"THE VITALITY OF LIFE IS IN STAYING A VERB"

Hi Everyone! Here goes blog #4. I am loving counting these blogs. Especially, as until now I have never blogged anything in my life! So with every blog I get out, it’s a “Yay! I made it through another one!” This feeling of counting and making it through another piece of work has carried over in a project I have been working on for the last 80 days! The 100 days project. It’s a project where you consistently participate in and document a creative activity for 100 days. Its open to anyone for all kinds of projects! And I have made it to day 80 now!! Woop Woop!!

It is something I have wanted to do for many years but lets face it, the idea of creating something everyday for 100 days is pretty frikin daunting. I think this time it actually manifested because the idea was simple and easily manageable. So what was the idea? If you have been following my blog posts so far, you might be aware that I am an Elizabeth Gilbert fan girl! She does these amazing podcast series called magic lessons. These are the bomb! I highly recommend them for everybody! In one of the episodes she features an incredibly eloquent poet Mark Nepo. Something he says in this episode just blew my mind and stuck to me like sweet sugary goodness! He said:

“ We often get told be a noun, but the vitality of life is in staying a verb”

MMMMMHHHMMMM. PREACH! We are so conditioned to identify our self in labels, when really, life is about staying in action. I wonder what our thoughts, actions, conversations with ourselves and others would look like if instead of aspiring to become for eg. a designer. We aspired to express, to create, to heal, to inspire. The possibilities from this would be so much more exciting! So I started asking different people this question. “If you aspired to be a verb, what verb would that be?” Then I would document and present those verbs as beautifully as possible everyday for 100 days. You can check them out at www.100daysproject.co.nz/projects/100-days-2016/curiously-creative-953

Now I must admit this still wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be initially. Collecting 100 verbs from 100 actual people is a mission in itself. We are so not used to thinking of ourselves in verbs that it took most of us aaages to think of one or two or 3. So while 80% of the verbs so far are based on real people answers, some are just randomly picked verbs that I liked. Oh well, whatever! They are still verbs right!? If I treated it like an exact science I wouldn’t have made it to day 80. This is where having to just get on with whatever I had and not being a perfectionist about it was the biggest creative lesson for me. Like our girl Elizabeth Gilbert puts it “Done is better then good”

If you don’t think you will get the chance to listen to the magic lesson episode with Elizabeth gilbert and Mark Nepo. I will leave you with these beautiful words of his.

“Keep doing what brings you alive. The best we can do is cast seeds. You wont know which ones are going to sprout, which ones will have rain come on them, sun come on them, but just to get back to work. The work is staying in conversation with the sanctity of life. Immerse yourself wholeheartedly. Not from a space from doing excellent work. Be devoted to keep growing. It hears not to be heard and not to be seen and more deadly to not to hear and see."

With Love and a massive splash of joy

Akriti
Your Creative Curiosity Advocate. 

Ps. We do still have 20 days left! So if there are any verbs you would like to see for your own pinboard, that aren’t already up. Just post a comment under the facebook post and I will try my best to include them. Heres is the link for them. www.100daysproject.co.nz/projects/100-days-2016/curiously-creative-953

Pps. Below is that inspiring podcast I mentioned above. 
- Magic Lessons Ep. 204: "Who Gets To Decide Whether You're A Legitimate Artist?" featuring Mark Nepo
www.elizabethgilbert.com/magic-lessons/


 

 

 

"CREATIVITY IS THE WAY YOU SHARE YOUR SOUL WITH THE WORLD"

Hey Everybody! Welcome to Curiously Creative’s first blog post! And my first blog write up EVER! So I think it is fitting to share the curiously creative story. Which however is virtually impossible without diving into my own personal relationship and journey with creativity. So here goes.

CREATIVE WORTHINESS
I have been a creative soul since I was a kid. This sentence seems simple enough to say but boy, owning it, living it, feeling it, being it, has not been a simple process. Growing up, my creative pursuits were taunted by someone I loved and craved attention from, as being frivolous, unworthy, illegitimate, of no service and a reflection of my future inability to support my loved ones. In other words, it was a thing you can do, but not a thing you can pursuit. Although I never gave up on being creative, naturally my sense of worthiness of receiving love became tied to the value of my creativity. So my relationship with creativity became one of proving a point. The point that it WAS of value. Not of value to me though, but of value to others.

