There is nothing better in this life than doing what you love. Do you know why?
Because it is a feeling of freedom.
It is the feeling of running through a field of wildflowers, the rush of closing your eyes on a swing set as you go as high as you can; the feeling of play.
You know the old saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While this may not always ring true; as we all know, passion can become work, especially when the pressure of making a living comes into play, but most of the time it rings true.
In my own life I can see this every time I step into the studio to teach, especially when it’s younger dancers there to explore and learn and have fun, I get to play.
When work is infused with play we can access greater joy, and that is really at the heart of all creating.
My husband creates epic worlds and builds incredible architecture on an exploratory videogame world that feeds his creative needs and gives him space to play in a world that tells us all we can do is work. My entire family sits down together at varying intervals to play D&D together where ages twelve to fifty three sit around one table to problem solve and play through imagination.
To live a creative life is to embrace the parts of ourselves that still need play, to acknowledge that play is not for children, play is a prerequisite for growth. If we deny our innate desire to play we deny our need to be creative. For some this comes in the form of hypotheses in a lab or writing a book or making orthotics. There is incredible variety for our capacity to play and create in every aspect of our lives.
Luckily enough for some creatives, classic creative pursuits are their full time jobs, but for others a less conventional form of creativity may suffice. For myself, I always say I’m going back to play in the lab when fabricating orthotics. There is a lot of scientific consideration that goes into the properties of the materials used for various conditions and patients, but the way in which they get put together and the hands on skills of grinding, gluing and shaping orthotics is incredibly creative. I am always grateful when I get to play in
the lab. On the side, I pursue other activities that are more classically creative, like this blog for example. It brings me intense joy to write this content and engage with the readers.
Choosing a creative life, to be conscious of making room for play and creation is a courageous choice, and often a hard choice, especially for those who take on the role of full time creative. It’s about noticing fear, accepting the unknown and doing it all anyway.
We know that play is important for children’s development. Why do we assume that stops because we grow up? A creative life is a life of noticing; of sitting with your curiosity, feeling your feelings and being able to give yourself permission to play in your environment. Joy is at the heart of it all. We may begin creating to process grief or fear or loss, but there is joy in the freedom of releasing our emotions, of finding ourselves in the process and becoming a more fully realized version of ourselves.
Live life with audacity.
Be intentional with your play. If you have the audacity to fully embrace yourself and give yourself room to grow into your creative self, there is nothing in the world that can stop you from being authentic to who you are and giving that gift of honesty to the world around you.
Remember, it’s just another day to dance, to play to create. There is no wrong way to play, there is no wrong way to create. Good, bad and in-between; there is no limit to your freedom to create except the limits we place on ourselves with our doubts and fears.