I’ve been talking about creativity a lot lately getting to meet one of my longest mentors, Elizabeth Gilbert…
Author of Eat Pray Love, a book that changed my life and entire frame on self-expression as TRUE courage and contribution such that I have aimed to lead by this same kind of example ongoing in my own life and work.
Yeah, it’s a big deal.
Plus, that upcoming project I have with Irina Leoni, juxtaposing the themes of skydiving and New York City in a creative photo project simply because the idea of pushing that creative envelope inspires us.
Creativity is courage.
Creativity is freedom.
In this month’s Blue Skies Magazine column, I do an even deeper dive into creativity, how it shows up in my own life and the lessons we all can extract from that.
Right on, my friends, as always, I hope something in my musing ends up helping you.
Something you may not know about me is I am a voracious art lover. Both to witness and experience the art of others, and to create in the forms that call to me too.
As I was reflecting for this column it struck me how many things I have in the hopper right now that I’d classify as creative pursuits. Not that that’s good, or bad, or anything really.. rather, simply because it’s a freaking lot, and anything that shows up with magnitude in our lives often is underpinned by worthwhile insight.
So check out this list of creativity I currently see in my own life. I share this not to sound all cool and accomplished or all GaryV hustle-never-sleep, no… rather, I share to potentially illuminate a deeper idea that might serve to shake free any creativity in you that is ready to be expressed in your own ways too.
So here’s my current list, in no particular order:
1. A graphic memoir reflecting on broken hearts, deep healing and phoenix risings with two of my incredible non-skydiving professional artist friends, Sarah Walko and Kirsten Kramer. Interestingly, I wouldn’t call myself an artist, even though I absolutely embrace my creative spirit and drive. I didn’t even know what a graphic novel was until 6 months ago, and now I get to be a part of a deep and beautiful project expanding my own creative contribution to the world in a way I never could have predicted with LEGIT professionals. Damn. I feel so lucky, and at the same time acknowledge my role and commitment to this work as equal to that of my two friends I admire so much.
2. A new podcast/YouTube project with Jason Moledzki. Speaking of people I admire and trusting your intuition on when to say yes… getting a note from Jay suggesting we work together in some form … I don’t know about you, but that was an instant and easy yes for me. From the sides of ourselves that are called to growth, depth, connection and love, built on our parallel foundations in the sport and community of skydiving and all it’s given us and taught us over time too. Definitely yes. As of today, we have ten episodes recorded and more building as the vision and mission become more and more clear through our effort behind the scenes. Actually, if you have a question that you’d love for us answer on the Q&A episodes, please say the word! email@example.com.
3. Funny spoof movies. This is one of my great joys in life. Hahaha no joke. Usually have no less than 3-4 movie ideas in the brain or being edited at any point.
4. This column. Thank you for the space to express in this form. To muse on life and living through my own unique lens for hopefully the benefit of all of us. Coming up on 9 years. Are you f*cking serious??? Wow.
5. Dancing. West Coast Swing is an improvisational dance… when it comes to dance, I have like 100 jumps. I just took a pie in the face because I can hang through whole songs, I can make it to the BFR, and I’m also not going to be diving last and getting there first either. I’m learning and every time I step on the floor have another experience of creating something beautiful from nothing with another person committed to the same.
6. Teaching. Coming up with new education that is impactful and entertaining, both online and in person. This is harder for me in terms of creation, but once I get over the hump of getting something fully together, I feel amazing and can’t wait to deliver it to a group.
7. Fashion. I admit some days I’m in my PJ’s and glasses hanging with Matil, and other days I put together a beautiful outfit that feels like that version of me out in NYC. Fashion to me in many ways feels like art, and absolutely feels like creative self-expression.
8. Comedy. I’m talking about those times keeping my energy and heart open such that funny moments flow easily. Without judgement and fear, with love and lightness, we are free to really laugh at the nonsense all around us in life.
9. Books. A few different ideas on this front. Varied formats.
Obviously creation of any kind takes time and follow-through over time. Some of the things on this list won’t actually be out in the world for quite some time. This is normal. This also isn’t actually what has me most interested…
I often think of life as one big creative project.
Inherent in creativity is freedom.
Inherent in creativity is courage.
Inherent in creativity is challenge and choice and connection and self-expression.
You never know what’s going to work, what’s going to flop, and what’s going to come together in those unpredictable moments where we are met with something happening we couldn’t even think up at the onset. Those unpredictable moments and unparalleled outcomes that mark and make our lives.
I believe in that kind of possibility. And I equally don’t need those life-altering outcomes to occur. The life-altering part is the creating itself.
I hear a lot of people state they are “not creative.”
My take, whether we think we’re “creative” or not, we all are.
Every day life has us choosing. When we bring consciousness to what we create, whether it’s in conversation or on a canvas, that’s all us with a figurative paintbrush on life.
If life is one big blank canvas available to us every single day, and we GET to put whatever we want on that canvas, I call us to the courage we’ve learned and earned jumping out of airplanes.
To look at that blank canvas of our lives, our relationships, our work, our goals, our hearts, everything, and ask ourselves… what do I really want to create?
Then go for it knowing funneling is just as fun and worthwhile as the Mona Lisa of 4-way.