The US Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
November 7th begins National Pursuit of Happiness Week.
Are you enjoying your unalienable rights?
I believe your Creativity is an unalienable right. There is nothing that can take it away from you or deny you access to it. It is every one’s birthright and something I so often see neglected, unappreciated, and undervalued. Today I want to share a family story with you about this very topic. This right to your creativity is very tied to your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, because you need to allow yourself the freedom to explore it without fear of judgment or criticism. When you pursue your creative life you are pursuing something that will bring infinite happiness to you. That is just the nature of it. If you feel your creative life is not bringing you happiness, then it’s probably time to look at it from a different perspective.
This is a very personal story and one that will explain perfectly why I do what I do. It’s also a story that reveals part of the truth about who I am as a creator. It is my intention to only promote healing by sharing this story, and to stress to you how important it is for you to nurture your creative life before the empty hole there begins to devour all your happiness.
About nine years ago, I chose to change my life plan. I was in the midst of my informal self-study graduate program of exploring the world. I had been traveling for a few years, collecting experiences, and living my ultimate dream of a completely free life. All of a sudden it seemed, I wanted to create… and I wanted to create art! I rented a studio space and started painting. I painted every day. I was feeling amazing! I felt more confident, open-hearted, and happy. Then, I met someone special. A man, who made me reconsider what I wanted from my life. I saw in him the potential to create a marriage and a family. I was swept away by a whole new perspective of what creating could feel like. I had never thought of myself as a nurturer or caretaker before, so this was all kind of new territory for me. Then suddenly I was in this thing, this love relationship, and talking about marriage and babies and the whole nine yards. I allowed myself to completely submit to it. At the time, I didn’t feel less free because of it. What happened was I started saying “no” more often to my creative needs. I placed my creative projects on the back burner to make more room for the needs of my loved ones. Loss of freedom can sometimes be a very gradual thing. The effects came on so slowly that I hardly noticed it was happening. After almost six years of marriage and two fantastic children, I felt like I was living someone else’s life. I felt I had lost touch with who I authentically was. I was sinking fast into a dark place and I could hardly breathe anymore. I’m not saying that I didn’t still love my husband and my children, because I did. I just had completely lost myself in the process of trying to be everything to everyone. The life I had helped to create, felt completely outside of myself, run amuck, and foreign to me. It’s true, how sometimes our creations can take on a life of their own. I was very much a part of manifesting all of this that was my life, but suddenly, I couldn’t find any room for myself inside it anymore.
There was a period, before my divorce, when I couldn’t even create. I didn’t want to paint, draw, or do anything for myself except find a few hours to just be alone, preferably in a dark movie theater or in a restaurant, enjoying a peaceful meal by myself. I can say looking back on it now that I was not depressed. I know what depression looks and feels like, and this was not the same. I still loved my family and was managing to meet their needs as best I could. Still, I had stopped being the person I knew myself to be. I stopped being a separate person all together. I was completely overwhelmed by my life, my responsibilities, and the thought of any sort of expansion threw me into a state of utter anxiety.
Now, I’m not saying the only possible solution for me was divorce. It is what happened to me and it was painful. I don’t judge people who choose divorce and I don’t judge people who choose to stick together. Marriage has its challenges and even people who are blissfully in love face these challenges from time to time. The truth is that my divorce is what provided me with the space I needed to find myself again. In many ways, it saved me.
After I separated from my husband, I gained just enough space to feel free again. I began to realize that I am still a nurturer and a caretaker. These are parts of who I really am. But I also began to realize that the first person I needed to nurture and take care of would always be me. Facing this truth, I had to combat a whole onslaught of emotions. I felt selfish, unmotherly, ashamed, childish, disappointed, unworthy, and then slowly… as I began to deal with all of these emotions, working through them creatively, I began to feel okay with who I was again. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. Perfection does not even interest me. I used to think it was something worth pursuing, but now I realize that it’s completely overrated. Now I can focus on what I am instead of what I am not. I am human, I am creative, and I am happy. I truly love my creative life!
What is the story of your creative life? What will it take for you to start living your unalienable rights? I’m here to tell you that happiness is not just something to endlessly pursue. It is very attainable and it is right under your nose… just waiting for you to recognize it.
It’s time to smell the roses!
Your Creativity Coach,
Bonnie Kelso is the creator of The ABCs of Conscious Creating. She uses energy healing and creating exercises to connect people to their higher “creative” selves. For more information about her services read about her ACCESS! program or to schedule a consultation please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you ready to vitalize your creative life?