As we continue the podcast themed around spirituality and creativity, and I found myself moving furniture around in my living room, it made me think about my own creativity. Was I taking the time to be creative just for fun; outside of work? The answer was…not really! 

So, I recorded this minisode to chat about it with you, read a little bit of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, and challenge you to prioritize creativity this week. 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
My book, How to Stop Feeling Like Shit
The Daring Way retreat (registration closes 8/19!)

Book recommendations:
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!

Right-click to download the .mp3



Andrea  00:00
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast minisode number 467.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. It's still summer. If you're listening to this, during another season, as I'm recording this, it's still summer. It is the very end of July and we are still in the spirituality and creativity theme. And I coincidentally am doing something creative today. Do you ever get like a wild hair up your ass and you're like, I'm going to completely move all the furniture around and see what it looks like. My mom used to do this a lot when I was a kid. And I think back, my childhood home was fairly small, I believe it was about 1400 square feet. And it had four bedrooms. And I say it was small because it was a four bedroom house. It's pretty small with that many bedrooms. The bedrooms were pretty small, but at any rate, it was something my mom did a lot. And this morning, well, you might have heard one of my sponsors for the show is Ainsling Interiors and I'm working with someone. They're one of the designers, and I'm redoing my living room and so it was going to wait until I got the new curtains and I'm gonna paint I'm like, nope, you know what, I'm going to move everything around. And we have a sectional that comes apart. I don't really love it. It was sort of a panic by when we bought this house because I didn't have a couch big enough for the living room. And unbeknownst to me, I knew all the pieces came apart but I thought that it was just because it was annoying like that. But you can anyway, the long and short of it is that I've spent the entire morning taking that sectional apart and putting it back together and moving it all around and my dog is having the time of her life. She thinks this is playtime, jumping all over the couch, getting rides when I move it around. Luckily, it's on laminate so it's really easy to move, move around. Sorry, this is so boring. You're like, what does that do with anything?

My point is, is that I think that we forget that create how important creativity is to us because I was feeling a little restless. I have not moved furniture around. I think since we settled in this house in 2014 2015, maybe 2015, something like that, and it feels really good to move things around. I'm just, right now just the furniture that we have, I'm eliminating this gigantic coffee table that we've had for 150 years. It's just too big for the space. And yeah. I'm just making things happen. It's fun. It's fun.

And I guess I say that, to remind you that there are things that, you don't you don't have to go to the craft store and get a canvas and paint or do anything fancy. It can be as little as moving things around on your fireplace mantel, with the stuff that you have at home. That's been creative. So that's what I wanted to talk to you about today is the importance of creativity and I think especially in a culture that puts so much value on producing and productivity, efficiency, success, those types of things. We have, you know, this has been talked about a lot, we have put creativity just for the sake of creativity as a last priority, in many cases, for a lot of people. Not everybody, but creativity, for fun creativity, for exercising your brain, creativity for hygiene. I was just talking to a client earlier this week. And that's the perspective I challenged them to see their acts of creativity and as hygiene. It's important to you as brushing your teeth. It's important it's as important to you as getting the oil changed in your car and things like that, that we kind of take for granted that we're going to do them. That's what I challenged my client to do and it really got me thinking as well as you know how much emphasis how much time am I prioritizing my creativity? And not enough. The answer is not enough. Really only if it's been for my work. You know this podcast or writing my next book and we are doing a really fun kind of secret project with one of my past book bucks that's coming up. And those are all things that are for my livelihood, but like, how often do I really do anything fun that's creative. Not that often.

And so it made me think of the Gifts of Imperfection by Brené. Brown. This was I believe her second book. I have one of the first copies. Let me see. By first copies, I mean, first printings. So this one came out in 2010 and I believe since then she has revised it. I do not have that version. But I want to read to you in a nutshell, for those of you that aren't familiar with the book, this was the book where she came out with the 10 guideposts for what she calls wholehearted living. And lets see which one is it. It is the sixth guidepost and she says, ‘cultivating creativity’ and all of the guideposts are cultivating something, you know, ‘cultivating rest and play’, ‘cultivating calm and stillness’, and then there's it to go along with that there is something that we need to let go of, and for creativity, it is letting go of comparison. I'm gonna let that land because comparison is one of those things I've talked about that feel like in all three of my books, and I hope I am clear when I'm writing about it and talking to you here on the podcast about it, that I don't think we ever get to a place where we completely let go of comparisons. It's something that we do as humans. I'm not an anthropologist or psychologist, but it probably has something to do with our survival just like making sure we're measuring up and things like that. But social media has brought it to a whole other level and comparisons can keep us stuck, they can make us feel like shit, they can lead us to behaviors that we're not proud of, you know, gossiping, etc, etc, etc. .

