In my ongoing quest to pursue what I love with joy unhindered by fear, I continue to read, listen to, and watch inspirational and wise people in our world. I happened to record Brene’ Brown on Opray’s Super Soul Sunday and watched it this past Sunday. Lots of things they both said jumped out at me, but one quote in particular really stood out:

“Creativity has to be cultivated. Unused creativity is not benign, it metastasizes. It turns into grief, judgement, sorrow, and shame. We are divine beings and we are by nature creative.” ~Brene’ Brown

I have always been a believer that we are all creative beings, from my lawyer husband whose creativity in his work never ceases to astound me, to my kids who love to draw, paint, and create in some of the more “traditional” outlets for creativity.

It was the second sentence that really gave me pause. Do I have unused creativity? If so, how is it manifesting itself? Do I feel grief, judgment, sorrow, or shame connected to any unused creativity? Big thoughts, deep thoughts.

I thought back to when I hit a wall with with my current novel (chronicled in a few past posts). I felt like a failure when I couldn’t finish the manuscript to give to my group. I kept trying and trying to come at the plot point from different angles, but I finally had to admit defeat. I literally burst into tears of frustration and ran down to cry on my husband’s shoulder. He helped me get to a more positive place, but I still had a sense of sorrow and insecurity about my abilities.

I moped for awhile, and then took time to evaluate other things I’d written–both published and yet-to-be published. My optimism began to return. I decided to focus on short projects I could finish to give myself a sense of accomplishment so I dusted off some picture books. I also decided on a whim (or perhaps divine inspiration) to create a stop motion video for Build a Burrito.That video saved me creatively. I was happier than I’d been in a long time as I solved various challenges, started with one idea and coming up with an even better one, making myself laugh and become giddy with the excitement that comes when you know you’ve got something.

If I start to forget what it feels like to be flying high in that flow of creativity, I only have to look back at that video.

What about you? Do you have unclaimed creativity? How is it affecting you? You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to, but I’d encourage you to explore these questions to make sure your feelings and attitudes aren’t holding you back.

P.S. If you haven’t read past posts, I did smash through that wall and will be delivering the ms to my group in a week or so. Woo hoo!