Tag Archives: creative

Creative Endeavors

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

 

Are you a creative person?

If you answered no to that question, what is your evidence? Do you point to the lack of artwork you have produced, or claim there is no original song or lyric that you composed? Perhaps you have never designed a building or the interior of any space, including the interior space of a book.

All of this may be true, and yet there is no doubt that you are a creative person.

For instance, what have you done today? What else do you plan to accomplish this week? Is anyone else on the planet going to experience their day exactly the same way you are? This is all of your own making based on  your moment to moment decisions, accomplishments, and creations.

The problem for many of us when considering the question of being or not being a creative person is the limited definition we give to the idea of creativity. Please take a moment and realize that not only are we creative, we are incredibly creative. Our creation starts with how we begin our day and continues with each choice we make. These choices include what we will wear, to what we eat, to what we say. All of these choices are from our own design and creation.

Even if you wear a uniform, not everyone in your school, hospital, military troop, or company looks exactly the same even if everyone is following the dress code. Originality, uniqueness and creativity is at the root of these differences even when they are subtle.

singingWhat has creativity got to do with Mental Health & Happiness? Some claim that spending time in creative endeavors is what feeds our souls. Glaser’s need for fun can be understood as our genetic instruction for play, creativity and expression of our originality. Mark Twain defined fun as the thing that you do when you don’t have to do it.

What ever you call it, which ever definition you abide by, spending time in creative endeavors significantly improves and maintains our good Mental Health & Happiness.

And yet there are some of you reading this who believe that you just aren’t creative. Let me invite you to approach this from a different angle.

Do you have any hobbies? Let me list a few and see if you can find something that resonates:

Gardening                                                                   Playing a musical instrument

Dancing                                                                       Doodling or noodling

Writing                                                                         Building

Sewing                                                                        Furniture arranging (and for some re-                                                                                                              arranging, and more rearranging)

Cooking                                                                       Knitting

Wood working                                                            Calligraphy

Story telling                                                                 Repeating movie dialogues

Amateur theater, including costume design, set design, etc

Table-scaping                                                             Pet training

Pet grooming                                                              Home staging

Get the idea? Any time you participate in any of these, including your own hobbies you are engaging with your creative endeavors. Your creativity does not need to be publicly acclaimed or acknowledge. Creative endeavors are all about the personal, internal joy, happiness and satisfaction you experience while participating.

Want to improve your Mental Health & Happiness? Start noticing and acknowledging all the ways you are a creative person. You are an absolute original, inventing, re-inventing, creating and re-creating yourself every day. Talk about creative endeavors . . . !

Nourishing all the Parts of Ourselves

By Dr. Barnes Boffey

Within each of us are many sub selves which have identifiable personality characteristics. Each of these sub selves represent different energies and forces within each of us and are ways we express our personalities across a spectrum of traits. Each sub self needs an arena in which it can be expressed as well as emotional and behavioral nourishment to maintain its strength and resiliency.

There are many people who have written about archetypes and sub selves, and some say there are basic ones for all of us and other are less specific. What matters in terms of our own happiness and strength is that we are clear about the energies within us. Let me give some examples in my own life.

It seems to me that the major sub selves within me are my Artist, my Helper, my Teacher, my Cowboy and my Warrior. Each of these has a different energy and each needs different input to be nourished and different arenas in which it can express itself. Right now I am writing about myself as a man; women may have similar or different names or characteristics for their sub selves, but the most important thing is to recognize that in each of these are the psychological pillars of who we are.There may be a dark side to each of these sub selves also, but for now I want to focus on the positive aspects of each.

canstockphoto12706268Some of these sub selves are more appreciated in the world than others and some are harder to nourish than others. My Cowboy, for example, is the part of me that wants freedom, the open range, lack of domestication and lots of playfulness and guy stuff. My cowboy can live in the culture for extended periods of time, but after a while must hit the road, live with less rules, have tos and shun tedious routine.

If my Cowboy does not get a chance to be appreciated and have the space and energy he needs, he starts feeling trapped and boxed in, and may push boundaries in less healthy ways. My Cowboy was not greatly appreciated in the classroom when I was an adolescent. He was, however, appreciated in the world of drama and sports and just screwing around with my friends. My Cowboy also had a few scrapes with the law; he doesn’t seem to have the same respect for rules that others demand, and very often says, “Oh what the hell, let’s give it a try.”

When my Cowboy is nourished and has space to be, he is positive, fun, creative and expansive; without that he can become less positive. When he gets boxed in, he pushes back.

In the next few blogs, I would like to share a description of each of my sub selves so that you can begin to identify your own and make sure each has arenas in which they get appropriate input and express themselves in the world. In so doing we have more opportunities to cultivate our mental health and happiness.

To do list versus I’ve done list

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Ever feel like the list of things on your to do list stretches longer than your lifetime? Do these tasks and thoughts overwhelm you to the point where you feel over stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to behead the next person who tells you, whether through words or a blog, that this is all your choice? Perhaps it’s time to change your organizational habits.

For instance, do you have a master list of all that you want to accomplish this season? This year? This month?

Do you make a daily list of all that you want to accomplish, crossing out what you get done and adding the undone tasks to the next day’s list?

If your answer to either of these strategies is “no”then perhaps it’s time to give one or both  strategies a try.

But if you have tried either or both and still feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful perhaps it’s time you started counting differently. Instead of making your lists, checking items off when completed and feeling unsuccessful for the one item (closet cleaning perhaps) that remains on your list day after day, month after month, or year after year, why not start making a list of all that you accomplish in a day? The first item on your list could be reading this blog —although I’m suspecting you have already done many things before you got to this item.

There are two distinct advantages to counting differently. First, when you realize all that you actually accomplish and get done in a day, there is no way you can still berate and accuse yourself of failing, being lazy or disorganized. I’m guessing you will be amazed and astounded at your productivity.

Second, you will have an actual black and white accounting of how you spend your time. This data may help you self-evaluate. Perhaps you are spending more time on some trivial yet necessary task without having the necessary time and energy to tackle the big and important items. With this information you may decide to pay someone else to accomplish the important yet trivial task leaving you more time and energy to work on what is really important to you. Or you may want to negotiate swapping a task or two
with a family member or room mate.

Or you may want to add a new and different to do list to your life. Why not consider 10 ways to be creative, or 11 ways to be sillier, or 12 ways to nap more. Then attempt to complete one per day, maybe as a new approach to your to do list.

If your present strategy for accomplishing life’s daily necessities is not working for you, why not consider a change. Your Mental Health & Happiness will improve when you do.