I remember receiving praise in my school art classes as a kid. Two projects still stand out in my memory today.
One was an abstract I painted of a type of flower I had never heard of (I can't remember what it was at this point). It was displayed with selections from our school at a local art gallery. Apparently a man wanted to buy it. I was totally shocked since I thought it was terrible.
Another was a clay sculpture I created of a business man preparing to leave; a child tightly hugged his leg, crying. That also got displayed at the local gallery. I remember that piece, not because someone wanted it, but because is was a sort of foreshadowing. Not long after, my parents divorced and my step-dad left. Perhaps my creation was inspired by a deep inner knowing that I hadn't consciously realized yet.
Creativity is something that has been integral to my life and learning. It's a part of me that I have been quite judgmental and critical of at times. It's a part of me that has brought deep insight. It's a part of me that I have truly allowed to flow at times, producing results that were both beautiful and powerful to me (sometimes for others too).
Nowadays, my creativity has little to do with painting or sculpting with clay. Instead it comes in the form of ideas, writing, teaching, using technology to create my image quotes, taking the photographs to use in my image quotes, decorating my home, gardening, imagining how to reuse various objects, and envisioning improvements (to lifestyle, organizational structure/business strategy, indoor and outdoor spaces, you name it).
Whether we choose to believe it or not, creativity is a natural part of us. We each access and express it in our own way.
Jeanne Schlesinger shared her wisdom about owning your voice in a previous newsletter. This week, I have the pleasure of introducing Artist, Writer, and Creativity Coach, Carrie Sanderson.
I met Carrie through a business training/coaching program we both took. I was inspired by her authenticity and courage. When Carrie advises us to remember our creative voice and find joy, she's not talking theoretically.
Despite her love of art at a young age, like many 'responsible' people, she brushed it aside to focus on a more 'practical' life path. That included working in corporate marketing and project management before changing careers to become a personal trainer, sports massage therapist and hypnotherapist.
Until she just couldn't hide it anymore. Her inner artist was calling. So she took the leap.
I think we all want to feel like we are making our unique mark on the world. Creativity, in whatever way it flows through us, is an important part of that.
Read on for more wisdom from Carrie Sanderson and learn her three tips for remembering your creative voice and what brings you joy.
Be Brave. Be Seen. Be True.
Sending positive energy your way,
Your Wise Introvert Coach & Mentor
Wisdom Community: Introverted Women in Business
My work is about investing in women - introverted women in particular.
So I'm excited to be collaborating with some amazing introvert solopreneurs to create this section of the newsletter.
You'll receive words of wisdom, inspiration and the occasional special offer from ordinary introverts - just like you and me - who decided to start a business and gather the courage to put themselves out there to be seen in a bigger way.
And there will likely be a bit of myth busting along the way; seeing beyond the stereotypes of what introversion "looks like".
The goal? Introverted women supporting and inspiring each other to create authentic success in life and work. It's a quiet yet powerful form of positive community building.
I encourage you to both tap into the wisdom of these introverted women AND support them by following their newsletters and/or social media and sharing their info with your friends. Fellow introverts, let's help each other... In this issue, I'm honoured to feature the wisdom of Artist and fellow introvert, Carrie Sanderson.
Remember Your Creative Voice and What Brings You Joy
For as long as I remember I have loved to draw and get creative. When I was a child I would often sit at the dining table with my little brother and we’d draw for hours on end. I recently found a school report from that time and one of the comments was that I would use the entire paper, colour it in and everything would have a meaning. I now paint in that way.
I grew up in the country of my birth, which wasn’t my passport country. Being an English girl in a Dutch school was challenging - I was never one of them, nor did I feel I was British. I was very introverted and I was always mistaken for shy.
Creativity helped me to express myself and deal with those feelings of not belonging and not knowing who I was. I would draw, write poems, short stories, and often write in a diary.
But when I left home for university in my passport country, I didn’t pack my creative side and take it with me.
