Has anyone told you? You are a creative person. A thousand ideas live inside you like diamonds waiting to be unearthed, cut, and set. The act of creating; of exploration and curiosity is the essence of what it means to be human.
The thirst for wonder is engrained deeply within our souls from birth: curiosity at the wide world. And Wonder is the father of all great ideas. In spite of all this, however, we do something crazy. In spite of our innate connection to Wonder, we often feel the need for permission to create.
Creative people are sometimes accused of living in a fantasy world, far out of reach of reality. Perhaps you’re one of them. Maybe you’ve been told your imagination is too big for your own good, and you should stop dreaming before you fall too far down the rabbit hole.
As an entrepreneur, blogger, and author, I’ve often been chastised for not choosing a “real career”; for thinking outside the box and making the decision to enter the Perilous Realm. I’ve been looked down on for pouring myself into writing instead of “doing life”. But what if these things—the fanciful and the practical don’t have to be at war with each other?
The most central theme of the holiday season is connection. This is the time of year when we make the most effort to reconnect with family and friends to celebrate joy, wonder, and hope. It’s the perfect opportunity to invest in and strengthen these relationships.
The trouble is, we often get caught up in the whirlwind of expectation that surrounds holiday preparation. We put our focus on creating the perfect gathering to impress our friends, or the perfect gift to surprise someone—and don’t get me wrong, these things are wonderful, but not when they cause us to miss out on actually cultivating our relationships.
I don’t think it’s any secret that the holiday season is one of the busiest, most stressful seasons of the year. On top of the normal stressors we deal with: work, traffic, housekeeping, etc., come the additional factors of managing time, expectations, relationships, schedules, and holiday planning. It can quickly become overwhelming.
Studies have shown that the leading cause of holiday stress is holding unrealistic expectations. When we hold ourselves to these often-impossible standards, we find ourselves drained of energy, time, and sometimes even joy. If we want to truly make the most of this holiday season, it’s vital that we allow our souls to breathe.
We’ve discussed the purpose of Wonder. Now it’s time to talk about the power of Wonder. Its presence is all around us, every day, stirring us; demanding to be felt. Without it, our souls would be parched, unable to create.
The power of Wonder is magnetic, yet somehow intimidating. It’s magical, and yet to fully embrace it—to allow it to carry you into the Perilous Realm—is terrifying, because if you are going to dare to wonder, you must also be ready to let go. After all, this is the call of something wild.
The word “simplicity” is a hot topic right now. It’s trendy. If you’re a minimalist, you’re part of the cool crowd, and you’re doing things right. And this is nothing against minimalists—I tend to be one myself, and I think it’s great—but if we define simplicity as synonymous with minimalistic, we’re missing the point.
Simplicity is not a “trend” to be attached to one specific “lifestyle”. It’s not about having less, or religiously shunning any type of privilege or convenience. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s a lot simpler than that—really.
I’ve talked before about how creativity—the thirst of our souls for wonder and beauty—is a part of us all. It’s something we were born with; something we connect to in our innermost beings. The magic of imagination is not just the talent of a few, as we sometimes tell ourselves, but in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “[It is] the health of every man.”
Did you get that? Imagination is health. Health. And not just for those people we refer to as “creatives”, but for everyone. Something we often write off as a pastime or a mere hobby is actually critical to our mental wellbeing. And not only that—creativity is absolutely vital to personal development and growth for several reasons. When we neglect to foster it, we don’t mature.