Finding Creative Strengths

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The other day, Alex and I were driving in the car. Alone. Without Lilly. Although I love family outings, sometimes it’s nice to have an adult conversation without a three-year-old shouting over you. For those of you who know Alex, you know he doesn’t speak unless it’s meaningful. He is thoughtful and careful with his words. Quite the opposite of me, much to my despair. Yet, during our kidless car rides, Alex really opens up. That small amount of time with him has become something that I look forward to and cherish.

After finishing an in-depth conversation with my husband, he caught me staring out the window. “There is creative, and then there is you”. He stated, trying to bring me back to planet earth. “What were you looking at?” 

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Alex is a planner. When those plans get interrupted it can sometimes be shattering for him. He is always the one making the logical, safe (and usually correct) decision for our family. His points are often impossible to argue with because they are so well thought out, and especially recently, it has become something I admire in him.

In a lot of ways, I am different. I am whimsy, I make decisions often times by feeling, and one of my biggest planning flaws is that I often have big dreams but no game plan laid out.

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This kind of sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? A strategic planner married to a dreamer? I can’t say that it has always been easy, but one thing we both have learned is to truly listen to and try to understand the other’s perspective. In many ways, that has helped us both to expand and grow our own practices and views.

I was just looking at the fallen leaves laying on the ground of that canyon and trying to take a mental picture to remember it forever,” I replied to Alex, coming back to reality.

“I don’t even notice the things you do.” He responded

We moved on with the conversation.

I’m not quite sure when this happens to us, but early on in life, we start to define others, and ourselves. We determine our strengths, our weaknesses, our points of views, and we don’t stray too far away from those things.

Everyone is creative. I am creative in a completely different way than the next person. For example, I may be visually creative, where Alex is creative in the way he analyzes decisions and plans.

Those creative gifts often lead us directly to what we are passionate about, and what we are purposed to achieve in our lives.

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One of the things that is amazing about technology, is that we have the opportunity to share and inspire creativity with one another, and grow as a creative and a person.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast and book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage you to. If you don’t have time to read, listen to her podcast while you are driving, running, cleaning, etc. (I love podcasts for the singular reason that I can learn and grow, and do the dishes at the same time. Efficiency for the win).

But I am going to close with two of my favorite quotes from her book.

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

–Elizabeth Gilbert

When I am not fulfilling my creative thirst, I often times find myself longing for or missing that aspect of my life. I essentially created this blog as a way to fulfill that need in my life.

My challenge to you this week is to take some personal time, it can be fifteen minutes after the kids are in bed or a whole day. Whatever your schedule allows. Write down what inspires you, what you are passionate about, and how you can utilize those inspirations to bring joy to others and into your own life. It doesn’t have to be anything large by scale. It can be a small blog, writing a note to someone else, creating something that is beautiful to you.

I think when the world is inspired and following their passions, it inevitably is a happier, more fulfilled one. Maybe that’s the dreamer in me, but I know in my own life, I am a better wife, mother, and friend when I am pursuing the things that ignite and inspire me.

Happy Tuesday!

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