A few days ago I read a post by a fellow life coach, who was predicting that creativity would be a big theme this year. I noted this with interest, and yet also felt like it was a not really news. You see creativity, the need for creative expression and allowing space for creativity in my life has been a constant since I was a child; it's a lifelong theme, not just something for this year. Creativity has been my comfort and go-to approach at many times of my life, but it really came into its own when we lost our son.
When we have lost someone, we experience grief in a very physical way. We are deeply aware of the emotion, and can feel physical pain in our body. I know I felt a physical ache in my chest, and aching arms (which I attributed to their longing to hold a baby).
But we also experience grief in our behaviour: we can lose interest in things, find ourselves unable to smile or laugh, have trouble sleeping, and possibly, we don't have much of an appetite.
One of the ways we can help ourselves regain a sense of normality and take our mind off our grief, is by actively doing something creative. Giving ourselves time to connect with creative inspiration, and going with it.
In the months after our son died, I spent many hours dreaming, planning and making things. All creative pursuits. At that time, craft and creative expression were my saviour. Creativity took the form of sewing, stitching and paper-craft but also time spent making up elaborate stories for my toddler.
Remembering creative times
Do you remember when being creative wasn’t even something you thought about? When it was simply how you spent your day? Perhaps it was when you were a child, or another time in your life.
When we are grieving we can find we've lost our spark; and without the spark, creativity can be absent from our lives too. As creativity also brings joy, therein lies the problem. We know too well how impossible it is to feel joyful and happy when we are grieving. Creativity is also challenging when we are simply living day-to-day, routine lives.
Routine can squash creative vibes. Instead, creativity comes when we feel alive.
Finding ways to feel alive again, and kick-start that creativity can help with dealing with our grief. A little bit of creativity can lift our mood and help us feel happier again.
But if traveling or taking a holiday is not possible for you, don't despair. You can kick-start your creativity much more simply at home too.
It just requires doing things a little differently - a change of routine. When we step out of our routine, out of the day-to-day, even if only briefly, we can tap into our creativity.
For example, play mariachi music as you prepare the dinner, wear heels when you normally wear flats, have a backwards day (eat dinner at breakfast and vice versa) or even just a backwards meal (dessert first, anyone?).
It can even be as simple as taking a shower (yes, you know that’s where you get your best ideas, and now you know why – it’s a change of scene!).
Do something different and see how you feel.
Play = boost your creativity
Another option is to simply play. Be a bit silly. We are never too old to play.
Being a bit silly can make us feel a bit foolish at first but it's a brilliant way to make us happy. Being silly and playing can also makes us feel alive! It reminds us of being little children, where fun and playing were all that mattered to us - and we felt vibrant and invincible.
As children, we knew implicitly know that “the world is your playground". As adults, we sometimes need to be reminded of this.
And when we were little children, our play was based in creativity. We were busy making up songs, dances, poems, drawing, writing, doing cartwheels instead of walking, colouring, singing, making up elaborate crazy stories and dreaming of a wonderful, fun-filled life.
Do you remember that child?
That little child felt alive! She was full of creativity. She looked at the world with curiosity. That’s right – all those “but why?” questions were you being curious about the world!
That little child is still inside you; she's still there - dreaming of that wonderful fun-filled life.
Now, I’m not necessarily suggesting you start the “but why?” questions again unless you really want to, but I am suggesting you recall that childhood inquisitiveness, and tap back into it.
As you tap into curiosity and inquisitiveness, you might find you feel a little happier, you have fun and play a little too. And I bet your creativity comes along for the ride too.
Getting creative is just the start. I'd love to help you to tap into the things that really bring your joy in your life. Get in touch today to book a complimentary 30 minute call, where we can chat about how we can work together to make 2017 your year; the year you step into your joy.
If you want more creativity and ideas, download my FREE E-book. It contains easy to follow steps to help you identify what you want more of, and what you want less of in your life. Ultimately helping you create a life you love; a life full of hope and joy.
Seeking a different kind of support? You might like to join the Parents Evolving & Transitioning After Loss (PETAL), a free online support group for parents who have had some time pass since their loss.