"Everyone born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity." ~Maya Angelou
Trailing wisps of glory... God, how I wish I had written those words. They speak to my heart, because they ring with deep truth. Everyone born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. It's so true. We are conditioned, in our culture, to think of creativity as participating in the fine arts. And while the arts are inherently creative, they are certainly not the only forms of creativity that matter. The nature of creativity, in its truest form, is to bring forth something new that did not exist before. It may be a project or a company, a class or an organizational structure, an invention or a new way of communicating with the people around us. Creativity makes itself known every time we open up to the Infinite Mind of God and come away with a new understanding, a new insight. It's not a talent. It's not a skill. It is nothing less that our birthright.
As someone who gleefully identifies as "a creative", one who creates as a way of life, I think there is a profound misconception in our world about how creativity happens. People imagine a very cool, painfully hip 20-something drinking triple espressos, debating Nietzsche and VOILA! A fantastically creative idea appears, all the cool kids in the cafe nod enthusiastically, the hipster writes a book about it in two days and then she's on the NYT bestseller list. While, of course, all of those things do occasionally happen, that's not what creativity looks like AT ALL in my world.
In my experience, creativity generally looks something like this: I am running late, with kids to drop off at school and a meeting right after. I can't find my purse. I'm frazzled and don't have a spare second. An idea appears as I'm running out the door. In this 30 second window, I have a choice: take a moment and capture this idea and be even later, or lose the idea forever. In this 30 second window, I have been given a gift from God -- an idea that may never come again in the history of time and space. I can either honor that gift or I can dismiss it, losing it for all of humanity.
When I began songwriting in earnest, I had a shocking revelation. I had been receiving bits of songs (melodies, snatches of lyrics, harmonies) all of my life. They just show up in my head, often at the most inconvenient times. I had been receiving these amazing gifts and dismissing them BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK THEY MATTERED. I'll never know how many songs were lost forever because I didn't think enough of my own creativity to write them down. I didn't trust my talent enough to share what was coming through me. I put my faith in fear and limitation instead of in my creative birthright and in the divine impetus of God. My songwriting partner on many of those early songs, Dawn, taught me to be obedient to the creative call as a spiritual practice and it is a lesson that has served me powerfully.
And so this is the invitation: When the idea pops into your head, please don't dismiss it. Don't judge it or weigh its merit at all. Just capture it. Capture every wild concept, every different approach, every "what if we.." thought that comes along. Every idea won't turn into the next big thing, but one of them will. One of those precious divine gifts will be the thing that changes your life, that showcases your unique genius. One of those will display your wisps of glory.