interested about some part of your younger self that you'd like to call back and live out now? Were you ever told that you couldn't or shouldn't sing loudly in the shower, paint whatever you liked, dance on your way to school, or collect squirmy caterpillars on hikes?
Feel the opening of your energy now as you bring your singer, painter, dancer, or collector self back into your life. Re-create opportunities to sing, paint, dance, and collect whatever you like. Kick start your core creativity and re-kindle the joy of feeling fully alive! This is the key to connecting with the way of living and working that is most deeply satisfying to you now.