Why nurturing your creativity is so important

* this content was written by me but originally published on Best Kept Self 

As a mom and an entrepreneur, when I get busy, time for my creativity is normally the first thing to go. Distractions are abounding in my world. There are the obvious ones like Facebook or Instaface (my less than tech savvy husband’s name for Instagram). Yet we each have in our lives a set of meaningful distractions, things we value on some level but that need to be prioritized occasionally when it comes to expressing our creativity.

Recently, I had arranged for my kids to be picked up from school one day so I could do some creative writing for my business. Yet, as the time came for them to get out of school, I closed up my laptop and began to get ready to go get them. A mix of guilt and a need to accomplish a task crept in…

“I’ll get them today; I should do that” I thought to myself.

I hadn’t finished what I was working on but it wasn’t due right away and I was feeling low on inspiration. I had hit a creative block and instead of taking a break, I gave up and cancelled the arrangements I had made.

There are no shortages of “shoulds” in anyone’s life.

It dawned on me later that day that as soon as I picked them up I was sucked into a whirlwind of distractions. Snacks requests, moderating quarrels, potty duty and so on. All the things that come with the role of parenting and all the things that I had purposely tried to avoid on this particular day so I could nurture myself!

I realized I was neglecting myself to care for others and the payoff for me was I got to avoid pushing myself to reach a higher level of creativity.

You see it’s comfortable for me to pick up my kids every day, I know how to do that very well. I’ve got sitting in that carpool line listening to 90’s rap down. There’s nothing better than seeing them jump into the car and get excited to tell me about their day. On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than having them fight the entire way home. Yet, I’m very clear as I grow my business that sometimes I need help with that, so I can focus on getting things done.

Once I was able to get clear on the story I was telling myself about what I “should” be doing with my free time, I was able to evaluate to see if It was even the truth. You see I had in my mind that outside of having a full time job, being a good parent meant picking your kids up from school.

The truth is, I feel very energized and awake when I work on my business and my creativity. When I look at my life holistically, I know how important my creativity is to all the other roles I have in my life.

When I am not showing up for myself and my creativity and expression, it’s really hard to show up for my family in a way that’s healthy. Sure, people still get fed and their basic needs met always, but when I’m thriving, my family also thrives. Furthermore, when I feel that expansive energy of creative expression I tend to take things less personally with my family and more patient with my kids.

My encouragement to you is instead of trying to separate all of the different roles you might have you in your life, look at them holistically. Consider that nurturing your creativity, whether or not it’s for your business or just for fun, IS a form of self-care. Further, to neglect that creative side is a subtle form of self-sabotage.

Are there areas in your life that you are neglecting out of guilt or attachment to an old story?

Here’s to paying less attention to the distractions (even the meaningful ones) and more attention to what we want to create!

dope ass stuffAndrea Levoff