“The creative person is flexible – able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress.”
– Frank Goble
So, this week’s Bliss Habit is flexibility and, as usual, I started thinking about it in relation to creativity.
Almost immediately, a hard truth set in: when it comes to creativity, I’m not flexible at all. That’s incredibly sad, because isn’t flexibility at the heart of being creative- that is, looking at things with imagination and a different perspective?
So, why do I consider myself so inflexible? Because I won’t let myself have any fun.
I have a question for you:
When was the last time you sat down, took out your favorite supplies and materials, and just created for the sake of having fun?
If you are anything like me, it’s probably been a long time. These days, it seems like I can’t bring myself to do anything creative unless it’s project-related or going out into a wider audience. When I do create, I’m always conscious about the way that finished object will come across to other people. Will the colors appeal to a wide variety of people? Will the words I use resonate? Will anyone care about it? And then “oh, I’d better change everything to make it more approachable and relatable.”
There’s very little fun in creating when you are constantly second guessing yourself, worrying how something might be received, even if you have no intent of putting it out into the world.
I don’t like this, not at all. So when Kathy, our fearless leader here at Bliss Habits, began talking about the next cycle, I started wondering if there wasn’t a way I could use my “Tuesdays with Chel” space to explore the connection between creativity and bliss and somehow work on mending the weird disconnect between the two that I have been struggling with. I also started thinking about all the conversations that I have had with other creative people the last few years and how this inability to create for fun seems to be an epidemic of sorts.
So in an effort to alleviate this, and bring the bliss back into creativity, I’m issuing the following creative challenge to myself and anyone out there who might like to join me:
Once a week, every week, make the time to HAVE SOME CREATIVE FUN.
I’m declaring that this is *the* Official Permission Slip to reconnect with our inner children and let them come out and play through creative expression.
Whatever idea or project or medium seems to appeal to your inner child, simply go for it. ALL FORMS OF CREATIVITY ARE WELCOME. This is not about what you create, but how you feel creating it. This is all about PERMISSION TO PLAY.
So if you’re in, here’s what you do:
+ Drop by Bliss Habits on Tuesday (starting April 23red) to check in and get the coming week’s Bliss Habit. I’ll also share some prompts, quotes, and links to get you inspired. Use the Bliss Habit as a starting point, or as an inspiration, or not at all. Whatever works best for you.
+ Take time to have fun.
+ Write a blog post about it (or a Facebook post or a Flickr photo or an Instagram or whatever social media is your favorite…)
+ Come back here the following Tuesday (April 30th), ready for “show and tell”
Here are some ideas I had:
Make a mess or just make a few lines. Write a poem or write a string of nonsense words. Doodle or scribble. Crochet a rainbow. Share fun photos. Buy a coloring book you secretly love and a brand new box of crayons to go with it. Go on an adventure. Create a Pinterest Board. Finger paint. Write a haiku. Built a pillow fort. Splash down color on a giant sheet of paper or on the back of a junk-mail-envelope. Write a manifesto. Make confetti. Read a good book. Make friendship bracelets.
Because we explore a different “Bliss Habit” on this blog every week, you can use the Bliss Habits as a weekly jumping off point and see what happens. For example, I’m fairly sure a lot of my “Permission to Play” projects will involve art, so I’ll be keeping each week’s Bliss Habit in mind as I create. However, if that detracts from the playfulness and fun of the project, I won’t hesitate to toss it out.
Every Tuesday, we’ll come together here on Bliss Habits and do a little “show and tell”, kindergarten style. There will be a place for you to share your blog post and images about your “Permission to Play” time. If you don’t have any social media, you are more than welcome to use the comment space to share.
DON’T WORRY: because this challenge has been designed to give you permission to play not worry about a finished product, you don’t have to share the *entire* result of your play time. You can share as much (or as little) as you like. For example, some weeks you might feel compelled to share detailed images of your entire project, and some weeks you might share just a quick snapshot of a little bit of your work. Whatever feels comfortable for you.
So we get started on April 29th, so you have over a month to get the creative ideas flowing. Here’s a schedule of the weekly Bliss Habits in case you are planning to go with the themes:
Joy-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 4/30
Order-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 5/7
Creativity-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 5/14
Passion-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 5/21
Whimsy-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 5/28
Serenity-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 6/4
Inquiry-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 6/11
Community-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 6/18
Romance-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 6/25
Gratitude-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 7/2
Moxie-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 7/9
Humility-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 7/16
Surprise-themed “show and tell” will be on Tuesday 7/23
So, come the last week of April, get ready to have fun, and find the connection between your creativity and a sense of bliss. I hopehopehope you might join me for this creative experiment.
It will be like summer camp for your inner child.
Here’s a banner you can put on your blog if you are going to join me:
the code for this badge (just copy/paste into your own blog):
<a href=”http://blisshabits.com/tag/permission-to-play/”><img alt=”playchallenge” src=”http://blisshabits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/playchallenge.jpg” width=”200″ height=”142″ /></a>
Chel Micheline is a mixed-media artist, curator, writer, and avid gardener/reader/swimmer who lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and daughter. When Chel’s not making art or pondering the Bliss Habits, she’s blogging at gingerblue.com (come say hi!) or posting new things in the gingerblue etsy shop.