Posts tagged creativity

We hear a lot about “finding balance”. The balance between work and life, parenting and couple stuff, balanced eating, drinking, exercising, thinking, BEING. Even I’ve talked about helping people find balance.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…

There’s no such thing as balance.When people say they are looking for balance, they often want it all – an immaculate house, a perfect relationship, amazing parenting skills, while kicking all-the-ass at work. I’m telling you, that kind of balance is not possible (unless you’re rich and you pay someone else to do most of this for you). This is especially true when you’re doing your big, meaningful, creative work.

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Your city needs your art

Something incredible happened in Baltimore last week. In the face of injustice, the city came together like never before. We knew about the disparities - the "two Baltimores." We acknowledged it, sometimes. We discussed it, sometimes. Some of us volunteer or work for organizations year round that support the betterment of all. Some of us live it every day.

But when we all watched as people fought back en masse against the tyranny, when we saw how much pain our fellow citizens were in and how the rest of the nation was once again poised to shake its head and look down upon Baltimore, we took to the streets. Some helped clean up; some marched in solidarity; some stepped up to volunteer in staggering numbers.

I've had discussions with many of my creative friends and clients in the past few days. I've read lots of posts and watched video blogs from others artists in the community. Many have done some incredibly powerful artwork already: photography, illustrations, poetry. Even Prince was inspired to record a song.

Others seem to struggle with the question - "How can we, as artists, help?" I've heard a common feeling of uselessness - stuck with the empathy that naturally comes with being a creative person, and the self-doubt that seems to plague many of us.

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Crazy or just creative? How mental health can be a matter of perception.

Ever stay up all night working on a creative project? So excited, it's all you think about, you obsess over it and have trouble focusing on anything but. You can barely sleep - IT'S JUST SO AWESOME! Ever feel terrible when your play, show, or art opening was over? You sink down, and often think "I should be happy, but I feel awful. I'm SO sad." You can't do anything and you just want to sleep.

Sadly, when some doctors and parents see this in children, they diagnose them with bipolar disorder or ADHD. And it seems to fit the bill: states of prolonged mania or hyperactivity, sometimes followed by states of depression. It all seems unmanageable and to an unwitting parent, it is probably very frightening. So kids end up on drugs like Ritalin or Lithium and often abandon their creative activities. Meanwhile the "disease" is still not gone, just "managed"... for the time being.

Creative adults usually understand the inevitable ups and downs of creative work. Sometimes they're hard for us to handle and we HATE those times when we can't think and create. But gifted children and their parents, teachers, and doctors don't see this roller coaster as "normal" (whatever that means). So they end up on really serious drugs for perhaps no good reason, other than to make those around them more comfortable.

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