10 Practices for Creatives in Hiding
Posted on March 25, 2011 by Jackie Schlicher, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
If you're needing permission to let your creative self step into the spotlight, here are 10 simple practices to get you out of the cave of "I can't."“I began by tinkering around with some old tunes I knew. Then, just to try something different, I set to putting some music to the rhythm that I used in jerking ice-cream sodas at the Poodle Dog. I fooled around with the tune more and more until at last, lo and behold, I had completed my first piece of finished music. ” — Duke Ellington
“I wish I could do that!” – a bunch of people
As an actor and a coach, I frequently hear people express a desire to be able do something creative. Some of us follow that impulse. Some of us don’t.
The reasons we don’t? Here are just a few:
Can’t afford it.
It’s not productive.
Too late in the day.
Too late in life.
Nobody in their family/community/office/church/etc. has ever done anything “like that.“
The list goes on and on. All of this keeps our creativity locked inside, hidden, and small. Our reasons rule.
Creativity is the experience of giving birth to possibility. Our imagination is where ideas live and wait for us to water them with attention and action. Putting pen to paper, brush to canvas, or hands on the keyboard sets something magical in motion. The creative part of us which we were all born with is set free.
But on the road to that freedom, we can bump into the rules that have helped us to live with others. Some of these rules have made us silent, still and locked inside a safe, predictable box, free of risk. Some of those rules don’t serve us any longer. Some never did, but we didn’t let go of them, even when we were free to make our own decisions.
Here’s what I find helps get me out the tangled sticker bushes of “creative can’t,” when I choose to turn wishes into tangible creative expressions:
1. Let go of “good.” You do not have to be good.
2. Don’t work at it. Play at it.
3. When your critic’s voice shows up telling you that “you can’t,” imagine a radio knob controlling that voice and turn it all the way down.
4. Give yourself permission to be messy and to make mistakes.
5. Start by doing it for yourself, then share with others if you choose.
6. Observe and study those who are doing what you’d love to do, who inspire you.
7. Practice in your imagination when you can’t practice on the outside.
8. Make it about the learning, not about being an expert.
9. Risk success.
10. Relinquish control.
Although artful creating can come about this same way, this applies to anything you want to create – a great relationship, a beautiful home, an organized office, a successful business. It starts in the imagination and lands in your life when the groundwork is done, in playing in the creative process.
Creativity lives at the heart of all we do. We don’t know how not to do it. We just have to wrangle a form that works for us – gives us an outlet to be all of who we are, particularly when other areas of our lives such as our jobs and responsibilities request that we leave some of what makes us tick in the parking garage.
So is there something you’d long to do, to create – write, sing, start a business, create a great relationship, get an advanced degree? What would be the benefit to your life to claim that part of yourself that longs to be fully expressed in spite of the work you do, your status in the community, your income, race, gender, age, religious or political stance? For many, it calls louder than any other factor that lives outside of themselves.
Consider the 10 baby steps above to give yourself the permission you need to DO and BE all of who you are.