Reigniting Creativity While in the Work & Parenting Doldrums

Life on Purpose RFT123

It’s been a month since the last Raising Beena Boo post, an unintentional creative hiatus. As a parent, showing up for oneself creatively is challenging. For me, I can’t blame it on being a parent though. Limiting my creative expression has been a thing for decades. Maybe you relate . . .?

Yet, there is an urgency within, flamed wanting to live a full life that inspires my daughter to live her life fully, that says when we parents forget to — or intentionally stop — expressing ourselves creatively, we sink. We sink into a banal muck of daily motions. Our parenting becomes a trudge through this muck. Our work becomes work. Our intimacy becomes work. Life, aside from our voyeuristic Instagram dissociations, becomes work.

When we’re in the muck, how do we return to creative expression, if as Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”?

We don’t use our minds. There is no “figuring out” why we stop expressing ourselves creatively. We use our body. Actually, we move our body in ways that feel good. Our body is our gateway to presence. Presence is where inspiration and creativity arise.

Perhaps moving your body in ways that feel good looks like doing yoga or swimming. For me, it’s dancing. I reconnected with this this past Monday. With rain impeding an outdoor excursion, Beena Boo and I had a dance party. We shimmied and sang to Gangnam Style, Baby Shark (thanks Tia Tonia!), and Raffi. It was outrageously fun! While my body felt like a rusting truck trying to do wheelies, our carefree silly dance popped me out of the muck. It also spurred me to buy and listen to a book I’d been avoiding reading since it debuted three years ago: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I listened to it Tuesday and Wednesday, and danced a bit each day. Today is Thursday, and I’m writing — my official marker for being out of the muck.

Who knows for how long this will last. The pattern of muck-sinking is still there, so I’ll slip into it again. What this experience is, and why I share it, to remind us what we know — that our body brings us into the presence and creativity lives in presence. That creativity flows quickly with a little willingness and effort on our part to be with ourselves loving.

So, if you’re feeling stuck, move kindly. It can be simple. Like stretching. Or a private dance party in your bedroom. Do it for a couple days. When you’re out of the muck, even if it’s for a few minutes, seize the presence — create.

With gratitude,