Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you try and block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. Martha Graham

It isn’t becoming famous or rich that makes someone great. Becoming rich or famous doesn’t mean they are using their gifts, nor does it mean they are not. Sometimes it seems that people who don’t have much in worldly goods are the most creative. Designers watch what the poor wear to get inspiration. When we can afford to purchase a designers line and where it how they meant it to be worn, where is the creativity in that?

When people go to Value Village or thrift shops, Salvation Army, or other used clothing shops and with a little artistic flare put clothes together worthy of being on runways, now that’s artistic flare. I watched my mother sew clothes when I was growing up. She could take remnants and turn them into something nice for us kids. I remember when she was going to one of my sister’s weddings, she sewed what we now call a capsule wardrobe for herself.

Quilting has evolved, but it had its start in using up every last scrap of material, nothing was wasted. If you’ve ever watched a documentary on Victorian times one of the things we see is how everything was used, reused, and used again. Thrift was a virtue.

It bothers Mom to take whole bolts of cloth and cut it up into bits and pieces for quilting. The greatest art of quilting may be that it was making something from almost nothing. True creativity was finding a way to put scraps together in an artistic way.

Necessity is the mother of invention. We don’t have as much necessity so maybe we aren’t as inventive. We have so much entertainment we don’t have to make our own fun. It is great to get together as a group and entertain ourselves. To throw a potluck where each person’s offering makes a feast.

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. Ansel Adams

Creativity is all around us. We see creative gardens where someone didn’t go to the garden center and pay to have everything put in at once. Many of their plants are not only beautiful but have a story. These are Sandra’s poppies. That peony came from Uncle Fred’s. This is a shoot off of Mom’s rose. This cherry tree was given to me by a neighbor. This rose garden is all the Mother’s day roses my children have given me.

We are all creative, but unless we make creativity part of our life it is an unused and unappreciated gift. When you watch little children play you know it’s true. They exuberantly play with paint, building blocks and any medium put before them. We give up our creativity at our peril. When we let creativity move through us we give life to things we didn’t know were in us. Perhaps they aren’t in us, but only come through us, if we are not the conduit through which life expresses itself does it find a more willing conduit?

We tell our self it doesn’t matter if we broaden our self by using our gifts. We tell our self our gifts aren’t great enough. People will laugh at us if we try and present our gifts to the world. The joy that springs up within us as we express ourselves is a joy we get no other way. The joy of writing a novel is not in putting it out in the world. The joy is in the doing. Even if it never gets out into the world if you are a writer, write. If you are a painter, paint. If you are a singer, sing. If you are a quilter, quilt. Creativity is expressing life’s joy.

When we learn to express our self through our gifts we find our self. We say through our art what calls to be said. We find the truth, expressing what we cannot express any other way. It thrills us to hear a song well sung, a painting well painted, a carving well carved. Viewing art expands us, invoking feelings we too long to express.

It does matter if you use your gifts. It matters to you. We make ourselves small and insignificant when we don’t express ourselves. Self-expression is a gift, use it, develop it, and own it.

We don’t serve our self or anyone else by keeping ourselves small. We do our part when we do the thing that calls out to be done and express what calls out to be expressed.

Are we owning the greatness within us?

Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency. Aesop

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, creativity, and love.

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The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life Paperback – Jan 6 2006

by Twyla Tharp (Author)

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