Women have been gathering together to create things for centuries. Clothes, quilts, candles, butter, cross stitch, christmas cookies – you name it and women have gotten together to make it. I’ve seen the evidence of this my entire life, but I never understood the significance until recently.
Let’s take one step back first.
There is an undeniable power in the process of creating. Even if your creative exploration is limited to three minutes with your kid’s play dough, you would probably agree. It probably relieved some stress. Maybe you laughed when you tried to make an elephant and it turned out looking like something from a Dr. Seuss book… or something that should definitely not be allowed in a Dr. Seuss book. I am a nerd for the creative process. I’ve spent years observing and journaling its impact on the soul. But one thing stands out to me lately: every time I get in a room with other women and watch raw materials become something stunning and whole, I am undone.
Letting ourselves explore creativity in solitude is essential, but we’re missing out if we never create in the context of community.
Everybody’s all hyped up about community and togetherness these days, and I LOVE it. So, from the journal of fellow gathering nerd, here are 3 reasons I believe creative workshops will change your life.
1. You need to be reminded you are brilliantly creative.
I don’t care what your high school art teacher told you. Never mind that well-meaning, but dead wrong adult who told you creating just “isn’t your thing.” And the Instagram comparison monster? Girl, you know exactly where to send that sucker.
You are creative. Brilliantly creative. I’m not saying you should quit your day job and open an art studio (I mean, who knows, maybe that is your journey!) I’m not saying the creative process won’t feel awkward or frustrating at times. It takes lots and lots of tries before you can make the picture in your head become real.
I just need you to hear me out – the outcome of your creative process does NOT dictate whether or not you are creative. You were made to create. It’s in your bones. Nothing you do or don’t do can change that.
2. Creating next to someone else inspires your own creativity.
You’ve probably heard Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “comparison is the thief of joy.” What if we looked at the person’s work beside us not to judge where we stand in comparison, but to observe and be inspired by what we find? When we use other’s creativity as inspiration (not competition) we can build upon it and make it our own. This is why we’re drawn to collaboration.
3. Creative workshops are way more fun than therapy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge proponent for therapy. My friends know this and they’re tired of hearing about it. But sometimes you just need to get away from your own personal brand of chaos and get your hands dirty. As women, we do so many things for other people. We prepare and plan and work until we collapse into our beds at night. And sometimes, we just need to treat ourselves. To let someone else feed us, give us something good to drink, and tell us to go play.
Have I convinced you yet?? If you take nothing else away from this post, please here this: you are wonderfully creative. I know this without looking at your sweet face because I believe it to be true of all humanity. It is worth it to your soul to take time away from the chaos and let yourself play.
There are many, many ways to do this, but if you’re interested in my next workshop you can find the link here. I’d love to hug your wonderful self.
Here’s a group shot of our fall wreath workshop. Aren’t they all stunning??? (And the wreaths too)
Somewhere along the way as our culture broke free from social pressures to entertain and get family dinner on the table by 5pm, we lost the habit of gathering. We let food become fast and convenient, cooking a necessary evil to outsource. It’s funny how that happens with change. We often swing wide in the opposite direction for a while, working so intensely to steer clear of past baggage and mistakes that we lose the goodness that thing had in the first place. The goodness, in this case, being the joy and downright holiness of the kitchen.
Summer has always been my breath of fresh air season. It’s the time of year I feel the most energized. I shower less, I’m outside more than I’m inside and it just feels like you get a lot more bang for your buck in a day. This year, summer looks a little differently. So I’m on a mission to discover a new kind of summer season. One that still involves breathing from the deepest part of my lungs and soaking in every last ounce of joy from the small things.