Each of us has a space inside of us, like a garden, where our creativity lives. We believe that God has already intentionally planted the seeds of our creativity, talent, and gifts in that garden and that He is ultimately responsible for making them grow. We also have a role in cultivating our garden, we are the ones who water, fertilize, prune, and harvest. We are the gardeners of our creativity. While we don't choose what is planted we can encourage the growth of what is already there.
Discovery starts when we acknowledge that we have a creative space inside of us and that we can participate in allowing it to grow. Some of us have obvious plants in our garden, those gifts and talents that seem to come naturally and become apparent early in our lives. Other plants take time and attention to make an appearance. For some of us, our family or culture might have indicated that certain types of creativity are more acceptable than others. Depending on our Backstory, we may have not allowed plants to make an appearance that didn't fit the cultural mold around us. Perhaps herbs and vegetables - useful, practical talents that help obviously benefit others or ourselves - are what we've grown - but when roses or orchids peek above the surface we cut them off believing that they are frivolous or selfish to cultivate.
Giving yourself permission to explore and express all of the creativity growing in your garden is the first step to Discovery. Like a garden, our creativity is cyclical and seasonal. There are certain plants that may only make an appearance in the winter, and others that blossom for one tiny window in the spring. We believe that it is possible to have a beautiful, thriving creative garden during all seasons, with a variety of creative expressions making their appearance at different times. Depending on the season you may cycle back through the stages of Discovery, constantly giving yourself permission to explore the things your heart is longing to express. In a thriving garden the plants we've cultivated grow and become more mature with every season, while new ideas and opportunities make room for burgeoning creative expressions to emerge. A healthy creative lifestyle will be one of continuous circling through Discovery as we allow ourselves and our creativity to blossom and grow.
Practical Action Step: Writing and speaking intentional permission statements help us change our mindsets to align with the truth. We suggest starting with something like this:
I, (your name), have permission to long for, and pursue, more creative expression than I currently have in my life.
We suggest writing this statement out 10 times. Make a note of any negative thoughts that spring up to argue with your declaration. Are there any themes to the negative rebuttals? This will help you see areas where you are not giving yourself permission to be creative. Ask God to show you true response statements for the negative arguments. From those responses you can write your own personalized permission declaration(s). These are great to write in a place where you can see them or to say aloud when you need a reminder of your permission.
We'd love to hear your Discovery Statements! Feel free to share them with us in the comments or on social media with the hashtag: #mydiscoverystory and #mycreativesuperpowers
Emily is a creative entrepreneur, loving life in Virginia Beach, VA, by way of DEN, CLT, & NYC. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing music and blogs, designing pretty web things, drinking coffee, experimentally cooking, and exploring her city. You can listen to Emily's music, follow her adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or hire her here.