Today, I want to invite openness and vulnerability into this online space. I want to dig deeper into what I do as a blogger, creative, student, friend, Christ follower and human being. I want to share a perspective with you that makes you see yourself and maybe even your life in a new way. Let’s be real with one another. Let’s talk about the big stuff. Things like our purpose, our passions, our mission, our dreams.
My blog’s vision is to fuel our creative callings. But what is a creative calling? More importantly, what is your creative calling? Are you supposed to have one?
First off, today, I am hear to tell you: you are creative. Your creativity is a huge part of how you envision your life. Creativity runs deep inside our bones. It lies within all of us. Today I want to go deeper into the definition of a creative calling and perhaps help you uncover what you are truly made of. Our creative callings have many parts to them. But as I grow to discover the true essence of creativity, I can tell you right now–if you are reading this, you are a creative force in this world. Here’s a little bit of what your creative calling is all about.
You don’t have to be a “creative” to live your creative calling.
Today we use the term “creative” to describe certain type of people with a certain type of career: a musician, an artist, a designer, a videographer, a writer, a photographer, a blogger, a fashion designer. Especially within advertising, PR and marketing agencies, the role of the “creative” is clearly defined. They are the people who make cool stuff. While it is a good use of the term “creative,” it may lead to putting creativity into a box. It may lead to thoughts like, “Do I have to make art to be creative? Do I have to enjoy DIY projects or sew or know the ins and outs of Photoshop?” All of these skills are awesome to have and without a doubt foster creativity. But what if you were the one who dreaded going to art class in elementary school? Were you like me who became upset about failing to make a clay pot in second grade? Did you think that liking sports, math or science made you not creative?
Author Emily P. Freeman helped me realize that we all are born to create art after reading one of her books, A Million Little Ways. Living creatively means making choices, living out your dreams and doing what you love and even making sacrifices along the way. You see, with every decision we make–what coffee to order, where to attend college, what to cook for dinner, where to go for a weekend trip–we have the ability to create our own story. Our life is literally art–a creation we are continuously making everyday.
This means that living creatively is not defined by your career–or even what you do in your spare time. I see being an accountant and being a painter as two equally creative professions. An accountant may use numbers instead of paintbrushes as his tools, and perhaps works hard to create success for his business or company. A coach could speak wisdom into a team, creating passion and energy for the athletes. Just the same as a writer inspiring young adults to pursue education, volunteering or traveling.
In the end, we are all creatives. Therefore, we all must have a creative calling. We may not call it a creative calling, but ultimately, we all answer the question in one way or another: What will we do with the things we create in our life?
Your creative calling lies deep within your passions.
Think about what you used to enjoy as a kid. What did you spend hours doing that your parents always said, “alright, why don’t you do something else for awhile?” For me, I enjoyed lots of things–but dancing, arts & crafts and writing stand out the most. Sometimes looking back on the things you loved doing can make you realize why you enjoy your hobbies now. Or maybe you can discover something new about yourself. Life gives us hints to our passions and callings while we grow up, even if we learn about things we don’t like. Take some time to write down on a sheet of paper all the things that bring joy to your life. Write down the things that fulfill you. Then think about what you create with those things. Do you create inspiration? Do you create relationships with others? Stories? Business? Humility? Love?
Your creative calling involves adventure.
I can’t tell you how much I believe creativity and adventure are intertwined. First off, when you explore your own creativity, you dive deep into a journey that uncovers so much of what you are made of. You discover what you can do, what you can write, what you can say and what you can accomplish. More so, you can discover how others around you are making a difference in your life and how you can make a difference in the lives of others as well. Explore your creativity–new ideas are new paths to take in life. Challenge yourself with sharpening your skills–from taking a photography class to practicing yoga. Take your passions to a whole new level. You’ll definitely find some adventure there.
But if you want some more adventure, travel. Pack your bags (or your car) and see a new part of the world. When I traveled around Europe, my creativity expanded so much while I was there and when I returned. You soak in so much of planet earth and so many of its stories that change your perspective and the course of your life. When I came back from studying in Spain, I felt energized, refreshed and inspired to go deeper with my passions and keep those parts of me that experienced different cultures alive and well. Going on an adventure did wonders for my creativity and helped me uncover more of my calling and purpose in life. It goes both ways: dive deeper into creativity and dive deeper into travel, and you can find an adventure of a lifetime.
Your calling will challenge you to surpass fear.
While creative adventures can sound romantic and full of freedom, going toward your creative calling will not be easy. I’ve learned that the things we are most passionate about life are the things we are not completely sure of. Also, having passions tell us that there are parts of this world that do not satisfy us. There needs to be change. We need to overcome some challenges. There will be internal and external challenges to face, but you know what? The world needs the book you want to publish– the one that is only a number on your bucket list. The world needs the winning touchdown of the playoffs game. The world needs your fun Instagram photos you edit and share. The world needs you right here and now, running toward your creative calling with all the guts, drive and force you have. It can be frightening. But how else will we know that what we are doing makes a difference? How else will we know we are coming alive?
Your creative calling isn’t just about you.
When you define your creative calling, it is personal, unique and truly powerful. However, it is not all about you, the artist and creative in this world. It’s about all the other people you invite into your journey. How will you affect them? How will you build communities or relationships with others? How will you help their needs? While it may be enough to share our creativity inside a little notebook we hide underneath our mattress, how will others get to know the true creative spirits of our souls? The things we create are gifts for the world to receive. We are not meant to create alone. We are meant to live, breathe and create in a community. So when you define your creative calling, think about your people. Who fills you up? Who are the people you wish to help in this world? What are their deepest needs that your creative heart can satisfy?
I am still on the journey of figuring out my creative calling and what that means for my life. Some of you may read this and have no idea what your creative passions are. That’s okay. Others may be able to quickly define what they are creating in this world. The very first step is knowing and believing that you are born to live creatively and adventurously. You are here to bring beauty to this world in many visible and invisible ways. That is the magic of it all.
How would you define your creative calling? What fuels you creatively? I would love to know your thoughts and open up this conversation. Let’s have a chat! Also, if you are looking to revive your creative nature, check out my posts, 7 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Creativity or 10 Practical Ways to Pursue Creativity This Year.