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February 16, 2012

Why Creative Pursuits Breed Happiness in You and Others

Drawing magazine Winter 2012We all know it’s important to cultivate our creative sides, but do we really have the time? And more importantly, do we actually take it when we do?

No matter where you are in life, if you have a family, you more than likely focus more time on their needs than your own. It seems to be the nature of things these days: We recognize the importance of time to ourselves, we talk about it, we plan for it and–every now and again–we get it.

When that time does come, though what do we do with it? Usually we try to squeeze in some exercise, maybe do a little shopping or spend some time with a friend. All this can be rationalized of course, but do you ever spend time following the divine path of your creativity simply for the pleasure of enjoying it? When you do, is it a guilt-free experience? Obviously the answer to the latter for me is usually no.

We have come to a place of universal busyness that often leaves us viewing times spent crafting or writing or singing as guilty pleasures. I would like to convince you (and myself), however, that this practice of exploring the beautiful depths of our imaginations is not just a gift to self but also to others.

For example, when we are full of anger or grief or any emotion that disrupts the normal harmony of our lives, what is a typical suggestion to healthfully cope with this tide of feelings? More often than not, we are told to journal or paint or dance or sing. Exploring our creative nature makes us healthier, happier people. The more ink I have on my hands, the wider my smile will spread across my face.

Opening the doors to colorful daydreams and following through with them makes you more likely to get paint on your shirt for the sake of a curious two-year-old or jump in puddles to test the limits of those new rain boots. Your creative mind massages the rigid death-grip of control over that never-ending to-do list, and it whispers, “Let go and be you.”

So the next time an opportunity arises for you to learn a new craft or to enjoy that ocean of possibility that rests on the right side of your brain, seize it without a morsel of guilt. You will be better for it, and so will I.



About the Author

Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie
Dana McCranie writes, prays, laughs, loves glitter and will hug you even if you try to shake her hand. You can often find her behind her camera, striving to build a photography business. You'll never find her as happy as she is dancing around her kitchen with her daughter, son and amazing husband.




  • http://twitter.com/SummerH Summer Huggins

    Makes me want to stop working and go sew! :-)

  • Anonymous

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!