Creativity for Adults
There are many benefits of creativity for adults. One of the most important benefits is that creativity helps us remember how it feels to play.
Play can make you feel happy and free.
Relaxing into play also makes you feel connected to your soul. It helps you feel more joyful and alive.
I teach a series of courses for adults that use creativity. In my courses, we create and play in art journals. Creating in an art journal allows for not only play but also the opportunity for self-reflection. When you create in your private journal, you notice how you are choosing to view and experience your life.
Can you remember what it felt like to be five years old?
Notice what happens the next time you actually let go and take the time to creatively play. You feel more open and receptive. Life seems a little more magical.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
In my courses, we also explore our spiritual nature and connect more deeply to our inner wisdom.
I have always been fascinated to learn the beliefs of different wisdom traditions and to ponder the big existential questions. Maybe the biggest question of all is — what is the meaning of life?
One of the most profound surprises I had on my vision quest was stumbling over one potential answer to this question. There is a word for this in Sanskrit; Lila.
Lila means the play of creation.
I’ve heard Deepak Chopra ask the question; ‘what if we live in a recreational universe?’ And I love thinking about the concept of divine play! Karma yoga allows for a joyful embrace of all aspects of life. As I studied meditation I learned the importance of taking ourselves and our lives with more lightness.
And the importance of incorporating a sense of playfulness and enjoyment into daily life.
While I initially felt somewhat shocked to begin to see the universe as playful, when I thought about it more, I had some insights.
I began to see how exploring creativity as adults can be extremely beneficial. Here’s why.
There are moments when you might feel bound and constricted in life. I know sometimes I have felt trapped by duties and societal expectations. Strongly held opinions seem to exist all around me and feel forced on me by others.
Everyday life can feel anything but playful. Lila; the spirit of play includes joy, spontaneity, and fun.
I have observed that happier people make time for creativity and play every day.
‘The practice of art isn’t to make a living. It’s to make your soul grow.” Kurt Vonnegut
What happens when you allow yourself to creatively play?
You feel refreshed and renewed. When you get very serious and heavy, that takes you away from your joyful, spontaneous nature. When you play, your world expands. Your creativity expands.
Playtime is important! How will you release the Lila inside you? It’s there.
Remember the energy you felt when you were four or five years old? That subtle energy is still there inside you waiting for you to invite it out to play again.
When you were a child, play taught you how to be creative. It helped your personality develop and you learned to adapt and think critically.
‘The world always seems brighter when you have just made something.” Neil Gaiman
Play for adults is equally important. Studies show that when you play, endorphins are released, brain functionality improves, and creativity is enlivened.
I teach courses on creativity and personal development. I know from my own experience that playing enhances creativity.
Playing around making art is fulfilling, enlightening and fun. And it also generates something tangible that you can go back to later to remember how it made you feel to create it.
Creating in an art journal feels safe because everything you make is housed in your own personal book.
When you play in your art journal, your creative juices flow. You begin to be more comfortable experimenting and trying new things. You realize; what’s the worst that can happen? I rip the page out of my journal and throw it away. Or, I don’t like what I made and I decide to paint over it.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. “ Thomas Merton
This helps you learn to silence your inner critic from stifling your ideas and judging what you make. You also feel more connected to your intuition when you allow your inner five-year-old out to play.
Are you ready to embrace your playful side?
Experimenting with new things can help give you a sense of adventure, wonder, and lightness. Listen to a different kind of music, play with a new craft, bake a cake, or make a vision board.
Set aside time every day to play. To live a creative life, we must be disciplined enough to carve out time.
I block out windows of playtime as a ‘reward’ for finishing a blog post or a segment of a course.
And use them to take small creative actions. I might create a Zentangle or Mandala to add to my art journal. Or, try my hand at drawing a face. Even if I only have fifteen minutes I find these little bursts of play elicit joy and spur even more creativity.
Trying something new gives me a sense of freedom and adventure.
The idea of focusing on play and daily self-expression dovetails perfectly with what I urge my students to do.
Play and creative self-expression help you stay connected to your own inner wisdom.
You can begin with a few easy steps.
Buy an art journal and some fun pens, markers, crayons, or paints. Just start creating in your art journal.
Give your inner critic a rest.
Your censoring “self-editing” voice didn’t exist when you were five years old. Find that innocent, exuberant energy within and just allow yourself to play.
Don’t judge what you create and soon you will be creating more freely.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of play and developing your own creativity, I encourage you to take a look at my courses. The Soul Artist Experience 1.0 is the first course in my signature series.
And a new series of creative courses are under development and will be launched soon.
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