Daily Creative Sparkles
And what I saw in the mirror
This week, although I admit I have been resisting it throughout lockdown, I have embarked on a period of introspection. It has been illuminating, uncomfortable and, at times, quite distressing. But I felt I couldn’t put it off any longer and it has led me to an interesting exercise which I plan to share with you next week.
But on this journey, given the pause and space to reflect. I have noticed that many of the things I think I am striving for - some knowledge and awareness - I already have. There was certainly a point where I didn’t possess those things in these ways, but I didn’t stop and take stock of the fact that I had already acquired them, if you stop and look I expect you will find you have things you have wanted for a long time but were so used to wanting them, you didn’t realise they had arrived. Creativity is one of these things.
Yes, I have always been someone who manages life and its challenges with art or writing or making things, rearranging stuff or decorating something. But I see it as ‘a thing to make or do’. When I stop and think about it, I am creative in a myriad of ways every day. And so are you.
There was a time many years ago when I lived in a tiny studio flat in Brighton. I had a big sash window which I could step out of onto a fire escape platform on which I hung a washing line. My washing would have to have the same colour pegs for the item I was hanging out. It all had to match - and this was before instagram.
When my kids were smaller I would cut up their sandwiches and rearrange them into things, for example a rocket shape with salad veg as windows and fire. I had a phase of matching tea to a cup. I have different colour mugs with the penguin classic book covers on them. So peppermint tea had to go in the green one (The Invisible Man), ginger tea in the orange one (Brighton Rock), lemon tea in the yellow one (Country Life) and chai in the red one (Man and Superman). This is all creative expression and is very valuable in the understanding and appreciation of your wonderfully unique self.
Your creativity is everywhere in your day when you start to look for it. So many people tell me ‘I wish I was more creative but I’m not good at art.’ Creativity is about much more than art. It is self expression, beautiful and delicious as it can’t be anything else, and that comes out in the clothes you choose to wear, how you arrange ornaments on a shelf, present food on a plate or doodle while on the phone. It is in the colour you paint your walls (there has been a huge increase in diy in lockdown), the pictures you hang on them, the bead necklace or robot you make with your child. The stories you tell yourself, the couple of lines in your head that rhyme so you make a note of it on your phone then forget it is there.
So this week’s challenge is threefold:
- Slow down. Pause. Notice when you are being creative without realising.
- Take stock of how you feel at the time. What do you get from it? Does it light you up but feel unimportant? (hint, if ANYTHING lights you up it is important.)
- Pay attention to the things you love - what is it and can you do more of it?
That is all. It is an invitation to meet yourself in places you may not acknowledge yourself and to be friendly and kind to yourself when you do. And if you like it do more of it. The only person who has to know it or see it is you. And that is the most important thing.
Last week’s challenge,
I spent some time going around the house looking in mirrors indirectly. Apart from the desire to declutter even more than I already am, I found some interesting patterns in the mirrors, lots of lovely geometry which is one of my favourite themes, when I look at my work, it isn’t a conscious theme. I zoomed in on some of them to make a sort of patchwork. This was a great way to take a fresh perspective of my home and what is in it, and I suspect lead me to the introspective week I have had.
I look forward to finding out what little bits of creative magic are sprinkled into your days: