Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’
Creativity is a gift. Too many of us refuse it unwittingly. Assaulted by self-doubt, we fail to believe that it has been put into our hands. We diminish it by insisting that we should have been child prodigies. We insist its only proof is commercial gain. But the creative is a gift to us from another realm, and it comes when it comes. Deena Metzger, Writing for Your Life
I’m delighted to welcome comedy writer Merrill Disney in the ‘Love Your Creative Self’ series. She’s created an inspiring story drawing on personal insight and observation. She’s a friend from the incredible online WINS program (Write It Now with SARK), that we’ve been enrolled in for the past six months. I’ve included a prompt based on her reflection.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF VALENTINE
Tovita knew she was different. Seemed all the other girls had straight hair when hers was naturally curly; plus, her skin was darker than most in her 4th grade class. American culture should have come more naturally because she was born in Seattle and fitting in should be a birthright. Well, those who wrote the rules didn’t attend George Washington elementary school–it was sometimes tough. The Samoan way of life was open and loving but so many times, she just didn’t feel that she fit in with others. With Valentine’s Day approaching, she stewed over the box of store bought cards that her mom had purchased so she could celebrate the candy-hearted day with classmates. Once she realized that everyone may give out the same pre-packaged cartoon character love notes with not so original sayings they were no longer appealing and pondered over her choice of expression. Instead she felt even though it might be considered weird, she would write a hand-written note on red and white papyrus paper from Western Samoa stating her favorite quality of each person in her class.
“Hillary, even when you don’t know the answer to Miss Allen’s question, you smile and raise your hand the next time. You encourage me to do the same.” and “Josh, my first day of school when you asked me to join your table for lunch, I thought to myself ‘now I would vote for him for the President of the United States one day.’” As she wrote, she smiled at how truly alike she really was; the differences seemed to disappear with genuine kindness toward others.
Oh, the store bought box of valentines did not go to waste, she wrote herself love notes to herself of self appreciation and kept them in her side desk drawer. The first one included “I like being different and writing my own Valentine’s cards”. However, she knew she had to come up with a clever response when her mom found all the cards addressed to her. But with her new found creative way, she knew it wouldn’t be a problem.
This comedy writer never passes up an opportunity to share our creative differences and similarities! You can get in touch with Merrill through her assistant: email@example.com
I love how Tovita uses her creativity to do something unique for her classmates (whom she feels estranged from), and also how she writes love notes to herself! That is one smart little girl! Self-appreciation and self-encouragement are skills that we often have to relearn as adults as we pursue a creative life. In the WINS class, SARK encourages us to write short love notes from the grounded wisest part of our self to our everyday self. For me this practice encourages a heightened appreciation for gentle self-regard and helps to chase away the writing blues and doubts.
Merrill’s story also reminds me that part of our journey as creative people is to learn what are our special gifts and how to share them. The following prompt encourages us to look at the idea of our gifts from a fresh perspective and is from one of my favorite writing books-Writing for Your Life:
The Gift of the Gift
One way of knowing who we are is by what we give and what we receive. Write two lists, one of gifts given, another of gifts received. Afterward, imagine that you have found both of these lists and that you know nothing about the person who wrote them. Develop a portrait of the person who emerges from this series of exchanges by examining the nature of the lists, the kinds and qualities of the gifts given and received, and their relationship to each other.
Reread the portrait. Who is this person? How does she or he resemble yourself? What new perspective does this focus offer you?
Write a piece about a particular gift you once received or you once gave. What did this gift mean? Tell a specific story that reveals the nature of the gift.
How does this story reflect on the portrait you wrote earlier?
No day is wasted in which a single moment is spent in love.
Mary Anne Radmacher
When was the last time you wooed your creative self?
Do I hear crickets in the background?
It’s February and if you’re like me, you’ve experienced one or more of the following:
- the thrill of holiday overindulging has subsided (but the pounds still linger), leaving you with a general malaise.
–you can’t find the journal where you carefully scripted out New Year’s intentions.
–you’ve had to deal with an unexpected computer breakdown, home repair, lingering cold, sick child, etc.
So, for most of us, we’re back to reacting to the most immediate to-dos on our very long list.
I’m beginning the ‘Love Your Creative Self’ Series to support us in having a different experience of February. The lead up to Valentine’s Day provides a perfect stretch of time to reconnect with our creative self. Dear reader, I want February to be one of the best months, of 2012, for your creative life.
During the next two weeks, I’ll offer up some tips, reviews and reflections about the power in deeply honoring and loving our creative selves smack dab in the middle of our ongoing obligations and commitments.
I’ve also asked several writers, artists, and coaches to do guest posts about courting the creative self. I can’t wait to share their wisdom.
I look forward to hearing from you as we move through the series.
Let’s get started! Set the timer for 3 minutes and play with this prompt:
What relationship style applies to how you treat your creative self? Are you a speed dater? Wooer? Player? Adorer? Lover? Withholder? Do you periodically ignore or neglect your creative self?
Set the timer for another 3 minutes: What’s working about this approach? What needs improvement?
Photo credit: Keturah Weathers
It’s Valentine’s Day and everyone is thinking about love. I’m thinking about your love relationship with your creative life. Have you courted your creative life recently?
I love the quote by Ellen Goodman: “How come pleasure never makes it on to…a dutiful list of dos and don’ts? Doesn’t joy also get soft and flabby if you neglect to exercise it?”
Creative folk I know do so much complaining about what they would like to have more of in their life regarding their creative projects and lives: time, money, recognition, etc. A bit of griping and wishing is all right, but ultimately that kind of energy doesn’t get us in the mood to woo anything (or anyone). By starting off with feelings of love and friendship for our long term creative projects, we may just find that we can muster up the energy to find out what we actually want to do next and how to get support for it.
Just like any other relationship that we value, we must make time for our creativity. And, just like any other relationship, feelings of pleasure, kindness and affection make us and others feel good. I suggest taking some time this Valentine’s Day to court your creative life. Is there a project that you need to seduce? Can you make time for a date with your creative work today or later this week? Have you told your creative self how much you value it?
Tip: Try writing a love letter to your creative self or project. Extoll its virtues, ruminate on how it makes you feel (when the relationship is going well), and dream about the possibilities of love rekindled. Decorate the letter if you like and put in a place that you can see it and feel inspired when necessary.