Do you remember playing as a kid? Making a tent out of sheets and the furniture or building a sand castle or making up a new game?
Growing up, my sister, Lisa, and I had rooms that were connected by a tiny hallway. It was our secret meeting place where we’d play card games or giggle or hatch plans. We’d make up elaborate games using marbles or our troll dolls or even create tents with blankets, jump ropes and our parents’ furniture. We’d discover entire worlds in our “tent.” I don’t remember all of the details of all the crazy made up entertainment we created, but I do remember that the time would fly by. Hours without any interruption; we were in the flow of make believe and creation, otherwise known as play.
And thinking about those times, I realize that no one taught us any of it. Yet Lisa and I never questioned our ability to create. Do you remember a time like that? When you fearlessly created, giggled till your sides ached, felt deeply involved and completely unaware of the time?
When was the last time you felt that way?
Don’t Think — Do
But so often when we decide to learn to do something new, we get that voice in our head. You know, the one that says, before you can do that you need to make a detailed plan, read 8 books, take a course and practice all the skills. I’ve been there, done that.
My 8 year old self didn’t have that voice in her head! I tried things, made mistakes, corrected and tried again.
It’s only as we get older that we start by assessing whether we are competent to paint, play the piano, learn to code, set up a website, learn a language, get into shape, give a speech, make bread… you name it. And often that leads to avoiding doing what we want to do.
What if instead of hesitating or questioning your own ability to do something, you just did it? That is, learning by doing the thing you want to do. Try taking one step then the next. Maybe that sounds scary. But try it anyway — try being playful, creative and brave. Bravery leads to great things.
Now Is a Good Time to Renew Your Creative Muscles
Ironically, staying in my house all day every day for eight weeks now (I do get outside to walk the dog, thankfully) has brought on that timeless feeling. At times I feel disoriented, wondering what day it is or what I’m supposed to be doing that day. But somehow this liminal time has brought me back to that creativity and learning that I remember from when I was that 8 year old girl learning through play.
And channeling that fearless, imaginative little girl has resulted in some new and exciting learning. I’m trying new things before I feel “ready” or “expert.” I’m learning to be more flexible in my expectations by — well being more flexible. I’m creating and sharing ideas before the landing page is perfect or even before a sign up list is created. I’m creating habits that the person I want to become would do. I get to doing what’s important faster, noticing what’s working and what’s not and then adjusting. It’s not perfect, it’s scary, it’s hard, but it’s energizing.
Do you want to feel your curiosity, creativity and learning blossom, feel a sense of renewal? How would that feel? How would that help you right now? How would that change your day?
I invite you to choose one thing (small or big) that you want to learn that maybe even scares you, and take the first step and then the next step… notice how it feels to be brave, to do something hard and persist, to do something playful and laugh, to do something that you’ve longed to learn and feel engaged and energized. Each step takes you closer to learning something new.
I’d love to hear what you discover!
You can combine a reconnection to learning and to your creative muscles in when you join one of my upcoming Write Into Joy workshops. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops where you can learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting.