A few years ago, never would I have used the word “creative” to describe myself.
Creative people were painters, sculptors, poets, architects, designers. That’s not me.
I grew up thinking that being creative or artistic was sort of a waste of time–creativity wasn’t practical or of real value. Creative people were dreamers. I wanted to be a person who got things done!
Of course, I eventually realized this was a dumb way to think.
The other day, I read this in one of Dr. Elaine Aron’s website newsletters: “All HSPs are creative, by definition. Many have squashed their creativity because of their low self-esteem; many more had it squashed for them, before they could ever know about it.”
Reading this was another one of those whooaaaaaaaa moments for me!
Then she writes: “The simplest definition of creativity is the putting together of two or more things that no one (but YOU) would think to put together.”
Dr. Aron, HOW ARE YOU INSIDE MY HEAD?? Again?!
In my adult work life, I came to the conclusion that I enjoy–and excel at–putting together people or ideas. I like trying to find creative solutions to problems. I love connecting two people that can mutually benefit each other. At first, I didn’t realize this meant I was “creative”. And now, Dr. Aron confirms that this is a REAL thing! I am creative after all.
HSPs are good at putting things together creatively because we examine things so thoroughly inside our heads. We notice details, subtleties, and how the pieces to the puzzle will fit together in any possible way.
Many of you may have embraced your creative side from a young age—which is great! But if you are a sensitive person who has squashed your creativity due to low self-esteem–like I did–this is a good time to embrace it and get in touch with it.
In which ways are you creative?
Head over to Dr. Aron’s website to read her original post blog on this topic.
Further reading: Here is a fantastic post from Douglas Eby about HSPs and creativity.
photo credit: *nacnud* via photopin cc
Wow – are *you* inside MY head again? :p lol, as once again this post comes at the perfect time for what I’m ‘going through’ …
Just the other day I was thinking to myself how MUCH I need to find a creative outlet again. I used to have tons! (and like you said, not just your cliché types of painting, etc as I completely suck at painting, drawing and all of your stereotypical artistic ‘activities’), but even just making things – going into nature and collecting some ‘neat’ things that I find, and showcasing them on a shelf – that is a small example, but you get my drift.
One of my most favourites used to be pottery. As an HSP I did actually feel a bit ‘connected’ through making something out of clay (the earth) – not sure if that’s just me (lol), but it was very tactile, and extremely calming.
That brings me to why I thought this – Making art / doing creative things actually calms you (scientifically!) I came across an article just the other day talking about this, how when you’re creating you “get into it” and get into a zone what’s called “flow” (really! look it up 🙂 so it calms your entire nervous system, mind, etc.
Anyways, sorry for the long reply (again!) but I really think it’s important for us HSPs to find *something* – anything you truly enjoy doing that relaxes you, and try to do it as much as possible. There is nothing like that feeling, and I realized lately just how much I miss it. I think it’s essential for us to have in our lives in order to help with the stress we all feel from the outside world (hides in corner) lol
Hi Heather! Wow, you post made me think of something I haven’t thought of in years–when you mentioned going into nature and just finding neat things. When I was a little girl, I collected rocks. I knew a lot about them–iron pyrite, amethyst, granite, garnet, sandstone, agate, talc, hematite, emerald, magnetite…wow, I haven’t thought about these words in so long! I read about them and looked at photos and my dad somehow got me a lot of these rocks and I kept them very organized in a drawer. My most prized possessions were a full amethyst rock, another rock with a tiny piece of emerald in it, and my magnetite (magnetic rock). It was SUCH a STRANGE hobby for a young girl–I mean, I was really young when I did this! But looking back it all makes sense. I was so into the DETAILS…. I digress. sorry.
ANYWAY….I totally agree that being creative calms you! My sister and I paint pottery like twice a year and we both love it. For me it is such a departure from my normal life. Every time I do, I tell myself I should do more things like that.
So are you going to sign up for a pottery class? I remember I always wanted to take a jewelry class or metal working class. Your words are really meaningful to me, too. Perhaps I should add more to this post about how creativity is good for us. Thanks for your comment (which made me ramble!!)
Aaaaah, this is so awesome, I used to collect rocks and ‘fossils’ as a young girl! 😀 Your reply made me literally smile the biggest smile (I probably look like a huge moron, smiling at my computer *haha*! but oh well)
That is TOO funny – I used to be obsessed with rocks and actually asked for one of those ‘rock polishers’ for my birthday one year … Oh, and a metal detector so I could find more ‘treasures’ ***LOL*** (WHO does that?! An 8-yr old girl asking for a metal detector ?!?!!) Most little girls are asking for dolls and things – guess that should have been a little bit of a clue I was ‘different’ way back then, eh? haha!!