It wasn’t until I was 30 that I realised something was missing from my life. I’d not been listening to my own voice and what I wanted to DO and BE. There wasn’t much joy in my life, either.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron was pivotal in my creative recovery, as I’d buried my dream of being an artist deep down under layers of soil, dirt, mud and concrete.
Think of a child when they are enjoying a creative activity - they have no concept of time, they want to share what they’re doing or have done, and the smile on their face and the excitement that they feel is like nothing else in this world. It’s pure delight, joy and expression. It’s creativity. And we are all born with it.
Now I embrace my introversion as a strength, and the confidence I’ve gained through creativity has helped me to start accepting myself as I am and also be proud of who I am.
Three ways to kick-start remembering your creative voice
I’d love to share with you three things that have helped me to remember my own creative voice. The key is to experiment, play, and discover what suits you and what resonates with you, but these three things might help kick-start things for you:
1. Daily Journalling
Write for ten minutes every day and note down your feelings, thoughts and experiences. You can also start answering questions such as “What do I love? What brings me joy?”. If you find writing a challenge, start with jotting down words and phrases. We’re not looking for perfection here!
Most adults have forgotten the importance of play. Play has gained bad press - people think it means child’s play, or being immature and silly. But play is all about being light-hearted and doing something you enjoy that is not work-related. Something that brings you joy and a smile to your face. Make fun a priority. And again, do it every day.
3. Inspiration Date
Similar to Julia Cameron’s Artist Date, schedule a regular slot in your calendar for your Inspiration Date. At a minimum an hour every week that’s just for you and it’s something that inspires you: listening to music or an inspiring podcast; going to an art exhibition; exploring a new part of town; reading an inspiring magazine or book.
If you’re not sure what inspires you then try different things! Afterwards document your experience; for example, put together a file filled with things that inspire you. You can then refer back to it whenever you need.
Follow what you love.
Embrace your own creative voice.
Live a life of joy.
Carrie Sanderson is an Edinburgh-based artist, writer and creativity coach.
Carrie is a cross-cultural kid born to one country and living in another. Her cross-cultural background and life as a global nomad has made her willing to try new things, be inquisitive and eager to expand her horizons - which is reflected in her art, writing and coaching.
One of her mentors once said of her that she’s “quietly effective”, demonstrating that being introverted does not mean you are at a disadvantage.
She now embraces her introversion as a gift that can help fulfill her dreams, and inspire others to remember their creative voice and live more joyful lives.
According to Burchard, Creative Expression is one of the ten core human drives. The chapter on creative expression (which he describes as one of five Forward Drives) includes various "activators" to get you tapping into your creative awareness.
a quiz that asks you to reflect on "How much YOU do you see in..." various areas of your life; home, work, intimate relationships, friendships, leisure, and contributions;
creating and sharing.
While this book is not all about creativity, it's a good read. For interests sake, you may be wondering what the other nine human drives are discussed. Control. Competence. Congruence. Caring. Connection. Change. Challenge. Contribution. Consciousness. Something for everyone :)
This Could Be Your Biggest Risk - While this post wasn't written with creativity in mind, it could very well relate. The day I wrote the post, it was one of those days when I thought to myself, "Don't do it, nobody cares." I had a choice to make. Can you relate?
If you find that you need some clarity, courage, support, and accountability to shift gears toward what you prefer in your life/work, I invite you to contact me to see if the Wise Focus (1 month) personal coaching option is a fit for you.
Your month of 'just you and me' coaching will focus on choosing more of what fits for YOU so you can feel a sense of belonging in your own life and work.
I become a part of your success team - intensely focused on helping you to BE BRAVE, BE SEEN, BE TRUE, whatever that looks like for YOU (let's say, for example, that you want to stop procrastinating or create something that's been 'just an idea' to this point). We'll do most of this by email for your convenience.
And keep watching because I'm excited to be in the process of creating online training packages for you.