Lessons on Living a Creative Life from my 5yr-old Daughter
My daughter oozes creativity, as I believe most children do when given an environment that allows it to flourish. Watching her explore and experiment with her world through art and play has been nothing short of breathtaking, and her wise soul has imparted much insight through the past few years. In honor of the start of a new school year, I offer some of her best lessons.
May they inspire you to reconnect with your own creative inner 5-yr-old!
The lines are merely a suggestion.
Coloring inside the lines is not the point. Neither is following all the perceived rules - in art, or life. The point is to have fun and enjoy yourself. What feels like fun? What could you to bring more pleasure into your life? Where can you color outside the lines?
Everything is better with sparkles.
Clothing, art, decorations, cookies... Sparkles make her smile and feel magical, and her goal is to feel this way at all times. How delightful! What makes you smile and feel magical? Where can you add more sparkle to your life, to your creating?
Every color goes with every other color.
Do not try to convince her that rainbow isn't it's own color. Or that purple doesn't go with red. Or that patterns can't be mixed from head to toe. 'God made all the colors, so all the colors match!' Her art, wardrobe and life are full of vibrancy and bring smiles to all, especially her - which is absolutely all that ultimately matters. Where can you use more color in your own life? Try experimenting with more unusual color combinations - the results might surprise you!
Making up your own words is way more fun.
My daughter sings all the time. In the store, at bedtime, on the way to school... song pours out of her. Every once in a while it will be a song I recognize, but mostly it's uniquely hers in words and melody. She believes song is meant to be personal expression, not something that has rules or has to be done 'right'. And it fills her heart with joy to communicate this way, even if she's singing about what she ate for dinner. Give it a try! Make up your own words, let your own melodies come out. Find the fun!
Dancing and moving brings joy.
Along with singing, we enjoy regular performances of her balletic interpretive dances. Heartfelt expression flows out of her body and she ends in fits of laughter or hugs and kisses for all. Joy is evident in every pore of her being and spreads to us all. What movement brings you joy? How can you move more? Try taking a dance break once a day!
When you don't get what you want, ask again.
In fact, keep asking and asking until whoever you're asking puts down whatever they're working on and gives you their full attention. Sometimes the answer is still 'no'. But frequently it's a sigh and a smile and a 'sure, let's go'. Don't give up on your dreams! Persistence is often rewarded. Where do you need to keep asking?
A good cry cleanses and heals.
Creative projects gone awry. Time for play gone for the day. A 'no' instead of a 'yes' to a heartfelt request. Little people have big feelings. And the little person inside each of us feels just as much, we've simply learned to override her. Let her out to have a good cry sometimes. You might be surprised how quickly everything feels so much better.