These are dark times – literally, with the coming of the winter solstice, as well as metaphorically, what with the horrible news of multiple mass shootings this month in the United States, and apocalyptic forecasts related to the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21.
But I find my connection to my creative nature to be a source of light in this darkness, and I hope many of you do, too. What follows is a list of a dozen reasons why creativity is part of my answer to combating cynicism and despair.
And when I say creativity, I am referring to arts-based creativity, as well as many other types of creativity: business innovation, inventiveness in the world of nonprofits and social entrepreneurship, and tiny acts of creative improvisation – from discovering a new route home from work to engineering a better omelette using only 3 ingredients.
I hope my list provides some comfort and sparks some conversation. And please share your list with me in the comments!
1) Creativity comes naturally to me – as it does to us all. Creativity is our birthright.
2) Creativity helps me focus on solutions, rather than exclusively on the problem, and makes me envision the result I DO want, not just what I am trying to avoid.
3) Creative collaboration amplifies individual ideas and encourages all who contribute to take ownership of what is created/implemented.
4) Creative activity prompts me to consider the underlying design of that which I create, promoting creations that are in tune with the needs of the situation.
5) Creativity expands my imagination and encourages coping well in unexpected circumstances.
6) Creativity makes me feel good! Creative activity increases happiness and resiliency and decreases anxiety.
7) Creativity is constructively subversive.
8) Creativity connects me to others, by our mutual development of things that delight, entertain, inform or help each other.
9) Creativity connects me to my spirituality, encouraging gratitude, mindfulness, and love.
10) Creativity requires me to let go of ego and pretension, and surrender to the slow, demanding path of practice and mastery.
11) Creativity provides a positive routine around which I may structure my days. In order to create consistently, I must take care of myself and tune into my needs on moment by moment level.
12) Creativity is the surest route to a happier tomorrow. As computer innovator Alan Kay said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”