"In every work of genius, we recognize our once rejected thoughts." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love this quote by Emerson, because it invites each of us to re-visit our creative endeavors. Not only was he a creative thinker, but I feel he has unintentionally captured the experience of us as women, who often re-visit our creative thoughts periodically throughout our lives, picking up the threads of previously rejected projects.
The reason for rejecting creative pursuits usually has to do with competing demands. As women, we often experience what psychologists call “role strain”. Even though you may not have heard of the term before, I’m certain you are familiar with the feeling. “I forgot to go to the grocery story – what can we have for dinner? I don’t have time to stop before gymnastics or the ball game or that community meeting…” I can almost feel the frantic energy that often fuels the daily lives of busy women around the world. The details may differ, but the experiences are universal. And the outcome is often the same as well – deferring our creative efforts until a later time.
But let’s back up - do you even think of yourself as creative? I know many people hold the mistaken notion that only artists, musicians, or geniuses are creative. NO! Please excuse my emphasis, but that belief is simply not true. Creativity involves daily problem-solving such as figuring your way out of the types of daily dilemmas described above just as much as it involves creating in ways that we typically associate with creativity. I like to distinguish the varying aspects of creativity as existing on a continuum from “Big C” creativity to “little c” creativity. We are all creative….just in different ways at different times.
Let me challenge you this week to begin thinking of yourself as creative – perhaps for the first time or maybe it is “again” as part of that cycle of life progressing through different phases. What’s important in the challenge is giving yourself permission to be creative and that often requires a shift in how you see yourself first…enjoy! Read More