It sounds too simple to be true but creativity leads to freedom. Many people associate creativity with the arts and artists but I’m speaking of a broader definition of creativity. Almost everything we do on a daily basis has creativity behind it. To think, to do, to speak all require some creative thought. That’s why we have such distinct and recognizable habits, like how we brush our teeth or what we wear to work, school or social engagements.
I recently went through a four year period that was very gloomy and my natural human creative spirit was diminished. I felt empty and life seemed pointless even though by today’s standards I can be easily categorized as “lucky”. Thankfully the gloom is slowly lifting and I find that simple day to day activities like cleaning my room, doing my laundry and cooking, when approached with a creative mind, can lead to endless joy.
One of the things I’ve been fretting about is the state of our garden at home. All during the gloomy times I kept telling myself that I have to motivate and start working on the garden. I went over it and over it in my mind but I guess it’s not surprising that when your life is gloomy, your connection to life and living things like plants is not exactly blooming. Time marches on and one day Lo! You finally find yourself in Kahala at Barnes and Noble looking through organic gardening books. I found an excellent book called Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, a three pound tome packed with wonders.
My main and ongoing first aim for the garden was figuring out how to make a compost bin so I could start recycling food waste at home. A lot of vegetables are consumed at my house and it always pained me to throw away the ends and peelings and whatnot. I talked about a compost bin a lot but I lacked the creative energy to make a move and just do it. So glancing through the books, what I was looking for was one that could show me how to just do it. The encyclopedia has clear and concise instructions on the compost issue and so much more, but I started there. The book recommends using recycled materials and I had loads of wood from various incomplete projects rotting under hedges around the house.
This is where creativity came to my aid and it had nothing to do with painting or drawing. Following the compost related criteria, I found a suitable location and simply used everything that was available to me, including a fence and a water pipe, to create a shabbily built yet perfect compost bin. I spent five hours clearing up the area and pruning and trimming trees and bushes. Once the bin was built I put all my green trimmings of the day along the bottom of the bin and by evening we had our first crop of food waste to deposit on top. Today the gardeners left sacks of dried leaves and grass cuttings which went straight in the bin instead of the trash. This little beginning will lead to self-sufficiency not only in the vegetable garden but in all aspects of my life because it confirms that with a healthy creative mind, all issues can be gently resolved.
The net result, on a broader happiness scale, has been astounding. I was so happy all day yesterday while working on the project and all night afterwards. Today I was humming and singing jolly made up tunes, even and especially in the shower. This peaceful happiness, derived directly from applying my creative mind has freed me from gloom and solidified my commitment to never be gloomy again. So you see, one doesn’t have to know how to draw or paint to be creative. Cultivating a happy creative life leads directly to freedom.