Cultivate a Creative Life

Over the last 6 years, I’ve had this idea that I have tried in a variety of ways and something I would love to grow into a huge community.

It all started with a group of old college roommates. We all moved away from each other after getting married. One to Oregon, a few in Utah, and I moved to Iowa. We wanted a way to stay in touch (this was before Marco Polo). I was big into Pinterest, as were they, but the one thing that bugged me about it was that I was pinning all these ideas and not doing anything with them. I wanted to actually do these things and needed someone to be accountable to in order to follow through with them. So I brought this idea to my friends who were thankfully as eager to give it a try as I was. The idea being: every other week, we took turns choosing 2-4 things we really wanted to try but hadn’t found the time or motivation to do before then. Each of us voted for our favorite and the idea with the most votes was what we did as a group that week. That first year we tried the most random and fun things — apple rose pies, protein balls, painted rocks, DIY wreaths, and everything in between. We each did them at whatever time or day in the 2 week timeframe that worked best for us, and we would text reports on how it went, what we learned (fails and successes), and a photo of our end product. It was such a fun way to stay in touch and fill our month with something new. Something I personally thrive on.

Eventually, it fizzled out. A few years later, I brought this idea to my friends in Iowa and we’d gather together to do a few of the activities in addition to trying them separately at home. One of my favorites was when each of us brought little knick knacks and our own bottle of rice, then traded the items until we each had our own DIY ‘I Spy Bottle’.

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I learned from these two groups that trying something new — or learning something I’ve never done before — brought so much “purpose” into what was usually a pretty boring or monotonous week. And I realized how much more intense this feeling became once I had kids. You spend all day, every day taking care of others — losing that sense of accomplishment from these tasks because they will just start all over again the next day — and your weeks blend together until you feel you have nothing for yourself. I’ve heard this from dozens of my friends; they feel they have no hobby or are too busy or too insecure to try something new.

Now these examples I gave above may seem a little trivial or kitschy to some but just trying new things will give most people a greater sense of accomplishment. And your “thing” can be whatever you want it to be!

I’ve felt passionate about this for so long and so I decided to take this outside of just friends and try to build a community where we can try new things together. Just for the sake of trying them! I don’t know how this will look or work or if anyone will even join but I am so very excited if you decide to join in with me!

The group is called Cultivate a Creative Life

Why did I name it this? I’ve spent years thinking of what I wanted to call these get-together nights. And the words cultivate and creativity were almost always in them.

The definition of cultivate is to “try to acquire or develop a quality, sentiment, or skill”. I love the imagery of cultivating a garden. It takes practice and time. You will make mistakes and will surely fail at times. But the key word in this definition is try. You are cultivating the life you want as long as you keep trying! And sometimes that can feel like too much, but that is exactly what I want this community to be — a group of people who lift you up, give you ideas when you’re stuck, and motivate you to just try or learn something new today!

Now before you say: “oh, but I’m so not creative” or “I’m really not crafty at all”, let me stop you right there. First off: I passionately believe that this is completely untrue. As a Christian, I believe we are all made in the image of God. And God is a Creative Being! He made you, and He gave you a combination of skills that are unique to only you. Your life experiences have also led you to gain more skills and you will continue to learn and improve yourself over your entire lifetime. In order to cultivate anything, you need to have a growth mindset in place of a fixed mindset. Just remember that.

Secondly, being creative is not just about being artistic. You can be creative in your way, whether that is with food, words, organization, finding solutions to any kind of problem, and everything in between. Being creative is defined as “the ability to create, relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas”. Don’t get stuck on the ‘original idea’ wording. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to have a completely original idea and I think that’s totally fine (and doesn’t mean we aren’t creative)! Sure, you may not be as artistically practiced as another, but stop comparing yourself to a completely different person. This is about you and you only. Anyone can be creative and anyone can learn or cultivate that creativity within themself to learn and improve more. The more you reclaim your own creativity, the more likely you can feel like you’re thriving in the life you’re continuing to create for yourself.

Okay that was kind of wordy. All in all, I just wanted to have a space where I can be accountable to the things I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do but never end up committing to them. I’ve talk to dozens of friends who feel the same way.

I would love for you to join my brand new group where you can hopefully find one or more people who have similar interests as you, want to try something new, and will help keep you accountable to it!

Let’s spend less time wishing we could do “this” or “that” and spend more time actually doing them!

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