Over the past fifty five days of staying at home as the world weathers the Covid-19 crisis, I have felt something that I haven’t in quite some time:
Looking for ways to pass the time, I took out my sewing machine, my paint set, my yoga mat, and my journals. I have created things for the simple joy of creating them. When something started to feel forced, I put it away. There’s no need for me to do anything in particular right now, so why do something that doesn’t feel good?
I came to the realization that I hadn’t had the space or time to be creative before quarantine. “Being creative” seemed like a luxury, whereas “self care” seemed like a necessity.
Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should take the best care of themselves as they can. That is never in question. But I’m starting to feel like we have been a bit grifted by the whole “self care” movement.
A lot of things that allow us to be creative also fall under the “self care” umbrella: yoga, meditation, walks, coloring, crafting, journalling. I think the popularity and prevalence of the self-care practice came from needing the ability to endure the previous paradigm of productivity and burnout.
Self care is about surviving. Creativity is about creation.
As someone who is essentially creative for a living, I was pretty bummed out that I had lost that joy and wonder. Before, everything had to have an end goal. It had to lead to something bigger and better. The joy of creation had to have a reason and return on investment; therein losing the joy itself.
Whenever things go back to the new normal, I hope that I can hold onto this regular practice of using my hands, moving my body, and letting my mind wander. I know it will make me feel more satisfied and less stressed. It may even make me a better artist.
A creativity practice can be proactive instead of reactive. It can be a product of our expression, not a coping mechanism.
When this time of isolation is over, how can we usher in a spirit of creation and creativity? How can we shift a world that wants us so much to push ourselves until we break? What does your heart want to create, for no other reason than the love of making it?
How will you practice your creativity?