Friday night, my husband Arthur Lipner held a screening of the first-cut of new upcoming documentary, called Talking Sticks, to an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd in Wilton, CT. It was quite a wild night, complete with Brazilian and African food, dance, and percussion.
The film is about Arthur’s journey to find and express himself through his “talking sticks” (he’s a jazz percussionist playing marimba and vibes – instruments that aren’t well known in the U.S.). It also reveals some stunning lessons he’s learned about life, culture, art, personal connection and creativity, through his amazing world travels and experiences in places such as Ghana, Rio, Mexico, and Norway.
One key message of the film is that each of us has creative gifts and abilities that are waiting to be shared. Many of us display these gifts throughout our childhood, but then life takes over, and we let our gifts go underground and we simply stop focusing on them, much to our sadness and regret later in life.
Much of my coaching and seminar work with clients today – many of whom are highly “successful” in the business world – is around discovering the answers to these vital questions:
- Who am I uniquely in the world?
- What makes me special, happy, fulfilled?
- What would bring me “knock-your-socks-off” joy?
It’s amazing how infrequently the majority of folks I meet with know the answers to these questions. I’d love to do a study of American cultural evolution, and understand more clearly why so many of us in the U.S. have lost the connection to our special creativity – to expressing ourselves authentically, uniquely and powerfully – in ways that make us know and remember why we’re on the planet. It’s not like this in other countries – America is somehow very different in this respect.
If you used your creative gifts as a child, and miss them in your life as it is, I implore you to bring your creativity forward again. It doesn’t require a major life reinvention…it requires focus, commitment, and an “I can do this!” mentality. You CAN fit creativity in your life – and when you do, your life will change for the better.
Despite your skepticism about your abilities, I know this to be true – every person on this planet IS creative. Bernard Woma – a renowned master of the Ghanaian xylophone and leading music educator from the Dagara Tribe in Ghana, who’s featured in Talking Sticks – told me last night that when a child says to him, “I want to dance, but I’m embarrassed – I’m not a good dancer,” Bernard replies, “Bad dancing will never hurt the ground. The ground will not complain!”
How beautiful is that?…
A key question I’d love to encourage you to think about is this: “Do you care enough about yourself and others to share your creative gifts?”
Coaching question of the week: What are the creative gifts you used to LOVE expressing? What latent creative talent is inside you, waiting to burst forth. Creativity is there inside of you, I know it!
Please make 2010 the year that you say YES! to your special brand of creativity. The world wants and needs it.