So I just wanted to put that bug in your ear. It's not about completely let it letting go of comparisons. For me, it's about…and I wrote about this and How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, it's not about completely stopping all of these behaviors. The goal is to notice very quickly when you're doing them so that you can course correct. That's the bottom line really. And that is absolutely true for comparison's, which is one of the chapters and How To Stop Feeling Like Shit.

Okay, but back to the Gifts of Imperfection. This is on page 96 of the print version of that 2010 version. And I want to read these three points that Brené makes. And she says, “Let me sum up what I've learned about creativity from the world of wholehearted living and loving. Number one, saying I'm not very creative doesn't work. There's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don't. Unused creativity doesn't just disappear. It lives within us until it's expressed, neglected to ,death or suffocated by resentment and fear.” And I read that and I was like, dang, just tell us how it is. It's that unused creativity doesn't just disappear. It lives within us until it's expressed, neglected to death or suffocated by resentment and fear. Yes, I agree with that. I believe that. Okay. I don't really have anything to add.

Okay. Number two, “The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.” What I hear a decent amount from people who I do consulting for people who want to write their nonfiction book. And not all my clients but some of them say everything's everything's been said already. I don't have anything new to say. I have said that y'all. I have said that. I have like, finished a section of my book or finished an entire book and been like, this is crap. People already know this. People already know this. Why am I even putting it out there. And the truth of it is that I do believe most things have already been said and done but they have not been done by you. And I'm sure you've heard that before. They have not been done by you. They have not been said by you. And I'm sure none of y'all are plagiarizing but we have to believe that our art, our creativity needs to be expressed by us. II love that term that she used. Our unique contribution. The only unique contribution and it's very, very true. It no one can say it like you no one can paint it like you. No one can cook it like you.

Okay, number three. “If we want to make meaning we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing, it doesn't matter. As long as we're creating, we're cultivating meaning.” And you know, what's interesting is that when we started, actually, when we started getting meals from Green Chef, I totally don't mean to like plug our sponsors, again, there's no sponsors on these minisodes. But they, they're like one of those meal delivery services and it's meals that I would never find on Pinterest and cook ever. They have like words in the titles of them that I've never heard of. But they're all delicious. And the way that they have you plate the food at the end is really beautiful. And it's not that hard. It's really not that hard. And I always like stand back for a minute and I'm like, that is really pretty. Like look at the salad. And it's so bright green and the sauce on top the way you do it back and forth and then you fan them the meat out and slices and I never understood, previously, I never understood why it mattered to people like the presentation of food. It’s not something like I really care about at a restaurant. I'm like, I don't care if it looks beautiful on my plate. But now that I have cooked it I understand. I'm like, okay, this, this is meaningful to me that I have made this food and presented it in a way that's beautiful. It feels creative. It feels good. It brings me joy. It sparks joy.

And that's what's important right? At the end of this and he pointed back to that same client I was talking to about their creativity and I said what's important to you about making time for your creativity? How do you how do you feel at the end of it? And they said, it makes me happy. It just makes me happy. And that person's partner had said to them you seem more passionate about life, the more creative that you are. And I was like that's true. That's true. Because remember, number one, it lives within us until it's expressed neglected to death or suffocated by resentment and fear. Yeah. There's that.

So my invitation to you is to cultivate creativity. Make time for it in your life. Put it in your calendar if you have to. If you have feelings about it, get curious about it. Do you feel guilty about it. Get curious about that. It's important. It's so incredibly important. I hope you've enjoyed these podcast episodes. By the way. Registration closes on August 19 for the Daring Way retreat, which I'm facilitating Brené Brown's work. AndreaOwen.com/retreat for more info on that. And I hope that you are creative. I hope that you spend time prioritizing yourself and prioritizing your great creativity. And know that it benefits you and does help you stop comparing if you want to know more how that coincides with comparisons you can grab this book, we will put a link to it in the show notes. And I appreciate you so much. I appreciate your time and that you choose to spend it with me. And remember everyone it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.