On creativity and play

For some peculiar reason, we’ve denied ourselves the space or time or willingness to be creative. It’s easier to say in a shoulders-shrugging manner, I don’t know or I’m not the creative type, really. I should know, I’ve done it myself plenty of times.

You see, when I was a kid, I used to write poetry and fantasise about happenings and people and my imagination could go pretty wild, and I remember having especially vivid and colourful dreams (I still do, thankfully). But then my mom kinda mocked me and because she was a grownup I so admired and looked up to, I stopped. Before we continue, no, there’s no villain to this story and my mom is pretty awesome, and yes, I probably overreacted by giving it up completely.

I let that moment define my creative flow for a good while until I realised, I’m opposing something I really shouldn’t. Plus, there’s not just one way of being creative – took me a bit to realise this. Whilst I might not have been a great poet at 7, I was limiting myself by putting my creativity in the very tiny and conforming box, i.e. if I can’t write poetry, I’m not creative.

Since then, I’ve experimented with theatre and acting, debate, calligraphy. I was extraordinarily mediocre at best; however, that’s beside the point. The point is that I’ve allowed myself to try and this led to wonderful experiences, including the magical discovery of Yo-Yo Ma’s music <3.

I’ve also come to realise that I’m a creative problem solver, I see connections between things that very few do, and that following my intuition and weird-connection-making can lead to insightful perspectives. And that’s being creative too, whoop!

I’ve learnt that creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, and it means much more than what we allow ourselves to think it does. And that we must give ourselves and others the space to be creative and to play, as from this point of curiosity and openness one can lead to great discoveries.

When we give ourselves permission to play, we give ourselves permission to experiment, to fail, to meander. So, let’s give ourselves permission to be creative, and remember that there are no rules, it’s all invented, and there’s a world of possibility awaiting 😉