The Purpose of Creativity – Playtime for the Soul

By Judith Waller

Creativity is an essential part of being human. And your purpose in life is to understand and express the gifts that are uniquely yours. Creative play is one of the most nourishing ways you can do this for yourself. It doesn’t have to be about creating works of art — it’s a process of discovering and reconnecting with your true essence. Are you ready to invite your soul out to play?

What is creativity?
The great Italian Renaissance sculptor, Michelangelo Buonarroti, once said:

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

This principle doesn’t only apply to a rigorous artform like sculpture. At the other end of the artistic spectrum, abstract impressionist Jackson Pollock said much the same thing:

“The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.”

Number1A_1948_oil_enamel - by Jackson Pollock — source: MOMA, NYC

Of course we can’t all have the prodigious artistic talents of a Michelangelo or a Pollock! Nonetheless, every single one of us has creative abilities — all we have to do is find a way to tap into and express them. As Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, said:

“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”

Creativity is like a great river that is there for you to explore however and whenever you choose. You can dive right down into the depths, you can float effortlessly along on top of the water, or you can choose to simply sit by the edge and dangle your toes in a little bit.

Through creative expression, it becomes possible to loose yourself from the structured, predictable, intellectually-driven awareness of your ego self, and connect with the free-flowing, intuitive, spiritual side of your nature. As Pollock explains:

“When I am ‘in’ my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about.”

Why is it important?
Creative play is a process of discovery about who you really are. It is a pathway to reconnect with that wild, imaginative, freewheeling part of yourself — your true self. The self that knows no limitations and doesn’t care about what other people think. The self who is sometimes quiet and reflective and profound, and other times loud and passionate and uninhibited.

Think, for a moment, about the way you live your life right now. Do you let that playful, creative self of yours out for some air on a regular basis, or do you keep it shut away because you’re too busy or too tired… or too afraid?

I’m sure you know that each of us has a purpose for being here — whether that be to help, heal, lead, nurture or inspire others. Maybe you already have a clear picture of what your own purpose is in this life, maybe you don’t.

Either way, taking time out to play — in that pure, open and unfettered way that children naturally do — will help you to increase your understanding of, and deepen your connection to, your soul’s purpose.

Through allowing yourself free reign to explore your creativity, just as Jackson Pollock did (regardless of whether or not you like his art!), you enable yourself to let go of judgement and all that second-guessing yourself, and connect directly with your true self.

Let your soul out to play!
So what does creativity mean to you? What is that makes you smile to yourself with delight? Think about those times in your life when you’ve been engaged in some activity that transported you, in the intensity of the moment, so that you lost all track of time and place. Where were you and what were you doing?

What sort of creative play did you do as a child? What sort of things have you always wanted to do but were never game to try? What is it that has been getting in the way for you? What action can you take to overcome these obstacles? You’ll never know unless you give it a go, so why not try it out now?

Don’t let fear or criticism from yourself or others hold you back. As Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, said:

“Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism.”

Know that, just as you did when you were a child, you have the right to have fun and do something just for the pure joy of doing it! Choreographer Martha Graham summed up the value of creative expression beautifully:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”

Today, give yourself permission to explore the flow of the creative force within yourself. Find out what makes your heart sing and moves your imagination to take flight. Go on, invite your soul out to play!

Copyright © 2007 Judith Waller.

About the Author

Judith Waller is a spiritually-oriented professional coach and writer who helps people create soul-fully rich and fabulous lives. Go to to sign up for her ezine and get a free copy of her ebook “Living in Bliss! 10 secrets of a soul-full life.”

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