THE CREATIVE SUPERHERO
So I went about “legitimizing” my art by choosing Graphic Design for University, because it would be more of a “real” job.  But this wasn’t enough. I went volunteering in “third” world countries to figure out how design can save the world, then did my Honours on creating HIV Awareness for an Aids organization in Kenya, and then my Masters on designing information that would TRANSFORM health care! While these are ofcourse important problems and experiences I do not regret one bit. I realised that it was all a sneaky internal game to validate my creativity. All the study helped me pretend I was doing important things and fueled the idea that it had to be grandeur and world dominating for it to be of value. But never feeling enough or fulfilled. So it was only a matter of time, when I started asking myself ‘what was it that I really wanted to do?’

THE ONE THING!
The thing was though, I quickly found that trying to figure out what I loved to do was not the problem. The problem was CHOOOOOSING ONE THING! This idea that your passion had to be this one vocation was driving me nuts! I am a dancer, designer, teacher and creative thinker for a lot of things. And I LOVE all of them! I also love Elizabeth Gilbert! Who’s talks and book Big Magic has helped me understand a lot about myself in my creativity.  So you can imagine my excitement on finding out she would be talking in Auckland and I would get ALL the answers I needed! Her response to not knowing your passion - "follow your curiosity". I remember thinking, ‘well.. that doesn’t help me..  I have been curious my whole life. How long do I have to be flippin curious for??!'  Tell me how to choose and find focus..  JUST TELL ME NOW PLEASE! I Lined up to ask this during Q&A, only for time to run out just as it was my turn.

PANDA WISDOM
Oh well.. That is okay. Cause you know what! Kung fu Panda 3 came along and I got my answer there! When you are seeking, sometimes, answers come from the most unexpected places. But seriously Kung Fu Panda is some deep shit guys!  Go see it! There is this scene where PO finally finds his chi from all the things he is. He IS all the things! So maybe all the things is what makes me up too!

THE ROSE IN THE THORN
This wasn’t the point where I suddenly figured how to make a start at something, OR anything though. It wasn’t until hitting a real low point after returning from an inspiring trip to Europe, where I suddenly found myself out of work, broke, emotionally displaced and not knowing my next direction. This was when all the accumulative experiences and growing awareness were starting to trigger some clarity and action in to the acknowledgement that for a very long time I  had denied myself creativity for creativity sake. Not for saving the world, not for others opinions but purely for joy.

FOLLOWING THE FEELING
This is why I started creating artwork for friends, which helped me stay sane and active. I found myself getting delightfully surprised at the enjoyment I was getting from creating them, and the joy it gave others. And in these cases, when you aren’t sure what to do, the best you can do sometimes is to follow the feeling. And the feeling felt great.

CREATIVE HEALING
This is the artwork that you now see as products on curiously creative. But it isn’t just about the products. The products are what they are because of the journey.  In a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity, Brene Brown mentions that during her research on shame, she found 85% of men and women interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming, it changed how they thought of themselves for the rest of their lives. For HALF of those people, those shame wounds were around creativity resulting in art or creativity scars.  This reminded me that my story is not an isolated occurrence. Sharing the story is just as important in the process of healing and finding courage as the act of creating. Because as Brene Brown Puts it. “When you are taking on creativity you are taking on soul work, this is not about what we do, it is about who we are”

So here we are, with Curiously Creative. Lovingly created products and conversations that hopefully bring you joy and inspire you to honour your own creative curiosities. Because as it turns out, we are ALL creative and must remain more curious then we are afraid. That may be how life gets a lil scary and uncomfortable, but is also how we grow and how life gets fabulous! Lets see where this journey takes all of us.

 

With love, light and a massive splash of joy

Akriti
Creative Curiosity Advocate

PS. Below is the list of inspiring resources I mention above!

- Big Magic. Creative Living Beyond Fear. Elizabeth Gilbert
- Magic Lessons Se.1, Ep. 12: Brene Brown on "Big Strong Magic"

http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/magic-lessons/