You Must Use Orange and Red

Over the last few months, I have encouraged you to stop, breathe, and take time to create space that allows you to explore your depths for healing purposes. It is necessary to stop and contemplate to understand more readily how a multitude of energies and beliefs, ours and others conspired to bring you to this moment.

Today I would like you to take a different path related but of a different energy.

How about you take a break from all the serious stuff. Know that right along with changing old, entrenched beliefs, that we also have within us an innate joy. This reservoir for joy is ours when we open to our creativity.

All Women are creative whether we honor this aspect of ourselves or not. Our potential for joy is often covered up, ignored, or set aside and forgotten when we are struggling or in pain.

I encourage you to activate that part of you that allows for joy, passion, and full expression. Your expression of your creativity will allow you to feel more complete even while spending time contemplating and changing what you feel you must do to heal.
Often the creative side has been pushed aside due to a lack of nurturing it in childhood or not encouraged by significant others.
Years ago, I participated in a Grief Intensive at the Elizabeth Kubler Ross Center in Virginia. In order to be able to attend we had to agree to go to the “mat” in front of 20 others and process our own Grief. Scary …yes! but profound and life changing. A transforming feature was the interspersing of our grief work with beautiful music, singing, and chanting that assured us that life is never just one note.

One rendition was titled “If you want to paint a Rainbow you must use Orange and Red.” I don’t know who the artist was/is, however, I say to you If you want to have a full life you must use Orange and Red. Your Orange and Red is your acknowledgment of your creative spark.

I encourage you to give some time to that part of you that is creative, in your unique way and to embrace your creativity. If you don’t value your creativity your gift/gifts will be lost to the world as there is only one you.

Creativity is not something that belongs only to the artist or genius: it is a natural gift in all of us.

Part of living an authentic life is to embrace and nurture yourself as a creative being. Sometimes we tend to think that creativity is the domain of the “artist.” This word in and of itself has a degree of baggage projected onto it, for instance the “starving artist.” We tend to have our own projections, when one introduces herself as an artist, depending on how we value our creative life.

Do you have to be an artist to be creative? No, you are already creative whether you honor yourself or not. Take a moment and remember your childhood.

Remember the wild, crazy, colorful drawings, always outside of the lines; the rainy afternoons you dressed up in an emerald, green cape that flowed over your shoulders, as you scraped along the floor in two mismatched high-heeled shoes.

Or maybe your creativity veered in another direction in cooking, in building a fort, in writing poetry, or in music. Whatever you desired when you were left to your own devices will tell in what direction you are most creative.

What do you love now that may be an offshoot of what you loved to do in early childhood?

When we were three hundred sixty degrees of passion, we did not think of risk, nor were we anxious.

Do you often wish you could push your creative energies into full bloom without regard for your comfort zone? Do you wish you could get past your comfort level and risk on a larger stage?

In my early years on a small island, the work horses ran loose during the summer months, to herd and gallop. I remember being intrigued by their beauty and power as they galloped in a nearby lane leading to the woods. I remember drawing galloping horses, never growing tired of their sinewy beauty, the intricacies of their hooves, manes, and tails. Drawing became my pastime. Looking back, the drawings moved with energy on the page.

When I was eight, my father died, my world turned upside down, and sorrow invaded my beautiful, carefree world.

In the process, some of my creative flow was lost. This happens to children when anxiety or loss pervades their young lives. If you experienced a setback that caused you too much pain to enjoy your creativity, it has not gone away, buried perhaps, but yearning to be active in your life again. You can reclaim your creativity. When one reflects on nature, one sees diversity and creativity.

It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. I also believe that nature abhors uniformity. No two snowflakes are alike, no two flowers are the same, and if one is living creatively, no two days are alike. We are all creative forces of nature and not meant to be bound by boxes of sameness.

For just a moment visualize the lushness and diversity of a meadow of flowers, juxtaposition that vision against matching lamps, end tables, couches, shoes, and handbags. Matching is boring compared to nature.

We are not only a part of the creative forces of nature, but also a part of the tapestry of creative energies in the universe. Therefore, to be true to ourselves and value all we have to offer in this world, it is of utmost importance to embrace and explore our creativity.

There is Linda who creatively furnishes her home, sews draperies as well as many of her children’s garments. She knows she is creative; however, she stays within the parameters of her known comfort level and the safety net of her home. She wishes she had the nerve to go after her yearning to become an interior designer, all the while buying magazines, going to open houses to see what she can learn from the models on display. She watches fashion shows to gather ideas for her sewing. When she thinks about becoming an interior designer, she gets anxious. She believes that if she were meant to be an interior designer, she would not get anxious. What she does not realize is that some degree of anxiety runs through all the stages of creative endeavor from start to finish.

It comes with the territory. Of course, one does not have to push oneself to a bigger stage to be creative, however in Linda’s case she is full of longing to do so.

Some years back I led some Women’s Creativity Groups, mostly attended by people who had already acknowledged their creativity. They were blocked painters, and writers, as well as those who were trying to let go of the fears associated with creative pursuit. Many were feeling the creative push but were finding themselves mulling around in the “I wish” or “someday I want to” stage.

Their reasons went as follows: once the kids are grown, after retiring, when I lose ten pounds, etc. In this stage we may have many wishes floating around in the vapors; however, nothing is concrete, and we are confused by having so many choices. Our mind tends to loop around without clarity or resolution. An exercise that helps when we are in this phase is to take all wishes out of the vapors and write them down. Seeing our wishes in concrete form is helpful and enables us to prioritize and choose. Choosing can be hard but every one of our passions takes time and energy. If we are to have a passionate life we must pick and choose, or at least ninety-eight percent of us do.

We cannot write, cook, build, paint, sculpt, write music, crochet, and be a partner and a parent. Well, you get the picture.

Consciously choosing our priorities gives us a point of clarity, a place from which to jump off.

When one is passionate, what we do is not considered work.

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” (Dostoevsky, 1917)

Go to your Journal:

Write your Creativity story… Is it flourishing and a part of your personal expression?

Was it part of your life and did it get squelched? When? Why? How did it happen?

Will you write a new story about your creativity?

Your Creativity is a well-spring of joy that needs to be your constant companion, especially when times are difficult. Have you betrayed yourself? Do you deny your gifts? Will you start writing a new story around your creative gifts? If you don’t you will deprive the world of your gifts?

We all have many virtues and faults, but in honoring your creativity, the stepping out and risking you are saying to self, family, community or society at large, ‘I want more truth in my life. I want to be more authentic. The life I am living does not provide enough of life’s passions for me. I must break out the only way I know how, and that is with the gift I want to share with others and the world. If I do not create, I will exist only, and that which I come to share will be lost.

Next time we’ll go further into why your creativity can be a wellspring of joy in your life and more reasons why you must value it without reservation, Just know “YOU ARE CREATIVE”.

Blessings, Laura 

Laura B Young

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