While I’ve been thinking about my two day beginner’s workshop and my Mexican workshop in April, I’ve run into lots of people who would love to start classes and take workshops but who tell me, “I don’t have any talent. I’ve never been creative.” This always makes me sad. These people are mystified by the creative process and I think are also afraid to let creative activities into their lives. Somewhere in their past there must have been an “evildoer” who told them to color inside the lines or (as in my case) made me mouth the words to a song so my singing wouldn’t ruin the Christmas play (I’ll never forget Mr. Beach. He kept me from singing for years). If you’re one of those people who are afraid to venture into the creative world I suggest you put the past in the past and regress to an age when “the rules” weren’t so darned important, when time stretched out forever before you and each day was a new adventure. To be creative first you have to relearn how to play. “She’s gone out of her mind, ” you’re thinking. No I have not. In the world today there seems to be so much to worry about that we forget that creativity, painting, writing, the arts, poetry and music are what keeps this crazy and nasty world going around. This is why people go out to make money. They buy books and art. They look for wonderful tasty meals. They go to movies and plays. Some like to go out dancing and some like the beauty of putting a new plant in their garden.
To take that first step towards creativity you must take yourself by the hand and go back and become a child. Children understand fun and will play with everything and anything. Remember the excitement you felt as a child just looking at bugs, sitting on the porch on a warm summer night or just chasing a ball? Children aren’t embarrassed or shy about expressing themselves creatively. The secret is all about forgetting what others may think. When it comes down to it it’s only ourselves who can keep us from doing the things we’ve always wanted to do. So my first suggestion is this. Set aside a time (long or short) to do something you want to do. Play during this time. Scribble on paper, use crayons again, go to a movie, read a chapter in a book that you’ve put off reading for a long time, or write a silly story. Don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret. You’re not competing with anyone. Test drive this idea and see how it feels. Don’t set goals but let go and express yourself. At the movie be in the movie. Use crazy colors of crayons that you think would never go together. More than anything…let go! It’s time to play!