On a summer afternoon in 1988, my best friend and I dragged our Red Flyer wagon up a steep hill, its wheels clacking and occasionally catching in an inconveniently-placed pothole. Inside the wagon were the crafts we'd stayed up all night to make, sewing by lamplight.
Until nearly dawn we'd sat on my bed making samplers, sachets stuffed with potpourri, and other crafts and knick-knacks to sell to the neighbors around the lake. Going from door to door, we'd knock at every single house. When some patient person answered, we'd show them our wares, and, if we were lucky, collect 50 cents or a dollar in exchange for our efforts.
We called our business Scents for Cents (because of the potpourri-stuffed sachets), and through it we made enough money to stuff our 10-year-old pockets. Taking our spoils to the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ, we'd buy funnel cakes, greasy slices of pizza, and palm readings from ladies who sat at folding tables and shouted their offers to passers-by.
This was our absolute passion. We loved every moment of the sewing, of the giggling together by lamplight, of the experimenting with new things, and of endlessly iterating.
I had other childhood passions, including writing, painting, drawing, and reading. I pretended to teach my stuffed animals, and even the family's pet dog as he cooled himself in the hollow under a bush on the side of the house.
All these passions, when i think of them now, point towards what I currently do. I create things that have never been created before. I paint, I draw, I teach, I write. And, oh man, do I read. Inside me, at that young age, the sprouts of what I would one day become were already flourishing.
The same is very likely true of you. If you look back to your childhood, chances are good you'll find early evidence of what currently lights you up today, even if it comes in a different form.
If you're unclear on what those things might be, try reflecting on some of these questions:
1. What were your passions as a child?
2. What lit you up?
3. What could you do for hours without stopping?
4. What did you have to be pulled away from?
5. How did you feel when I did it?
6. How much of that is still in you life now?
7. How did you make time for creative play when you were younger, even when you were busy?
8. How could you recreate some of those circumstances now, in your current life?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions is very powerful, and is an invaluable resource for finding your way towards both your current passions and creative needs.
Because your internal creative landscape is yours and yours alone, you alone have the key to it. Reflecting on your past very often yields insights that can help you in your creative life today.
So look inward, and look to your past. Look to all you've been through these years on this planet, and how your creative work has served you.
Find what lights you up, and to find how to get it done by mining the most important resource you've got: your innermost experience.
In the meantime, if you'd like to try a different sort of reflective experience, why not try out Visual Journaling? These classes are designed to help you get in touch with your inner experience, move into your creative flow, and wake up parts of you that may be lying dormant.
Learn more and sign up for the next class over here.
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And, as always, free, motivation-sparking Co-Creation Time sessions are going on twice weekly. Join our fun, friendly group of creative people from around the world to build momentum with your own creative work and get stuff done.
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