Creativity- We all have it

ScannedImageI was sitting with a group of ladies the other day, and we were talking about work and kids, the normal things women seem to talk about, when someone made a comment that made my mind wonder. My friend stated that she was not creative. She is an educated woman, which does social work- case management, of families with children and issues of mental health concerns. A pretty daunting undertaking that needs a unique skill set to accomplish successfully, as she does.

She felt she lacked creativity because she doesn’t paint, or craft, or really do other things that highlight a preschool very well. I gave her a sideways look, and stated, “But, you are so creative with you approach to every family you encounter”.  This took her back a little.

Why is it that we so narrowly define what we can and cannot do? To only believe that creativity stems from the ability to craft well, really I feel, underscores our abilities. Just because we have strengths in other areas doesn’t make us any less creative in our endeavors. The way someone approaches cooking a meal can be very creative, the way another person engages a 10 year old to discover the joy of reading does not lack a creative component, or a researcher’s ability to find an answer to a problem plaguing society has to have a way of thinking outside the box.Paintbrush with Blue Paint

So maybe I am being a little nitpicky about the definition of “creative”, but I find too often, even in myself, we compliment others by setting limits on ourselves. “I could never do that”, is not a friendly phrase, really. I know I have used it myself, but when I hear my kids say it, it makes me shake my head. I correct them and let them know that the words they tell themselves are powerful, if you say you cannot do something, you never will. I tell them that if they tell themselves something is too hard, it always will be. So why as adults do we not listen to what we tell our children. We never want anyone to narrowly define what they are capable of, but we do it to ourselves.

Maybe I am more sensitive to this “creative” comment due to my current work undertaking. I have many people tell me that they could never come up with any ideas for things to crochet, that it is amazing that I can find some many different things to design. I understand their thoughts on this, before I began doing it, I thought it was amazing that someone could design more then 1 or 2 things ever. But if you look at it a little differently, if you give me a box of peaches and have to eat them all in a week (yes, this does happen in my rural life, after a week a case of peaches  don’t look nearly as appetizing), you get a little creative in what to do with them. Peach cobbler, peach pie, grilled peaches, peach salad, peaches in everyone’s lunch, peach jam, peaches and cream, peach bread, peach salsa, canned peaches, frozen peaches and dried peaches. Everyone gets a little creative with how to make the most out of what they have; same is true for my designs. I take it as a challenge to pick up a skein of yarn and find as many possible outcomes for its use. But now the harvest is pears…I am going to have to get a little creative with pears now.

MC900436905Creativity is in each of us, we just express it differently. Remember that next time you see the incredible work of someone, which is expressing their creativity in a different manner then yours. They are probably in awe of what you can do.