When Creative Practice Means Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Whatever weighs heavily on my heart is most likely to be spewed across my life, my social media, my writing, my friendships, and relationships. What am I thinking about that is giving life or that is not giving life? I have the power to change those dynamics by changing my mind. In a steady creative practice we can find more of what we think, feel, and believe. We can clarify our ideas and intentions before we publish them. In a way a creative practice can be a mental, soul gatekeeper.

The mind is seems fickle and petulant, but we have choice in the matter of what we think about. We can capture our thoughts rather than be ruled by them. Maybe that’s why people engage in creative practices. It helps us, well me anyway, process life and feelings and deep emotions about things I deeply care about. The blank page can handle my messy emotional expressions. Maybe the painting and cutting up words or gluing papers is cathartic. I’m releasing the tension of what bothers me rather than using words, links, or news headlines to startle and shock.

Our minds are wonderful organs. How are we caring for them? Perhaps caring for and tending our thoughts will help us live with more peace, quiet strength, and calm. Maybe capturing our thoughts and getting to the root of our issue is what enables us to be a voice of hope rather than a nagging nuisance. Maybe that’s just me, but I feel convicted, well reminded really, to check myself before I wreck myself- to think about why I do what I do and how I want to be portrayed or how I want to live out my purpose and calling. Sometimes a creative practice can gently bring us back around to our why. It can reveal our hearts, our souls, and what we’re really concerned about.

Whatever is in my heart is going to find its way out. When I think about this I think: am I using my digital media to empower, encourage, or equip? Am I making senseless noise? Am I problem solving or problem making? Am I causing unnecessary discord? Am I riled up? Am I misplacing my hurt and anger? Am I projecting and trying to make someone else responsible or accountable for my own heart and feelings? Is it helping me live out my why? Do people really need to know about all the things that get under my skin? What do they see when they come to these pages, and does that invite them or repel them? These questions invite me to allow a gentle conviction into my heart that I might be a truer reflection of who God called me to be – an image bearer. I’m responsible for how I live out this life of mine, and as I look over my creative bodies of work, I’m asking myself these things. Does my creative work reflect what I most desire to do in this world? If it doesn’t then I have some changes to make.

I want to gently challenge you to do the same. Ask yourself the harder but worth it questions. What does your creative practice reveal about the state of your heart, mind, and soul? No indictment here. It’s more of a call for you to remember who and Whose you are – fearfully and wonderfully made. Full of light and life. Called to belong and be the beloved. Made for benevolent love and grace. Reconciled. Restored. Renewed. Unfettered. I think about the words of Jesus in the 6th chapter of the book of Luke. He said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart ” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:45‬ ‭NLT). Our hearts are a treasury, a storage place where we produce good or evil. What’s in our hearts will flow out.  

I need these words because they remind me to tend my soul, to guard my heart, and to cultivate kindness and goodness. In essence, I have to check myself before I wreck myself.

By grace for grace, He has shown us how to practically do this. Think on whatever is noble, good, true, right, and lovely. Maybe that’s how we find wisdom and innovation to be change agents. We change our actions by changing our minds and focusing on the good we can do to bring about positive changes. Yes! Let’s do more of that in our creative practices. Let’s be mindful of what gifts we’re leaving across the digital landscape.

Tell me your stories of seeing your heart in your creative life. I’d love to hear them.

In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary, everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.

Share your thoughts.