Those of us who live or have lived with the problem of addiction in a relative or friend know what it means to over-utilize the left side of the brain. You know, the side that controls thinking, logic, analyzing, keeping things in order and figuring things out. We come up with hundreds of “if only’s” and plans that we think may work to help those we love to achieve abstinence. All so that we can have order and control in our lives.
Our left brain works well for many of us because we have used it so much. However, our plans and schemes do absolutely nothing to ensure that our loved ones will stop using no matter how much we think about it, how many plans we implement, or how much we try to find a reason for the usage. Sound familiar?
The pleasure of creating can transcend reality and provide a respite from the worry and problem solving we think we need to do, when living with using people.My grandpa used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” And while that is true to some degree for many things, it certainly wasn’t good for the perfectionist I had become at an early age and from which even now I am still recovering. Have you ever wondered what would happen to the right side of your brain if you put even half the time into using it practicing as you put into left-brain activities?
Creativity is just one function of our right brains. Right brain activity also includes intuition, feeling, and imagination. I often hear people say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” I would argue this is not true. Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to develop and grow. And we all possess this muscle.
There are hundreds of ways to be creative. You don’t need to be an official artist to do so. While painters and writers are certainly creative, so are cooks, gardeners, woodworkers, crafters, musicians, storytellers, and bakers. The medium they utilize to express the creativity is just different.
From as far back as I remember, I was creating. It started at an early age when on Saturday mornings my mom would turn the pantry over to me and I would bake. Believe me, not everything turned out edible every time! My sister and I used to cut, paste, and draw things for the bulletin board we had in our kitchen. Every season and holiday had a unique display. We also sang songs in two or three part harmony with our cousins. I have tried decoupage, stenciling walls, flower arranging, gardening, many different biscotti and hot dish recipes, as well as soap, lip balm and bath salt making, painting rocks, photography, and making greeting cards.
The process of creating is a meditative state for me; it’s part of my 11th Step practice. While I don’t necessarily get lost in every creative endeavor I attempt, there are those in which I can busy my creative mind for hours—even losing track of time. The pleasure of creating can transcend reality and provide a respite from the worry and problem solving we think we need to do, when living with using people.
While we can’t live in “la-la land” all of the time, there is nothing wrong with escaping through creativity every now and then. When I am creating, there is no room in my brain for overthinking and planning. Time flies. I am totally in the present moment. I feel relaxed and more connected to myself. As an added bonus, I sometimes give away or sell the things I make.
Take a chance at creating. It doesn’t matter what you attempt to make. It doesn’t matter if you are good at it or not. It’s the process that’s important. Don’t spend too much time figuring out what kind of creative activity you could try. Just do it and keep trying until you find what clicks for you.
Written by Julie E. Please send your 1st Person story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated on March 27, 2021