Thursday, 1 September 2016

Intro to Create New Things

"If you're alive, you're a creative person."

So argues Elizabeth Gilbert, author of 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear'. The only reason you don't feel creative, she says, is that you are afraid you have no talent or you're afraid to embrace a creative life.

The penultimate resolution for my Romeo Project this year is to Create New Things. Inspired by how often the word 'create' appears in self-help and self-improvement books, I want to spend the month not only flexing any artistic genes I may have, but also creating opportunities, memories, rituals, and maybe even my own traditions.
"A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life." - Elizabeth Gilbert
It's not about art or writing, or even talent. It's about living a full life; living Gilbert's amplified life. Gilbert, by the way, is also the author of Eat, Pray, Love. You know, that movie starring Julia Roberts who travels around the world in search of fulfillment that's based on a book? Yup, that's the one! 

There is so much writing dedicated to how creativity and happiness go hand-in-hand. 'The Scientific Reasons Why Being Creative Can Make You Happier' talks about the strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing. 'The Link Between Creativity and Happiness' says creativity allows us to express and process emotions as well as focusing on living in the moment.

Contrary to popular opinion, creativity isn't limited to drawing or painting. As a teenager I thought it was and without any real talent in those areas, I felt very uncreative. It wasn't until my second year at University that I discovered there was at least one creative thing I could do well - I could scrapbook.
Over the years I have dedicated my spare time to compiling life and travel scrapbooks. There's something soothing and therapeutic about cutting and sticking and arranging for me. It serves as an outlet for my thoughts and feelings, as well as celebrating my achievements, no matter how small they may be.

Around the same time I also discovered that creativity can also mean finding new ways to reduce the stigma around mental health. Whether creating little self-care packs for students or hosting positive thinking events, I learned that there are creative ways to not only cope with your mental health, but also to promote that of others.

Since leaving college it's been harder to find the time and the opportunities to be creative. So this September I'm dedicating a whole four weeks to my inner-artist. I want to combine my fondness for a good scrapbook with reducing stigma. I want to reignite my imagination, unearth new ideas, as well as promote and cultivate creativity and curiosity. Using my blog to catalogue my findings, I want to help people with mental health problems to find a spark of creativity that helps them. And hopefully, it'll be a month of fun as well.

Stay tuned to I Believe in Romeo for something a little different this September.

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