By Gregg Krech

Think about how often you are part of an audience. You read books that other people wrote. You watch movies that other people filmed. You watch your kids or grandkids play soccer. You watch sports or sitcoms. You read poems by Mary Oliver. Or listen to an audio book on mindfulness.

Everything you’re reading, watching and listening to involved a creative process. A process that probably involved more than one person. You get to witness the outcome. You get to be in the audience.

There’s nothing wrong with being in the audience. You can applaud. You can cheer. You may laugh. Or even learn something. But being in the audience also means that you are basically . . . sitting. You are in a passive state. You are absorbing someone elses creative energy. You are taking in someone elses imagination and experience.

What about your own imagination? What about your creativity? Are you making time to express yourself — your experience, your ideas, your unborn creations?

Let’s be honest. It’s easier to be in the audience. It’s easier to read a book than to write one. It’s easier to watch basketball than to play. It’s easier to listen to music than to write a song.

Well, why not just create something of your own? Why not just add something to the universe? Today. You might start with a 17 syllable haiku poem. Or maybe a drawing. Or maybe you can start that quilt that has been in your mental incubator for years. Or a song melody that keeps popping into your mind at each traffic light.

Don’t pretend that you have no creative capacity. You do. Everyone does. It’s just hard to take the first step when you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Don’t let that stop you. And whatever you do, don’t pretend that you have no time because there are dirty dishes in your sink. Leave the dirty dishes. Leave the dog’s hair on the carpet. Just take ten minutes and do something creative. Something that will wake up your neurons and throw them into a state of chaos. Your neurons need to be shaken up every once in a while. It’s good for them. And it’s good for you. And it’s good for the rest of the world.

Gregg Krech teaches Japanese Psychology and is the Director of the ToDo Institute in Vermont. He is the author of several books and his newest book, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, will be available in the next several weeks. Look for it on Amazon.


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