Being a full-time student or even a part time student while balancing other aspects of life can be quite challenging. Having to balance so many facets of life and wearing different hats makes it difficult to stay grounded and remember why we are doing that we are doing, am I right? This is my third and final year of seminary and I have to say this experience of journeying through seminary while working three jobs has taught me so much about myself. One of the many things I have learned is that creativity in everyday life is key for me in order maintain my sanity and stay grounded.
I, like many of us, did not see myself as a creative person because I am not a painter and I am terrible at drawing. But being creative is so much more than these traditional ideals of what it means to create. According to an author named Elizabeth Roe, “Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts.” And for me, I try to cultivate creativity in everyday acts.
In my Spiritual Formation Class that I took my first year, we talked about the necessity of spiritual disciplines. I remember one of my professors mentioned that when we think we are too busy to stop and collect ourselves, we must remind ourselves that we are too busy NOT to. I have learned the hard way many times that I must take time to do what makes my soul come alive or all of a sudden, I will find myself going through the motions of life rather than living with intention. And then I feel stale, making me of service to no one; including myself.
When I have so many things on my brain, I need to let me brain do whatever it feels like doing as it recharges, otherwise I am just running in circles. Different people have different coping mechanisms but many of them involve some form of creativity whether we are aware of it or not. I enjoy cooking without recipes, lighting candles, putting together bouquets of flowers, arranging my meal to make it aesthetically pleasing, capturing a beautiful flower with my camera, finding a new space for a friend and I to hang out at, exploring a new part of the city, rearranging my bedroom, putting together a new outfit that expresses different parts of my personality, extending hospitality; all of which are some of the ways creativity is weaved throughout my everyday life. These are some activities that bring me life and help me connect with myself that may not match one’s traditional view of creativity.
What I enjoy about creativity is that it enables me to see the Holy in the ordinary. It helps me tune out those external voices and connect with the still small voice within me. It helps me to be me. What are some ways you cultivate creativity or would like to cultivate creativity in your everyday life?
Author: Kelly Drury