Are you creative? The answer to that question is always yes, because creativity is an inherent human trait, like handedness, and you are a creative being simply by having been born into this life.
The more important question is this: are you able to first access, and then express, your creativity, bringing it into actualization in the world?
Imagine a scenario: a woman goes for an evening walk, and as she walks her thoughts, as thoughts do at these times, take a walk of their own. Presently, an idea floats through: it may be a line of a poem, a chord progression or simple melody, a sentence or two describing some idea that hadn’t been there a moment before.
At this point one of two things will happen: she can go home and write the poem, compose the song or capture the idea. Or she can let the process end there on the street, and walk on as the idea hangs in the air behind her, eventually fading away….
The first scenario brings the happy fulfillment of the creative impulse! But the second ending is all too common. Our walker may not know how to shape her thought, not understand how to birth it fully into the world. And so it remains unrealized, and part of her creative self unrealized with it.
In the morning, our woman goes to her job. She runs a transportation company in a mid-sized city, and her days are spent dealing with personnel, logistics, governmental regulations, customer complaints, thinking about the competition. Some issues that come up, come up regularly, and then there are always surprises. Because she is adept at handling multiple things at once, she is good at her job, and because she’s good at her job, she likes it.
What she doesn’t see is how navigating her work and writing her poem are two points on the same continuum. Creativity is inventiveness and expression, of course, but it is also problem-solving, and the ability to join two previously disparate elements into a new and interesting whole.
In other words, alchemy!
And while many of us think of the arts when we think of creativity, there are myriad other areas in which it comes to expression. Directing, as here. Parenting. Teaching. Story-telling. Healers can be at their best when they are creative in their work.
There are reasons that we deny, or suppress, or just fail to realize our creative ideas. Fear is a big one; low self-esteem; time; lacking the necessary tools, whether in the form of instruction or instrument; there are no end of blocks against both inspiration and the process of putting inspiration into form.
We may be convinced that we lack the inherent talent for what we’d like to do creatively. We confuse talent with skill: for instance, I always knew I could not draw, until I learned how to draw. I learned how to draw, simply, by starting.
And therein lies one of the ways into the creative self: just showing up is how to begin….
In the way that every problem contains the seeds of its own solution, every creative block has an accompanying strategy to negate it. Are you creative? The answer is emphatically, unequivocally, yes.
Remember that as the vessel your creativity occupies, you are the thing already made to bring your own ideas into fruition. You were born to it.