The Challenge of WHY
"So, Sara," she asked with innocent good cheer, "what core beliefs and values is this project expressing? What is driving you to complete and share this work?"
I don't know about you, but these are the kinds of assignments that send me into a bit of a tailspin of childish resistance - as in I want to dive to the floor for a spirited little bout of kicking and yodeling.
Yes, of course I get the value of connecting one's daily work to one's purpose (that's actually kind of a key feature of my coaching work), and Yes, I get that transmitting that purpose is a vital part of connecting with others. However. The work of articulating things that seem deeply, intuitively obvious to me is just a pain in the hindquarters. (I suppose the key word there is "work,") ..But ultimately I did it! And darn if it didn't help me feel clearer about what I'm really up to.
So, I thought I would share the relatively raw version of what came out in hopes that it may help YOU feel clearer about what I'm really up to, and perhaps spark you to tackle the WHY of your own project...you know, because it is so much fun!
WHY I'm pursuing the Creative Constellation Project
- I believe that understanding our own creative natures – knowing how we are creative - is empowering because it steers us toward investing our energies in ways that we experience as meaningful and satisfying.
- I also believe that understanding what kind of creator we are is a critical capacity for anyone trying to find her or his way in the 21st Century “creativity economy.” Much of the work world now wants to know more than just what skills you have, they want to know what kind of creator you are, and what you want to be part of creating.
- I believe that much of what we think and have been taught about creativity is fundamentally wrong and overly-exclusive: Creativity is not a synonym for art-making; Creativity is not a synonym for inspiration or innovative thinking (though inspiration and innovative thinking are an important phase of the creating process); Creativity is not a gift or a talent you either have or don’t have.
- I believe that all human beings have the same three, interconnected core purposes: to create, to care/connect, and to learn.
- I believe, therefore, that engaging in the creating process is an essential part of the life-purpose of every human being. It is our birthright as Homo sapiens.
- I believe that the drive to create takes many forms – we are not all creative in the same way.
- I believe that most of us are creative in more than one way – and that it is the specific combination of ways we create (NOT whether or not we are creative) that makes us unique.
- I believe that some people are creative generalists who work across all phases of the creating process, while others are creative specialists who work primarily in one phase of the creating process. We tend to glorify the individual generalists as the “real creators” and ignore the collaborative specialists who are really good at one aspect of creating – but all of us have the potential to contribute to the collective good.
- I believe that the complex problems that need solving in our world today require people who are able to bring all forms of creativity to bear, individually and in collaboration. Our fragile, struggling world needs people who are creating, connecting, and learning in expanded ways.
- I believe that NOT creating what we are here to participate in creating does violence to our spirits – with results that are personally painful and often unacknowledged
- I believe that those of us who are creative in multiple ways waste a lot of life energy trying to force ourselves to commit to just one focus-area, and feeling bad because we don’t have a singular burning passion. We tell ourselves we are "too much," "too messy," "all over the map," etc. We judge ourselves negatively because we want to keep learning, keep caring, and keep creating over our lifetimes...when in fact those are the things that mark us as fully alive human beings.
- I believe that many people settle for lives that are too small for them – they give up on expressing whole aspects of their purpose because they can’t find a way to make it fit. They can’t make money at it, or they can’t find the time, or they don’t have the space, or they get stuck in a career box that is only interested in developing one part of who they are.
- I believe it is possible to cultivate a life-design that expresses and nurtures the fullness of who you really are – and in which the different aspects of your creativity and your purpose work together as a harmonious and balancing system.
So, there you have it. Less than a manifesto and more than a tagline... the WHYs to which I return for a solid dose of clarity and purpose when I get lost in my own convoluted mind.
And, a belated THANK YOU to the truly beloved helper who forced, er, I mean invited me to do this powerful exercise. You know who you are.
Want to get in on the Creative Constellation action? Here are two ways you can:
- Registration is now open for the Finding Your Creative Constellation Half Day workshop at Blueschool Arts in Clinton on October 15th. Get all the deets and register here: www.blueschoolarts.com/creativeconstellation.
- If you are too far away to attend the workshop, fear not! I've created a workshop-in-a-box in the form of the Creative Constellation Card Deck which is Coming Soon! Like REALLY soon. Watch this space for giddy-sounding announcements.