As children, we are creators. We use our hands and our mouths, our hearts and our imaginations, to sing and dance and draw and build and dream. If we go into any first grade classroom and ask, “Who here can sing? Who here can dance?” we’ll see most of the little hands shoot up in the air, screaming, “I can! I can! Watch me!”
But as we enter the high school years, even young people with great voices and agile bodies no longer feel comfortable saying they’re a singer or a dancer — not without years of training and unwavering public approval. As we become adults in this culture, the playful arts of our childhood often become even more distant strangers. Stroking the keys of a piano or holding charcoal between our fingertips is given up in favor of the more pressing demands of career, money and relationships. We forget how much the act of creating is a birthright to being human.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We are never too old to remember, reclaim and re-engage our unique voice and self-expression.
It’s our special challenge as adults to express who we’ve now become and to reconnect with that creative spirit that we have hidden in some deep but retrievable place inside us. As Albert Camus wrote, “A man’s work is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.”
It’s also our challenge to help each other take the kinds of risks necessary to bring out all our voices, whether creaky, sore or smooth.
If you’re in Chicago, I invite you to create with me this summer. Here are a few ways:
3. Let me help you learn to jam with others and play your own songs, whether with guitar, keyboards or other instruments. Read more here and check out the details on my website on my music coaching lessons.
It’s time for me to take a little break from this blog to work on my own creative pursuits and to get a little freedom from the computer oppression we all are dealing with these days. In the meantime, any time you’d like you can read through more than 100 blarticles about creativity on my Innovation on my Mind blog.