Oh, good times, and good memories.
My favourite was ammonite, or anything with the fossil in it… I just couldn’t get over that a ‘being’ was IN the stone (a sign of my crazy empathy way back then? LOL!!)
This post has been awesome. Well we can still have our ‘jewels’, just probably now more in jewellery since we’ve grown up. (speaking of, if you search for ‘amethyst’ on Etsy you’ll be clicking for hours through all the gems… haha sorry for the pun, couldn’t help it :p
Thanks again so much for your reply, it brightened my entire day! 🙂
ARE WE THE SAME PERSON??? I also was obsessed with getting a rock polisher (“tumbler”)!!!! I would look at pictures of them in catalogs (no internet back then) and just THINK about them ALL the time. Who knows what I actually expected to do with it–why did I want to polish rocks, anyway? That is SO FUNNY!!!! I did have some fossils, too, but I was more into rocks and gems.
Dark opals are my favorite stone now, because they have so many colors and change depending on the light. Maybe it’s because I am SO bad at making decisions that I prefer the stone that “changes” color the most–it’s never the same thing every day.
This post makes me smile as the things you say are so familiar! I collected “strange” things as a child and started projects (which often didn’t get finished.. typical HSP?) and have found the wonderful “flow” feeling while painting and photographing.
I just haven’t had time lately but I just might take down the box with colours this weekend and do something creative!
Have a nice wekend!
LoL – maybe this is an HSP trait (never finishing things); I always have the best intentions for ‘projects’, and might even start some! lol, but in the end a lot of the times I don’t actually follow through …I get sort of bored with it, or just onto something else. Which is weird, because I have all the patience in the world, so I wouldn’t think I’m your typical ADD personality… I’m just a weird mash-up of ways I suppose! :oS lol
I do the same thing. I had a half-knitted scarf-type thing sitting around for a few years. FINALLY I finished it a few weeks ago (Had to watch youtube videos to remember how to knit!) and now I basically just use it as a tug-toy for my dog because it’s ugly 🙂 ha ha. But yes, I will get VERY focused on something then I suddenly don’t care at all anymore. I have learned to make myself wait before I jump into something–I wait a couple weeks to see if I still have the fire.
from time to time I have a look into your newest posts and I am always happy when finding a new one, especially this one about creativity. This is why I have put your bloglink in my linklist of my German blog – so I can find it fast 🙂
Here now my story about creativity. Creativity can also be found it the small corners of life – it does not have to be something big…
Two years ago I was on vacation in the Alps for cross-country skiing. It was very nice and I enjoyed the good weather – without one day – there it snowed so heavily that I had to rest all the day in my hotel. So, what to do now?
I took 4 postcards from the hotel and put them together in the way that all 4 writing areas of those postcards where put together into one big writing area (it looked like a windmill). Then I wrote a “big” postcard – to 4 friends of mine who know each other very well and meet quite often because they are doing the same sport. So – as said – I put together those 4 postcards and on the back side I fixed it a bit with a slight tape so I was able to move all postcards around and the form of the big postcards stay the same. Sorry for my bad German-English 😉 Anyway – I started writing and described how my holiday have been in the Alps until now and everything what I have seen and experienced. This I have done in the way that I started writing this big postcard in the upper left corner and wrote in a big circle – so that one sentence ended up in about 2-3 postcards distributed 😉 The circles get smaller and smaller – and at the end I had a big postcard which look like a snail at the very end. To read it you always had to move those big postcard around.
But now the surprise for everybody receiving his/her postcard comes into play. After I have finished my writing I removed the tapes on the back of the postcards and so the big postcard has been divided into 4 separate postcards again. And everybody of my 4 friends get 1/4 of my holiday experiences ;-)))
So one little postcard had just a small excerpt on what I have done on my holidays – this was so funny!!! At home they had first to find out that their postcard is just a piece of 4 🙂 Afterwards they had to found out who else received postcards from me. Then they had to put all 4 together 🙂 Then they copied the content so that everybody gets the final result.
So – this was my creativity on my vacation at a bad weather phase 😉 And it made me lucky because of all those thoughts on how my friends would react on that surprise :-)))
So this was now my short story when it comes to creativity. And Kelly, you are right – those creative phase are motivating us very much. And I now recognize – when I am only doing my regular stuff at home I have to do every day, no creativity beside, I feel a bit demotivated sometimes because the creative part is missing.
So you have now motivated me to bring some creativity inside my daily routine. Let’s see what kind of ideas I get…
So – have a nice day everybody of us and I am looking forward reading again from you, Kelly!
