When is the last time you learned a skill, read a book in a genre you haven’t before, or played a game or sport you have always wanted to but were afraid to take the plunge into (like scuba diving!). I have found that when I try new activities it unlocks the creativity in my writing, speaking and pastoral ministry. It gives me fresh insight and often ideas locked deep in my subconscious come to the surface when my brain and body are thoroughly engaged in something outside of my comfort zone.
When was the last time you did something outside of your comfort zone?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been watching YouTube videos about building furniture. I’ve always been a sucker for design, especially the modernist stuff with clean lines. Finally, I decided to take action and moved from watching others create to creating with my hands. I have started to set up my own workshop in the garage and got some wood and supplies. No matter how ugly it turns out, I am going to build a coffee table and end tables in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for updates (if it’s really bad I may not show pictures!).
Generally, I spend my time off to read and write. I love doing both, but I have found that these activities are similar to what I do for work as a pastor. Because of this, I don’t have new stories and experiences to draw from, nor do I give my mind a break from the ins and outs of researching, reading and thinking about pastoral issues. It’s time to break out of the rut and blaze a new trail (if only for a few hours in the evening or on Saturday mornings!).
So…what will YOU do to unlock your creativity?
Here are three questions to ponder:
*What have you always wanted to try, but come up with excuses why it can’t happen (money, time, talent)?
*What are the ruts in your free time (Netflix, X-Box, web surfing) that keep pulling you away from something more life-giving?
*Who will help you (lend you a tool, a piece of sports equipment or teach you a skill)?
My coffee table may not turn out as expected, like some of the Pinterest cake fails out there. But at least I tried something new and problem solved using parts of my brain that are usually dormant. That’s a win. Creativity unlocked.
Let me know what you plan to tackle in the next few weeks. Let this be a summer of creativity!