Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.
I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.
My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.
''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
A gentle way to practice becoming comfortable with change is to choose at least one thing each day and do it differently.
As I said before – we are creatures of habit. Take me for instance. Every Sunday I go for a walk along the beach – a ten minute drive from home.
I have my walk and then go to a great little café right on the beach, where I have breakfast – usually banana bread. In fact that’s where I am right now – writing my blog posts for the week. And as I sit here with my Latte and banana bread, and begin writing this post about habits I am flashing that I also always slice my bread up the same way. Hmm……..
Break The Habit
So what the………. Today I decided to cut it up differently!!! I ended up with a star on my plate instead of a bunch of rectangles. Did it feel different? Actually it did, awkward even – but that’s the whole point.
By consciously choosing to change the things we do habitually, we get to safely experience the feeling – no matter how small – of what happens internally when we choose to do something differently.
The long term value is that when it comes to a bigger thing, we have developed a higher change/pain threshold. We feel much more comfortable with change and have therefore less resistance to it. The process is no longer unfamiliar, or seems to present so many obstacles.
Ultimately we might even get to the point where it becomes a habit to ask ourselves how we might do each thing differently – what if I did this instead? How can I create a better experience?
So yes – stepping out can be pretty darn scary. Why is it so risky for us on the creative path? One of the main reasons is that creating clearly requires self honesty. When we put something out there for the world to look at we are exposing part of our soul, our true self for others to see. That’s pretty vulnerable and often quite uncomfortable. After all what glimpses of yourself do you want to show others? How honest is your vision – and this applies whether you are in’ business’ or an ‘artist’? Although as I’ve said before – art is a business just like any other. Are you seeking approval and compromising your vision and what ultimately is the cost of that likely to be?
Creativity is a risky business because there are no guarantees and “failure” is par for the course. Not only that, we live in a society that frowns on failure – not understanding that it is a stepping stone on the path to success. In fact it takes immense courage to live the truly creative path as unlike a war where there are clearly defined battles, the creative process continually presents us with challenges on a daily basis, asking us to step up and out of our comfort zones.
Below is a great Photo (Thanks Pink Chocolate) which really says it all – so just in case you missed it – You can’t leap across a gap like that without being fully committed. But once you commit – well its scary and exhilarating all at the same time.
We are creatures of habit. We form our own rituals and enact them daily, weekly and tell ourselves this is who we are. The only problem with that is if we change that ritual, what does that mean about who I am now?
As we grow older, I think this is one of the main problems we face because many people are so immersed in their own stories that to change is to deny who they think they are. They’ve become a set of learnt beliefs.
So what you might ask, has this got to do with creativity? Well everything actually. Why? Because to grow I need to challenge my own boundaries, which I can‘t do if I refuse to step beyond what I already know… What if we as children refused to put on bigger clothes simply because:
we thought the present ones were better,
we thought they were the only ones that existed, or
we would never find anything we liked as much………….
Substitute any excuse you can think of for not stepping out. What boundary are you refusing to step over today?
Stepping Into The Unknown
That seems too big? – let’s look at a gentle approach then…..
I met a lady on the beach this morning who said to me -” There’s a tsunami coming.”
“Right” I said – not really believing her of course – I mean – come on – here in Australia – nah…..
Well actually- yeah…. There was an earthquake in Chile – a realignment of the earths plates.
Its a strange sensation to be sitting here in my usual Sunday morning cafe – right on the beach , knowing that several thousand miles away there is a wave racing across the ocean towards me at the speed of 7 hundred kilometers an hour.. That’s faster than the plane I catch to New Zealand when I go back to visit!
The tide is already very high this morning. The forces of nature are creators of immense, uncontrollable energies- that often rearrange our lives on a massive scale. How we deal with these events is a measure of who we are at our core. It can be a time of opportunity to re-align ourselves and re-create our lives anew in a fashion that is more pleasing to us, or a tragedy to continually lament over, a reason to stay stuck the rest of our days. Which path would you take?
I met a lady on a train once whose house had burnt to the ground in the midst of renovations. They were lucky to escape with their lives. They lost everything in that fire except the clothes they were wearing. She told me that this ‘tragedy’ caused her and her partner to totally re-evaluate their lives. They both changed careers and are now doing something they love thats in alignment with their own creative genius. She began an art degree and is now doing her masters and I think he became a lawyer.
A baby takes a step and falls down – not just once or twice but over and over again.
Do we yell and rail at this little person? No. Quite the contrary – we smile, we encourage we laugh delightedly.
When does our love affair with creative endeavor turn sour I wonder? Why is it do you think that we don’t offer the same gift to ourselves as we learn something new, or “fail” in an attempt to be perfect?
Look at this picture of my granddaughter Grace. Notice the look of absolute delight on her face as she is fully immersed in her creative moment. I think we can learn a lot from children…..
Where is it, or when is it no longer OK to make mistakes as we learn to grow? When is it that we stop celebrating each little success and misstep along the way?
Why is it that my students want to judge themselves as failures for not producing the perfect painting on their first attempt? Why is it that they only focus on the mistakes and how ‘bad’ it is?
Not only that, why is it that after creating more than 80 art works – I still do the same thing? In fact I think the Inner Critic gets louder and more demanding the older we get. It refuses to allow us to begin at the beginning of something , demanding a level of expertize that we clearly don’t have and criticizing very loudly when we don’t live up to those impossible expectations.
What if, the next time you feel you have failed at something – how would it be to stop – smile to yourself – and celebrate the fact that you tried something! There are no mistakes. Love your attempts – every one brings you closer to what you are trying to achieve.
One area we often trip up as creators is to think what we do is no good because we compare it to what others are creating. So here is the ultimate in comparisons for you.
Is there really such a thing as the Ultimate Creation? Well when you stack everything else next to the creation in this video – I think I’d have to say yes.
Here is creation on such a vast scale that the mind can barely encompass it – Charles and Ray Eames take us on a journey from the atom to the edge of the universe. I can’t think of any human achievement that surpasses the immensity and beauty of what they are representing in this video – can you?
So I guess you might as well say we just need to get over ourselves and get on with what we can do. Comparing ourselves to others is probably the worst thing we can do. So compared to the creator of worlds, you know what, we can never measure up in that arena. As Oscar Wilde said ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’