Connecting to Creativity

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

I do not consider myself to be a creative individual. I think creativity takes courage to put part of yourself “out there”. When you are “out there” you risk judgement and I fear judgement. I would rather be accepted and belong than risk judgement, so I have built my self esteem around competency and reliability. I am proud to think that people know they can count on me.

When I was in school, I built my self esteem around my intellect and my competitive spirit in sports. In grade five, I started to build my sense of self through involvement with the theatre, but truly even that had a competitive element as participation was through the Drama Festival. Without the Drama Festival, there remains today an element of competition just auditioning for theatre. Will they accept me? Will they think I'm good enough?

Ironically, even though I have built my identity, how I feel about myself and how I see myself, around other elements of self esteem, there was a tiny nugget of creativity waiting, waiting for permission, to be seen and to be acknowledged. I usually don’t believe there is one single iota of creativity in me. I’m not an artist. I'm not a photographer. I can't dance. I can’t draw. I am not attuned to these creative ways of expression. I am usually more analytical and logical. And yet, I knew exactly what I wanted this platform to look like - my tiny nugget of creativity. I had a creative vision.

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says:

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges:

Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?

Look, I don’t know what’s hidden within you. I have no way of knowing such a thing. You yourself may barely know, although I suspect you’ve caught glimpses. I don’t know your capacities, your aspirations, your longings, your secret talents. But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe that we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.

The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s creative living.

The courage to go on that hunt in the first place – that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.

The often surprising results of that hunt – that’s what I call Big Magic.”

I implore you to have “the courage to bring forth the treasures hidden within you” and share your story here at esteem magazine.

Read more of Big Magic and buy the book at your local retailer.

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