We have kind of an odd set of beliefs about what it means to 'be creative.' In truth, we are being creative every moment of every day, since each of us creates our own reality. But since most of the time we're creating that reality unconsciously, it seems to us as if we have to do something special before it's considered creating.

Think about being in art class, for example. You're sitting there listening to the teacher, maybe daydreaming a little bit, and then she says to you "create something!" Your mind starts to race as you think about what you might like to create. Maybe a picture, maybe a sculpture, maybe a photograph .. all things that are considered creations in the world of art. The 'creative juices' start to flow and you take the first steps toward making your creation.

But I ask you .. isn't that a pretty limited view of creating? What if everything, absolutely everything, that you do is creation? What would your life look like if you started to take the view that everything you do IS creating? What if you were doing household 'chores' and began to realize that you were creating? What if mopping is creating a sparkling floor? What if putting away the groceries is creating a foundation for wonderful, delicious meals? What if mowing the lawn is creating a beautiful yard? What if driving to work, rather than being a hectic commute from here to there that feels like an interruption to what you'd really like to be doing, is instead creating a journey?

If we can begin to be aware of the creations that we are a part of each and every day, aware that nothing we do is mundane, it just feels that way because we're so out of tune with what we're doing, wouldn't life be a whole lot more rewarding?

For the greater part of my life I've disliked house cleaning. It was a chore and a bother as a child—I never did it good enough to satisfy, it always interrupted something (anything!) that I'd rather be doing, and I frequently got punished for avoiding it. Once into the autonomy of adulthood I decided I just couldn't be bothered. And so here I am today, struggling between wanting a nice clean space to live in and not wanting to "waste the time" cleaning. Mostly I just can't be bothered. So I keep things tidy and clean enough so that I'm not embarrassed to have people over, but I don't look forward to cleaning, and I don't enjoy it when I do it. I do it because it "has to be done." That attitude alone is an enormous waste of time and energy!

Generally, in our society, we think of 'creating' as joyful. I couldn't quite get on board with house cleaning being a joyful endeavor—although I know some do, and I've always been envious of them! One day not long ago I realized that everything I do is creating; that the joy of creating can be applied to anything.

One of the housecleaning duties that I definitely feel are 'chores' are sweeping and mopping. So I decided to try sweeping and mopping as creating. As I swept and mopped the kitchen floor, I became consciously aware that I was 'creating' a clean floor. I started embellishing my creation, and magically the burden of the task became lighter. It started feeling really good, far better than doing this activity with the mindset that I was doing it because it had to be done. I couldn't get to doing it because I love it, or doing it to have fun (although that's a great way to go about it!) but I could get on board with 'creating' a clean floor. After awhile I began to feel like the Karate Kid—wax on/wax off—and I have to say it was the most rewarding kitchen detail I've ever pulled.

It's not easy, continually remembering that what I'm up to doesn't have to be broken down into "fun things" (what I want to do) and "chores" (what I dislike doing), instead it's all creating. It takes being aware that we are creating in every moment, bringing that creative effort into everything we do. Like "oh, what else could I do to add to my creation?" To me it's worth the effort. I realized that I can be as artful as I please when I look at everything I do as my creation.

There's a freedom, and a different way that energy moves, when we are creating as opposed to blindly, or unconsciously doing, especially when what we're doing seems like a chore. Whatever we're doing, whether that's sitting in heavy traffic, doing a project for our boss, dealing with angry customers, stacking firewood, paying bills, doing dishes, cleaning gutters .. it doesn't seem mundane or annoying when we are creating as opposed to just doing.

Next time you're doing that thing that makes you bored, or makes you fume, or when that annoying person cuts you off in traffic .. what will you create?

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