Katie-Rose grew up in a family where both parents were very encouraging of her curious nature.
She was never short of books to read, or crayons to colour with, and received a camera at seven years old to take her own pictures so she didn’t have to borrow her mother’s all the time.
As she got older, it was just second nature for her to always be writing, drawing, taking pictures, and concocting amazing stories in her head.
A couple of Katie-Rose’s school teachers were particularly supportive and always praised her creativity and imagination, so she always felt it was strange when she talked to other kids and realised they didn’t read, write, photograph and daydream anywhere near as much as she did.
When she reached her early twenties, Katie-Rose met a wonderful, loving partner who was also very artistic, and they nurtured each others creativity, both in their individual pursuits, and in some collaborative projects together.
If Katie-Rose’s creativity was a bird, it would be a chirpy, inquisitive little bird.
A happy bird that hopped freely from branch to branch amongst the trees, and flew wherever the breeze carried it, for as far and wide as it wanted.
Elisha had a somewhat different upbringing.
Her parents never did much that was creative, and whenever Elisha showed any signs of daydreaming or making up stories and characters she was swiftly chastised and told to concentrate on something more important. She wasn’t given any pens, or books, and the thought of even using a camera never crossed her mind as being possible.
As Elisha got older, she gradually lost that young enthusiastic curiosity, and began to try to be a good girl like her parents told her, getting on with her studies so she could get a well paid job and a develop a good sensible career.
At school, Elisha’s teachers were all very academic and only interested in her getting the right answer in her papers and assignments. There was one girl she would see sitting in the grass with a sketchpad or a book, always reading, drawing or writing, and Elisha wondered why this girl seemed one of the happiest kids in the school. She was trying to be good, and do the right thing, so why couldn’t she be that happy?
When Elisha was 24 she got involved with someone who was very reliable, straight forward and career minded. They soon settled and began their ascent up the twin ladders of career and property ownership.
If Elisha’s creativity was a bird it would be timid, cowering, and locked in a cage.
By the time anyone realised she even had this bird it would probably be close to dead anyway.
Which of these two tales do you relate most to? Katie-Rose’s or Elisha’s?
What kind of encouragement did you receive as you were growing up? What were you told about artists, about using your imagination, about being creative?
Were they positive, inspiring ideas and beliefs that made you want to explore your own creativity?
Or were they lies designed to keep your creativity cowering in a cage, by people who were either jealous or afraid of just what you could create if you were set free?
We’re all influenced by our surroundings, by the people around us, by the world at large. We can easily absorb beliefs that we think are true, then carry them around for years, maybe decades, without ever questioning that there may be another way, even if they leave us miserable and unfulfilled.
But what if those beliefs you’d been told weren’t true?
What if daydreaming was the best way to come up with the most amazing ideas possible? Ideas that would change peoples lives?
What if there were artists that weren’t starving and living in a hovel, and who had a growing loyal audience that loved and invested in their work?
What if by nurturing your creativity and creating everyday it could bring you the kind of happiness you hardly dared dream of, a kind of deep contentment that nothing else in your life had brought before?
What if you’ve been carrying around a pack of lies told by people who wanted to keep you down, hold you back and pen you in because they were scared of what you might achieve, because they were jealous of your obvious creative talents?
Start seriously asking yourself a few of these “What if?” questions.
Get to the truth – the reality of what is, not the beliefs you’ve been fed as the safe, obedient, conformist option.
I suspect that when you do, you might find not only that your creativity is far from a scared and half dead bird, in fact it’s ready to spread its wings, take off and soar.
All you’ve got to do is turn the key and open the cage door…
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