Last week, while spring-cleaning a cupboard (yes, I rock like that!) I came across my Mom’s diary. She had written in it:
“Creativity is the backbone of all artistic endeavors. When we recognize and embrace our own creativity and the results from expressing it, we fully appreciate the creativity of what we see around us and cultivate a more consciously creative and artistic life.”
That had me thinking quite a bit. And yes, she rocked like that. Lots of profound philosophy in her writing. I even came across pages from her diary dated 1968. Can you imagine? But more about that another time.
Coming back to embracing our own creativity, and recognizing it around us—living mindfully, in fact—I realized how perfect it was to read what she had written.
Here are my thoughts, based on the wonderful conversations we have had, because for me, she was the embodiment of mindful living.
Let’s begin with art at home
Ever noticed the architecture of your home? The craft of designing a home is of course, far more than simply making sure the walls will support the roof and there are enough rooms within. Ever noticed how, when you approach a building, it elicits a feeling in much the same way paintings or even music can move you? I have experienced that. When I return home, I have a sense of peace when I enter our building. It makes me happy.
This concept holds good with the things around our house—the furniture, appliances, dishes, bedding, and even the flooring—all of it fits in to make the “wholeness” that makes us happy and love our home. It does take artistic creativity to put it all together in exactly the way it is. I also believe that people feel drawn to one manufacturer or furniture designer rather than another because their artistic styles are similar.
For example, when I was browsing bookshelves for myself I came across Henredon Furniture which was begun by three men dedicated to the authentic artistic expression of their designs. As the company grew they employed artisans and expert craftsmen with a similar artistic vision to ensure the style would continue to resonate with the original values and aesthetic. It is probably why their business is successful. We all tend to be happier when we’re with the right team.
If you are on Pinterest, you may have noticed that every once in a while they send you an email about someone else who has the same taste in pins as you and nudges you to explore their work.
How can I miss the art of the daily commute?
Have you connected your daily commute with art? Not many people would think of this as an opportunity to experience the enthrallment of the art world. Perhaps that is because most people connect art with art galleries and museums. But if you really look at it, it is also found in the lines of automobiles, the way cities have been laid out, public pieces of art, and the landscaping of gardens and parks.
In our city, it is a pleasure to look around while walking or while driving somewhere. In many areas, the public walls are covered with art. Why, parking lots have a charm all their own. Then of course, there the parks in every neighborhood that are a pleasure to behold.
It is important to understand that not all art will appeal to every person who sees it. This is especially noticeable in the debates that can occur about public art. People note that what is beautiful to one may be disturbing to another and what is thought provoking for some may be befuddling to others. There are houses that stand out for their gorgeous façade and landscaping. Then there’s the rustic wilderness of public gardens.
But that isn’t the point. After all, everyone has a different view when it comes to beauty. What is important is to notice the things around us and appreciate the creativity that went into it.
I always enjoy leveraging the time I spend driving, riding, walking, or biking to and from my daily obligations to really notice the world as it passes by. It is wonderful to be conscious of the little ways someone I might never meet has brought their creativity into my life.
The women who sell flowers in my area represent a beautiful form of creativity. All of them sell a variety of flowers, and each one displays her ware beautifully. I am always amazed at the brilliance with which each one engages with her customers and that’s fascinating for me to watch.
You are an artist
When one begins to recognize the art in and around their homes and throughout their daily life a frequent side effect is the increased recognition and cultivation of their artistic self.
People just love to lie to themselves that they are not artistic. In most cases, this lie builds up because maybe at some point a teacher didn’t like their drawings, they don’t have the singing voice of Adele, or they never learned to bake like Betty Crocker.
Even if there’s no latent artistic talent in the conventional sense, I believe everyone is an artist. Take for example your daily routine. You wake up and get dressed, putting together the clothes you are wearing, and create an image of yourself that the world sees.
You cook—for yourself or others—combining ingredients and presenting it in a way only you can. Even when you put songs together for your workout playlist, you are expressing your creativity in a way that is unique.
At the end of the day, we are all creative. When we practice mindful living and notice everything around us, we become conscious of our own creativity and appreciate it—embrace it. And that makes life so much better.
Do you notice the little things?
Do you embrace your creativity?