in 2014, I will be…CREATIVE

I love New Year’s Resolutions. Heck, I love all kinds of goals and every excuse to make them and renew them. And I’ve resolved to never do them the same way twice. So, for 2014, I wrote this post about my goals for the year in the form of 6 different words that I want to be committed to this year. I thought it would be fun to take some time to explore each of the words and how they are weaving into my life in this season.

 The first one is CREATIVE.

I want to be a creative person, but not out of obligation or pressure to meet some perceived expectation that I have from others. I simply want to create in the ways that my mind and heart lead me to create. I haven’t quite figured out

I found this great Huffington Post article  about the things that creative people do. And what I learned from it is that I definitely don’t fit their description of a “creative person”…. So, here are a few highlights that I really liked and want to practice!

They daydream. 

I pride myself in being very strategic with my time and energy, and daydreaming is neither of those things. It’s not that I don’t sit and stare out the window sometimes, but I try to keep myself “grounded” as much as possible in what I think about, and am not very lenient with myself in letting my mind just wander. Don’t get me wrong, part of that is a discipline that I stand by. However, when it comes to this whole idea of daydreaming, I want to give myself a little more freedom to imagine and to dream, because it awakens a vital part of who I am in that I am a created being, but also that I am a creator, as a daughter of One.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss
They are people-watchers.

I have an old friend who was an expert people-watcher. He used to entertain us at summer camp by narrating what he interpreted from the people around us. It was so much fun to guess who was wooing whom, and where that group was headed next, and what those two were arguing about. His analysis seemed confident and certain, and that clearly came not just from lots of people-watching, but from lots of attentive people-interacting. I think I sometimes forget what a depth there is to every person I come into contact with, and forget to engage myself in learning at every possible moment. This is a great reminder to pay a little more attention.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” -Steve Jobs

They seek out new experiences.

You will read more about this is the “2014 – Brave” post coming soon, but this has been a huge one for me this year. I am not usually a person who seeks out new experiences, though somewhere inside I do want to. To me, a perfectionist, new is scary because if it is unknown, it has potential for failure, and should be avoided at all costs. I’m working on this, starting with baby steps like  ordering different things off the menu and trying a new class at the gym.

“Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.” – Joseph Addison

They lose track of time.

This NEVER, and I mean NEVER, happens to me. I’m late for things every once in awhile, but I am painfully aware of time passing at every moment of the day. It defies all my mental codes and devices to be unaware of the time I’m spending on any task or conversation. As silly as it sounds, it takes great intentionality for me to invest myself so deeply in something that I become unaware of the time I’m spending. Part of learning to do this is learning to STOP multi-tasking. Focusing on one thing is difficult, in a world of over-stimulus, but can also be blissfully rewarding in getting wrapped up in one creative task…..or so I hear.

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” – Henry David Thoreau

They surround themselves with beauty.

Last, but not least – everyone is inspired by beautiful things. Those of us seeking out that inspiration need to put a little more work into finding it! For me, this means taking walks outside, buying flowers for my desk at work, snapping pictures of skyscapes, and taking every opportunity I can to spend time with carefree kids. Innocence and purity are what I find the most beautiful and inspiring, and knowing where to look for that is only half the battle to drawing that sweet inspiration. I have to keep my eyes open for those beautiful things, and then allow myself the time to enjoy them. To stop and smell the roses, if you will. 
“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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