We've talked about ways to bring creativity into our daily life by taking the time to use more soulful objects in our activities. Now let's look at ways to bring creativity into our lives and the lives of others around you on a broader scale. What are ways that we can reach out beyond our own experiences and make a difference for those around us? Studies have shown that one of the strongest things we can do to lift our own days is to make an effort to lift the days of others. I find, as a teacher, that the creativity I watch in my students is contagious. Let's look at some ideas for how we can develop creatively contagious moments.
What is it that you enjoy doing? It doesn't have to be obviously creative.
Perhaps you are a seamstress, perhaps a cook. Maybe you are an organizer or communication is your gift. Maybe you are naturally inclined toward hospitality. How can these gifts be used in a more creative way?
I know of a woman that taught sewing classes to young girls. She taught 4 at a time with 2 at the sewing machines and 2 sitting on the couch doing handwork. The teacher would sit on the couch with the ones doing handwork. As they stitched, she would talk with them about what it meant to grow up to be strong and gracious women. She found a creative solution to her own need and changed the lives of her students at the same time.
What if a gifted cook invited 3 or 4 different children (or maybe even adults) over to their kitchen once every couple of months for a cooking lesson? Many young mothers are swamped and tired from working and don't have time to teach their children and maybe don't even have time to cook. What a gift of creativity to teach them to make a great pie crust. They would never forget it.
What if a beautician invited young girls over for a day of spa treatments. We live in a time when young girls are struggling to understand what true beauty is. The spa instructions could be laced with talk about true inner beauty that reaches out to others.
I have a friend who is a very organized person and she has a heart for homeless families. Determined to find a way to help, she began working with the administration end of a ministry to homeless families. She not only uses her organizational skills to help make the ministry function, she uses her creativity for 'outside the box' ideas that help the ministry to soar. She is able to use her creativity to help the people she cares for. That is creative thinking!
I have another friend who started a ministry in her church based on a creative way of using her gifts. This woman is a shopper. She can find a bargain! And she can talk people into giving her an even better bargain like no one else I know. A few years back this friend became aware of a need at the local women's shelter in the town where she lived. The women were only allowed to stay for 30 days at the shelter. Most of the time they had left home in a hurry and with only what they could carry. So when the women who had sought refuge in the shelter had completed their time they had nothing to begin setting up a new home. My friend began going regularly to garage sales and buying furniture and housewares. She then got permission to store these things in an unused room at her church. She also discovered that if she explained her mission to the garage sale owners, that often they would simply donate their items. Then as the time comes for each shelter guest, she is invited to the church to "shop" for items needed for her new household and for her children. And its all free.
Creativity can enrich both our lives and the lives of those around us. And really, what good is a gift if it can not bless those around us?
So I don't know what your gifts are. They may not look like the examples I've given. But maybe these ideas have sparked some thoughts for you. I don't know what your creativity looks like. But you can be sure, its there somewhere. My challenge to you today is to dare to look for it. Dare to give it some time to develop in you. And then to dare to step out with creative action to enrich both your life and your world.
Next time we'll look at this more from the perspective of those already living their lives as artists.
Wind and Honey Creations