Today I am fortunate enough to host a guest post by Christine Mason Miller. Christine is one of the most inspiring women I've ever met. It's not just that she is a fabulous artist and writer — though I love and appreciate her talents— it's that she is a fabulous "liver of life." Christine brings spirit and zest into everything she is and does. In this post, she reveals some of her beliefs about what it means to live life with creative passion. (Hint: you don't need paint and canvas!)
Be sure and read all the way to the end, cuz Christine is offering a free give-away to folks just for commenting on this post! Wheeee!
by Christine Mason Miller
I was recently interviewed as part of my Desire to Inspire promotional extravaganza, and one of the questions was how the book would appeal to readers who are not “artists”. Desire to Inspire has nineteen contributors, and while it could be said they are all creative types, their passions and pursuits are not limited to artistic endeavors. I interviewed personal coaches, authors, a graphic designer, a yoga instructor and human rights advocate, a filmmaker, and a magazine editor – women from all over the United States, Canada, India, and New Zealand. My intention was to share the stories of a wide range of experiences, not just those of “artists.”
Answering this question made me realize something that I certainly considered before, but hadn’t actually discussed much before my work on Desire to Inspire, which is that the phrase “creative passion” is less a notion of specifically artistic interests and more a wide open field of possibility. I will refer to an experience I have written about before, which is that 99% of the time I tell someone I am an artist, I receive the same responses – either “I’m not creative at all!” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure!” It is this fascinating consistency that has shaped my definition of “creative passion”, and I have come to embrace the idea that I am on my own quiet crusade to teach others that – actually, you are creative, in countless ways, every day.
Creative passion can, of course, be channeled towards painting or sculpture or music or dance, but it can also be channeled towards our families, our gardens, in our kitchens, and as we run errands. I have certainly felt new creative muscles get flexed with our still young and energetic chocolate lab Tilda, and even in situations when I am struggling in a relationship or trying to manage a long list of household tasks, I know my creative passions are fueling my ability to get things done in an organized – and sometimes even artful – way. My creative passion seeps into almost everything I do, from making houseguests feel welcome to folding laundry.
As innately creative creatures (I’m talking to you, Mr. and Ms. “I’m Not Creative At All!”), we have within us everything we need to fulfill our deep need for meaning and create a life that is in alignment with our most important values and passions. My greatest passions are my family, my art and writing, and travel, and balancing all those takes a great deal of flexibility, adaptability, persistence and – wait for it – creativity. I don’t see these passions competing with one another, but each serving as an integral part of a beautiful whole, and I don’t see the time and effort I put towards one as any more or less of a creative passion than something specifically artistic such as my mixed media artwork.
Creative passion is simply, at its core, the purest light within you – whatever makes your heart sing, and takes you closer to joy. It is the love you have for your children, the way you braid your daughter’s hair, the breakfast you make, the flowers you grow, the students you teach, the customers you help, and the friends you support. These are all acts of creative passion, and each and every one of them matters – to your loved ones, and to the world.
“Being a force of good in the world and honoring my core values is about saying yes to my heart and saying yes to the hearts of those who pass through my life.”
~ Liz Kalloch, Desire to Inspire Contributor
Post a comment below telling us at least one thing that makes your heart sing. Something that inspires you to express your creative passion in daily life. Something that makes you feel like soaring. Everyone who posts a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a free "Your Wings Exist" journal (pictured above) from Christine Mason Miller. ("Your wings exist. All you have to do is FLY.") Be sure and post your comment by Friday, December 2 at 12n PST.
Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Monica-based artist, writer, and explorer. Her next book – Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World – is now available at bookstores everywhere and Amazon.com. Follow her adventures at www.christinemasonmiller.com.
Images copyright Christine Mason Miller