"Creativity is the natural result of spirituality."
It was January 2006. I was just starting as an intern at Mosaic church in Los Angeles when I first heard these words, which make up one of Mosaic's core values. These words stirred up something deep within me, yet I've only really come to understand them in the last few years.
From the time I was a little kid, I saw the world in a different way and had a hard time explaining what I saw. I noticed connections between things that others often didn't. I would take recyclables and wood from the scrap pile in my dad's workshop and make them into masterpieces with a little paint and glue. My mom always loved them (or at least she did a good job pretending). But I didn't create just to please her or any of the other recipients of my "gifts". I created because I was compelled to create; I couldn't help myself.
Throughout the years, creativity pushed me into music, theatre, writing, drawing, painting, dance, problem solving, film-making and all kinds of other trouble. The problem was, and still is, that along with my sense of open creativity, I also have a drive toward excellence that often turns into comparison and perfectionism.
In May 2009, I moved to Atlanta, burned out on the film industry and exhausted from trying to hold onto my first city-love. I had lost the wild compulsion to make things to the competition necessary to success in my career. I had forgotten how to practice creativity for the sake of my heart alone.
I've spent almost 4 years of searching for the creativity deep within me. I've tried to revive, little by little, the spark in my soul that would awaken when I was dancing, playing, or making art. It was only when I started intentionally practicing some sort of creativity as a regular rhythm that I realized how much I had really missed it. Currently, creativity looks like painting with watercolors and sharpies, decorating my apartment, cooking beautiful and delicious food and arranging fresh flowers to brighten up my office every week. Creativity is now found in the process of doing these things, not in a perfect product that comes from my ideas. Creativity connects me to the depths of my heart, and my heart to my Creator, which makes makes my heart come alive.
For the next few months, I'll give you a peak into my own rhythms, which come from the themes of Creativity, Kindness, Wisdom and Joy. I'll tell you why those particular rhythms are so important to me and how I normally practice them. For the rest of September, you'll hear from some of my favorite people on how they incorporate creativity into the rhythms of their lives.
How do you practice creativity? When you do, how does it revive you?