Funny how things come to you when you need them most. For me, the path toward rediscovering my own Creative Joy came with the nudge from the Universe about a year ago when I was asked to teach with Jen Louden and Marianne Elliott at the Creative Joy Retreat. At the time, I had no idea that somehow when it came to the topic, I had lost my way.
The definition of Creative Joy is at its essence, doing something creative that brings you joy. Period. No end result needed. No monetary expectations. Heck, no expectations for anything at all. Creative Joy is all about a creative act or process that makes you happy. Although it’s true that if the process AND an end result makes you happy (a finished painting, a blooming garden, a blog post, a novel) it’s perfectly find to work toward an end result. But, if the end result came as more of just an added bonus of doing what you loved, instead of an expectation, then it would make the process of getting there much more joyful. The past year I’ve been on a quest to crack the code on what creative practice makes me happy, in a “joy for joy sake” kind of way. I have found myself riddled by the question that if time or money was no object, what would I do just for Joy?
Of all people, I would have never thought this could be such a challenge for me. I live a creative life and my creativity is tied to my livelihood after all, and I love that about my life. So, how could it not bring me joy? Well, it does. It most certainly does. But somewhere along the way, all of this creativity has gotten got all tangled up together and I have had a hard time untying it enough to decipher between my processes. What am I doing creatively with an outcome or an end product in mind (for “work” let’s say) and what am I doing just because I really love doing it with no outcome or product in mind (for “play” let’s say)?
I’m not pitting one type of process against the other. There’s room for both for sure. But, I’m realizing that I maintain a creative cycle of “work” in my life that although I do enjoy, doesn’t always refuel, replenish or rejuvenate me. And I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m working so darn hard at this creative life. How ironic. By not balancing it with the play of Creative Joy I’m just not filling up my own well, which quite often leaves me depleted. Here’s the big light bulb moment for me: Creative Joy is filed under the self-care category. Unfortunately, I don’t prioritize self-care like I know I should which means Creative Joy isn’t at the top of my to-do list. But, I want it to be. I wish it was. I would like to move it closer to the top.
I really do want—and desperately need—to engage in more Creative Joy in my life. I have started a list of things that I want to do, just for the joy of it, that I will be engaging in for my own happiness and well-being. Joy for joy sake. There’s no better time to start than right now! Can I get a Hallelujah?
Please join me…and Jen Louden and Marianne Elliott as we engage, celebrate, and share our own unique Creative Joy for the next month, together in perfect creative harmony! La la la la… how does the hashtag #mycreativejoy sound???
And to start it all off on the right creative note, we are offering a free download of The Creative Joy Workbook (or better said, playbook) full of wonderfully inspirational insights into Creative Joy from a number of amazingly creative people, plus prompts to encourage and challenge you. YAY!
And, of course, if you want to dive deeper into the exploration of your own Creative Joy, you are invited to join Jen Louden, Marianne Elliott & myself at The Creative Joy Retreat in October at the Garrison Institute in NY. It’s going to be quite joyful and deeply restorative, I promise.
Can’t wait to see what kinds of Creative Joy you discover, WE discover, as we play together this month. All the details for participation are on page 65 of the book. I’m so excited!