My issues with perfectionism can often sidetrack my creative side. Why create something if my expectations of what I desire it to be might possibly be unmet? I have thought of that often as I try to make excuses not to create and the truth that I continue to run into is this: It is in creativity that my soul is fed and I am connected with my Creator. It is in creating that I don't just touch paint or paper or yarn or food but that I touch God. And, it is in creating that I enter a place of conversation with God in a way that cannot be expressed through words or traditional prayer.
There are times that I find it hard to start creating something new. In this struggle I have found that the important task is not in what I create but that I do. I must start somewhere. It might be as simple as opening my journal and jotting down a few lines or sketching a handful of shells I found on the beach. It doesn't matter what it is or the size of the project. I just need to start.
The outcome of creative practice is not always a beautiful one, nor is it something others will always appreciate or understand but it is sacred. My prayer is that you and I might be brave with our creative practice, let go of our own fears and expectations and take the time to create something every day for our very souls.
For a long time I struggled with being busy, never stopping, burn out and feeling like was was unable to catch a breath. And while this can still be true today; I have found that having a hobby can help with this. Now I know that it might sound strange that adding something will help me slow down, but just hear me out.
My wife and I both work in ministry at the same church, and for three years we were living together in a 600 Sq Ft apartment, while working together, and also going to seminary together. That's a lot of together, we know, but we made it through. I was also just simply A LOT! When we got home from work for the day, we were unable to do anything else but sit down and get to work on class. Once we finally both graduated, I noticed that we still seemingly hadn't slowed down. While we didn't have an entire part of our lives that we did before, we had somehow unintentionally filled it up with a lot of little things.
What I realized is that work took over most of what was left empty from school, and while that isn't all bad, I found that I was lacking anything else in my life. When I talked with people, I only had one thing to talk about, and when I thought about things, there was only one thing to think about.
It was then that I decided that I needed to try out this practice of "A HOBBY." Basically this is something, usually unrelated, to your work that you don't get paid to do, but you do it because you enjoy it.
At this point we had just moved into a house and out of the apartment and I had just inherited a lot of my grandfather's woodworking tools. So I built a dog house for Shalom, our new dog. I have to admit that I over built it with double isolated walls, wall to wall carpeting, and complete with a name plate. But it was after building the dog house that I realized two things. One, I had found my hobby, wood working. And, two, that I needed to find a way to do it much cheaper as wood turns out to be very expensive.
Our landlord had left a wood pallet at the house, so I decided to try working with pallet wood. I built a bench and haven't stopped since.
HERE IS WHY I THINK EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A HOBBY
1. It helps you be more creative: I find that I no longer just think and dream about work, I have something else to make my brain think differently, and I have had many 'Ah Ha' moments about my work while enjoying my hobby.
2. It allows you to have a different sense of personal accomplishment: I work as a youth and young adult minister for my career and while it has amazingly rewarding moments, I never get to see a finished product and only sometimes get to see huge changes because they often happen later in a person's life. So for me, it has been very rewarding to walk into my workshop and take a pallet and turn it into a finished product and to see someone enjoy it.
3. It makes you more interesting to others: While this was not the goal of my hobby I find that people become very curious and want to know more about it and my life. Too often when people hear I am a minister, they stop talking or close off, but this has created a new place to relate to people which I really love.
4. Hobbies allow you the freedom to say "NO" to other things: I am able to say "no" to the little random things that end up filling up all my time but really aren't needed. Ex: Instead of binge watching TV shows, I create with my hands.