by Kathi Szabo

I used to say I wasn’t very creative.  I couldn’t draw to save my soul. My Creative Writing teacher seemed to always find fault with my poems. And when I took a photography class, it seemed to me I had too much “stuff” in the frame.  My creativity was nada! Or at least that’s what I thought.

Then one year, during my annual review at the office, my boss noted I was able to see things other couldn’t see. That I could connect pieces of the business that seemed unrelated. This made me start noticing how I thought and how others thought and I realized she was right.  I was able to see a bigger picture and connect the dots.  And somewhere along the line, I realized that was my Creative Gift!

What is your Creative Gift?

Creativity is one of the 24 VIA Character Strengths that we all have. Yes, we all are creative!  We may not all be painters, or poets or photographers, but we all have our own spark of creativity.  In some small way, we all do things differently than others.  Creativity is simply using our imagination, thinking of a new way of doing something.

So when you are making dinner and you don’t have that one ingredient, and you look through your cabinet and decide to substitute something else, that’s being creative.  Or maybe your button fell off at the office, so you open your drawer to find something like a paper clip to temporarily replace the zipper for the rest of the day! Another example we all do is using Creativity to decide what to wear each morning. Choosing just the right items for the day out of all your clothes in your closet.  We all use creativity every day!

Are you using your Creativity?

The more we use our creativity, the more we become expert problem solvers. Creativity helps us build our confidence, to be more comfortable in new situations.

Why not do something different today.  Maybe make a new recipe? Or maybe pair up your favorite necklace with a different outfit. Try dancing instead of doing yoga or pilates. Go outstide, use your phone and take some pictures with in a completely new way.  My favorite is to just doodle!  Yes, doodle! Doodling is a perfect way to connect with our creativity! Set a timer for 10 minutes and just start doodling!  Use colored pencils or pens. Have fun!

Brainstorm. Be creative at work by utilizing brainstorming with your teams.  Brainstorming is letting every idea be a valid idea while you are brainstorming! You would be amazed at the ideas that come up when we just let our imaginations run!

Have a problem you are trying to solve?  Instead of looking for the perfect solution, come up with multiple solutions.

When our creativity is idle we become conformists, we lose our authentic selves. Sometimes it’s our self-doubt or fear of sharing it with others that keeps our creativity locked up. But we can always be creative in our personal time.

The Artist’s Date

One tool I’ve taken from the book The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, is this idea of the Artist’s Date.  She explains this tool as time spent alone with your Self either admiring others creativity or using our own creative expression.  We all need to time to cultivate our creativity and this is the perfect time, during an Artist’s Date.  What do you do on an Artist’s Date? Just about anything.  Write. Draw. Visit a museum. Sew. Craft. Take pictures. Walk in the woods.  Any of this can inspire and begin to unlock your creativity!

Creativity is a journey of self-discovery. It is being our unique Self. The person we are meant to be.

Carve out time to PLAY!

One easy activity we can all incorporate more to boost our creativity is Play! You may think Playtime is just for kids. After all, childhood is when our brains are most developing. Our brains are making connections and play is one of the best way children learn. And most play involves creativity!

Play and creativity go hand and hand. They both teach children many things that children will eventually use in other areas of their lives. For example, board games and puzzles teach critical thinking. Dancing promotes an awareness of physical health. Playing with friends children learn social skills.

All of these things that play teaches children are  just as important for adults. So why not boost your creativity by making time to play!   And the best way to make time for play this summer is to join me for Explore Laugh Play! 30 Days of Creative Play to Invigorate your Spirit! It’s a FREE Program and instead of playing alone, you’ll find an entire group to play with! We will build a blanket fort, work on a puzzle, color, and so much more!  Just sign up here!

VIA Character Strengths

Now that you know all about creativity you may be wondering, what are these VIA Character Strengths? If you want to find out more about VIA Character Strengths and get your personal Character Strength Profile, click this link.  You will discover if Creativity is one of your Signature Strengths, which means do you use it frequently. On the other hand, you may find it is one of your lower strengths. This doesn’t mean it’s a weakness, it simply means you do not use it as often as other strengths. After you take the survey, schedule a 30 minute call with me where we can discuss your profile and gain an understanding of exactly what makes you, well, YOU!

Excuse me now as I’m going to go take time to doodle with my pencil case of colored pens! Mandala’s are my favorite!