I recently spoke to a large group of women in Surrey (UK). The topic of the talk was ‘love’ because it was Valentine’s Day but, the substance of my argument was the power of creation. Creation is simply the ability to make something exist that did not exist previously. In that respect, creation is fairly broad but, I was focussed on creative pursuits – making something with functional and/or aesthetic value in particular. Things like music, painting, writing, flower arranging, or gardening.
Creativity is powerful because it's the option to have the life we want…to the extent possible. It’s the power to realise your own potential. Most of us want to be happy but, because of our early experiences of being controlled and disempowered by the adults around us, we assume that happiness is going to be delivered, by someone, by some event, by some bank balance. So, we wait.
In the talk I described “the architecture of love” – the components and factors that contribute to love. I said that, “If there is an architecture of love, then there is an architect. And this architect is you.” There’s an architecture/shape/structure to everything: life, happiness, finances, relationships, etcetera. And thus, there is an architect for all these things. You. The trouble is, we don’t realise this or we don’t accept it. I’m not saying you can have anything you want, any way you want it – there are just too many variables in life beyond our control to promise that. I’m saying that you have control over a lot more variables that you think. Or, you could have, if you realised it and grasped them.
When you take raw materials and act upon them, move them, rearrange them, mix them, heat them, break them, sew them, cut them, glue them, grind them, combine them, and shine a light on them, you are powerful. You are changing matter. You make something exist that did not exist moments ago. If you are talented, or diligent, or creative, or inspired, or lucky, you make something exist that is useful and/or beautiful. That’s powerful.
We discount this power because it’s often done on a small scale. But you can scale up your creations. We discount this power because sometimes other people discount our creation. That's just a matter of finding the right audience and supporters. We discount this power because it doesn’t seem to change the world. But, nothing changes the world for everyone. And, we discount this power because it hasn't solved some of the big problems in our life. But that’s just a matter of taking what we learned during one act of creation and creatively applying it to something bigger.
This is what I did in my painting class – I taught people to paint and while they paint I ask them to reflect on what they’re learning, what they’re experiencing and what gets results. Then, I ask them if this applies to something else in their life. And it usually does.
Make sure you're involved in some creative endeavour; cook, garden, arrange flowers, paint, compose, turn wood. Then, while you’re doing it, ask what's happening in that moment, what lesson is going on? Ask yourself if this lesson will help you solve a bigger problem, if you could approach a bigger problem the way you're approaching this smaller act of creation. After all, it's quite likely you had a hand in creating the big problem anyway. If you are the architect of that problem, you could be the architect of the solution.
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