Take care and stay creative,
Hi Julia, thank you for your lovely story, it brought a smile to my face. I can totally see myself doing something like what you did with the postcards. Did they like it?? Sometimes, when I want to do something “creative” or unusual, I worry that other people won’t “get” it. And then I will feel stupid or weird or embarrassed. You know what I mean? I’m realizing that that fear has stifled my creativity a bit.
I am happy that the post motivated you to be creative! Let me know what you end up doing! 🙂 Thanks again for the lovely comment.
oh yes – they liked it reaaaaaly much!!! It is because most of them are creative as well – so I could be sure that they will find out – after a few days – who else get a postcard. They even made copies for everybody – it was a lot of fun for everybody 🙂
Yes, I can understand this feeling of stupidity or embarrassment when somebody is not feeling the intention we had originally 😉 But with the time you know which people understand it quite well…
And what is most important: Creativity doesn’t get lost – at least one can dig it out and so bring it to a new shine.
At the very end you have motivated me to a kind of tidy-up-pyramid. You write one working package of your household (5-15 minutes) on a paper. Then you do it. Break.
In this break you write down 2 things on a paper which you will do next. After the break – do them.
Now you write 4 things on a paper and after the break – do it.
Afterwards you can either again double this figure to 8 or go back steadily to 2, break , 1 and finish.
Now your household looks much more nicer than before.
This is a very good procedure to gain momentum and get motivated to tidy up – even if you are very unmotivated and lying on the couch.
At least it helped me combining creativity and real life 🙂
Thanks for including a link to a post of mine – here is another related one: http://highlysensitive.org/being-highly-sensitive-and-creative/
Great post, Kelly! As Dr. Aron defined it, putting together subtleties is my creative thrill. Occasionally, creativity means rolling up my sleeves for home improvements.
I like the way you said that!! yes!!
Writing is a great creative outlet! I always dreaded writing classes in high school and college, because of course, you’re usually assigned a specific topic to write about, which leaves less room for creativity (research papers were the worst, especially if the topic didn’t interest me). Plus, you have to worry about proper structure, bibliographies and all fun stuff, which is like playing behind a fence. The one class that I loved (and actually paid attention in) was Creative Writing. The instructor just let us loose to express ourselves. It was a blast, and was the first time I discovered that writing could actually be FUN – imagine that!
Since then, I’ve discovered that my best writing occurs when I just let my thoughts flow. Wayne Dyer once said “I don’t write the words”, and being a spiritual person, I love that concept! Not that I don’t take responsibility for what I write, but it’s fascinating to think that our words are inspired by a power greater than us, yet within us at the same time. Sometimes our egos (and all humans have them) can create the greatest writer’s block. Personally, I find writing to be most satisfying when I just let go and let God!
Thanks for sharing, Dan! I actually shied away from creative writing when I was younger because I was raised to think it wasn’t “real” and didn’t serve a real PURPOSE! Of course now I know that is silly. I am glad you found an outlet in creative writing!
I love your articles.
For me, creativity is all about making things. I love beautiful materials and fine tools. I spin yarn, weave and knit. I also love photography and cooking. For a long time (before I found the right circle of friends), people seemed to think it was really strange that “you do all these things!” For me, they are all aspects of the same thing: creating something beautiful and/or useful from the materials that life provides. I try to make it part of my daily life.
A friend of mine recently remarked that I take photos of details that she doesn’t notice and frame them in a way that highlights them. I hadn’t realized that before; I was just taking pictures of things that caught my eye, like sculptural details of a door frame, old iron things with beautiful colors of rust, light shining through the leaves of a tree or reflecting on the stone of a building. If I am noticing things that not everyone notices, it helps explain why I get exhausted after being out in world for a relatively short time compared to most people. This fits in with what I have learned about being an HSP.
I’m trying to learn from this by allowing myself more down time, not just at home but also when I’m out: sitting down in a park and just resting while enjoying the sky, for example, instead of trying to look at everything.
I started writing two years ago. It makes me sad to think of all the wasted years I told myself and everyone else “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!” and actually believed it. I believed exactly as you wrote in your post. Whether we are writing, creating art or just figuring things out and making connections, that is creativity!
All the comments in this article are ME. Just lately I realized I am a HSP. It is good to know that I am actually normal. Everything I read about HSP is ME! It is actually a good trait. I feel I am complicated but simple. It is exciting to know there are other’s out there. Yea to us!
I am totally stuck on trying to find something creative to get lost in. I have had a variety of projects over the years. Lately, I try something and either don’t finish it or worse…throw it in the garbage when I am done. Sadly I have had people in my life ‘squash’ my creative attempts and I think I have lost the energy to even try for fear someone will make a negative comment. I heard about the Renaissance HSP with respect to work. This might apply to our creative outlets as well, and may explain why we jump from one project to the other. Not sure. If anyone has anymore insight into this…please share!