Discovering Your Midlife+ Creativity
There are so many great articles about discovering (and rediscovering) our creativity as we enter and experience midlife. Entering menopause was a great unleashing of art and creativity for me, and once the damns (haha, or do I mean dams) broke open… Well, I haven’t been able to let a day go by without doing something creative.
Some days it's painting, other days (like today) it’s writing. I am learning how to use Canva for video editing tutorials, and on my radar for March is creating jewelry with the Cameo moulds. I have a very long list of all the things I want to do. My studio has about 20 upcoming projects that the eye can see, and stored in the closet about another 20. In my head, about a 100 more as I see the work of other women in the Iron Orchid Designs Creative Tribe on FaceBook. Tiny Painting? What’s that? Decoupage, tiles, sewing, watercolors. I want to DO IT ALL.
I was not like this before 50. My art generally happened in the summertime, when I painted and upcycled furniture in my garage. Then Fall would hit, the cars needed the garage, school would start and my time would be consumed by higher pressing needs.
Between the pandemic and menopause something happened within me. The burning overwhelming desire to create and make and paint and learn took over those other higher pressing needs. (My teens can drive AND make their own dinners now. Heck, they can make ME dinner!) If I didn’t make something, I felt an implosion about to happen. Sitting down in the evening with a glass of wine and painting, stamping, creating stories about the piece pouring out of me became my new norm. I must have a channel out for all these new ideas. If I don’t I will suffocate.
Here are three ways (besides a glass of wine) to help you take that first step:
- Step-by-step tutorials on YouTube. There are so many available and it will be hard to pick. Do you want to try watercolor? Learn how to make Boho Farm shirts? Here is my own personal favorite that I made about Kim the Frog.
- Join a FaceBook group. There is so much camaraderie among creative women. You will find inspiration, resources, and helpful feedback. Also, the compassion and empathy that women have for each other in these groups will help you through your initial and ongoing struggles as you take on new endeavors.
- Just do it. Yes, we have all heard this slogan before, and it’s TRUE. Pick up that paint brush, get your favorite colors and just start painting. Set your expectations so that you don’t expect your first few pieces to be like Frida Kahlo or Georgia O’Keeffe. Think about your art and creating as experimenting and building. Don’t have a fixed outcome for what something must look like when you start.
Finally, make a permanent “space” for your pursuits and passions. For me, this space started as a frame of mind- that I was going to unleash my creativity and honor what my soul longed for, a way to express myself on a regular and permanent basis.
Most of all, unleashing your creativity is about honestly taking stock of pursuits that bring you joy, and then making time for these activities. Self-expression is a powerful force, and your Wise Woman is very creative.
Make space for her, and give her room to tap dance, stitch a quilt, or finally write a memoir. You are being given a fresh spark to light your way through this cycle of transition. Let it be the flash of inspiration you need to feel renewed joy and wonder at all life has to offer. -Dr. Mary James, ND
Drop a comment on your next project and inspire someone!
Blog inspired by “7 ways to unleash your creativity in menopause”