You’re tinkering in your studio, making that Erector Set capital A. Or, you’re pulling over to make notes about this story that keeps pestering you. You unroll your washi tape and mask out a colorful shape.
Your creative output may not earn you a Pulitzer or a show at the Guggenheim, but I assert that your creative efforts, however meager or non-profitable, are contributing to world peace.
We’re all creative, sure. Each and every one of us is making things every day — sandwiches, relationships, and choices.
And then there are the creators — people who are driven from inside to make things. Writers, artists, businesspeople, inventors, these are the people for whom making is not an option.
All the obstacles to creating
Even with this inherent creative drive, making is not always easy. Our natural creative impulses have perhaps been mocked, belittled and shut down. We tamp it down and play it safe for the sake of getting along, getting a job, and getting ‘real’.
Our excuses (Not enough time! Too many ideas!) often mask the inner obstacles. We’re insecure about our ideas, so it’s easier to do mundane tasks that call for no risk. Laundry, anyone? We are ignorant of how to write a novel, so we let that be an excuse to look at what other people are making instead. We don’t esteem ourselves enough to dedicate effort to something the world isn’t waiting for, so we defer our creative time to others’ agendas.
All the costs of not creating
It’s easy to layer these excuses over our creative dreams. Our default mode of ‘busy’ makes it easy to pretend we don’t have time for our creativity. But the cost of burying our creative drive in commonplace excuses is high. And it’s not just costing us, it’s costing the planet.
When we defer our creative power, we often feel:
- Jealousy over others’ output.
- Anxiety around unfulfilled purpose.
- Irritation over little things, a surface dissatisfaction hiding a deeper discontent.
- Overconsumption of others’ creativity, or of food or drink. Shopping, anyone?
If these aren’t bad enough, what’s worse is the persistent feeling of lack of integrity. When we defer our creativity, we are out of alignment with our very essence. Our ego or social self ‘gets along’ but our stifled creative self simmers in resentment.
This might contribute to mean gossip, road rage, unkind online comments or squelching someone else’s dream. Disconnecting from our creativity disconnects us from empathy and this disconnects us from others.
With so many of us walking around with our most vibrant creative selves locked away in the basement, it’s no wonder things are askew in the world.
Our creativity changes the world
I imagine a world where our creativity is liberated and fully expressed. What if:
- Honoring our creative impulses made us feel better and thus contributed more kindness, acceptance and joy to the world?
- Satisfying our muse satisfied the greater order of things and perhaps fosters more solutions to the world’s problems
- Honoring our creative impulse sparked a daily joy that ripples out and made a difference beyond our own selves, even if we don’t become rich or famous?
- Perhaps the time you selfishly protect for your doodling is not so selfish after all.
What if by dint of making, you make yourself a better person to be around? What if your own creative satisfaction makes you feel more energized, more productive and more purposeful?
What if that vibe made a difference in the world and you, tinkering away in obscurity, were actually contributing to world peace and healing?
Creativity makes a real, daily difference
This isn’t just a hypothesis. I’m not making this up. The real results my clients and students — and myself — have experienced from spending our ‘free’ time making include:
- Renewed vitality.
- Greater sense of spiritual connection and empathy.
- Release of old baggage, limiting beliefs and lingering emotional burdens.
- Feeling of fun and playfulness.
- Renewed enthusiasm for life.
- Sense of personal power and greater purpose.
- More flow of creative ideas and inspiration.
I could go on. In twenty years of coaching creatives, I’ve seen all kinds of miracles happen when people honor their inherent creative drive. Sure, some have published their books. Others have won awards for their art and built thriving businesses.
But every single person who has devoted themselves to their creativity has felt immediate and potent benefits. We don’t have to produce a bestseller to change the world. Changing our own state of being has an impact on those around us.
We grow through our creativity
I believe the work we make works us. And the works we don’t make diminish our humanity and our creative essence. In my work as a coach and teacher, I spend my days unlocking the creative basement so those who feel the drive to create can get out of their own way.
When we say yes to our creative work, we’re not just making a book or a piece of art or a business. We’re making ourselves. We’re making ourselves whole and that makes the planet a better place. Our creativity is the source of our vitality. Anything that brings alive our natural creative drive contributes to peace and healing.
You’ve heard that song, Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. I say, let peace begin with your creativity. You might think this is a simplistic or perhaps unrealistic expectation for our tinkering, our scribbling and our making. But when love drives our creative acts, there’s no greater force.
What will you make today?