Emotions are the key

The Secret Sauce of Creativity

In Canada we just witnessed an extraordinary display of heart

On this side of the border, millions of typically reserved Canadians placed their emotions on display without apology. Even if you’re not into their music, you’d have to live under that proverbial rock to have missed the story of the final tour of The Tragically Hip.

Gord Downie, the band’s lead singer, was recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.  As a farewell and thank you to their fans, Downie and the band created a very special show. The final one this past weekend became so much more than just a farewell concert. It was an old-fashioned love-fest celebrating how we felt about The Hip and how they felt about us.

Gord Downie moved a nation by showing his heart through his music. Even though I wouldn’t call myself one of their fan base, I was moved to tears as I watched raw emotion carry him away. Most people were.

An extraordinary sad-glad moment of celebration.

It reminded me of Pixar’s “Inside Out”

The animation is a powerful reflection on allowing ourselves to feel the full range of our emotions.  I watched it again this past week and I’d forgotten just how brilliant the message of this movie is. It reminds me to feel it all – the joy as well as the sadness. it struck me in a very different way.

Over and over I hear people preaching the idea of “Stay positive. Avoid the negative.” While I’m definitely a glass half-full kind of gal, there’s an underlying assumption that I had unconsciously bought into. Perhaps you have as well.

It’s the idea that there are positive and negative emotions. If something feels ‘light’ — that’s okay, but if it feels ‘weighty’ – well, stay out of that territory.

As I experience my own sad-glad moment of moving, I’ve changed my thinking about this. The response to the Tragically Hip farewell tour brought it into sharper focus for me.

It’s not the emotions but what I choose to do with them

If I allow fear to stop me, it’s the lack of movement on my part that’s negative, not the fear. I could also choose to be courageous and keep going. If I feel anger, do I allow it to fuel the action needed to change the situation? Or do I chew on it, hoping to ‘make someone pay’?

Same emotions. Entirely different results.

That’s why Gord Downie’s tears and viewing ‘Inside Out’ again helped me get clear on what I felt about moving and to make positive choices. They reminder of the power of showing up fully human.

Sadness is NOT a negative

By only talking about how excited I am about the future, people I care about might begin to wonder if they were really all that important to me. They need to hear that it’s not easy to leave them behind (because it’s not). I honestly don’t know how I could say good bye and mean it, if sadness wasn’t part of the equation.

Harness your emotionsAccepting my mixed emotions also makes me appreciate these last days in our former home. I find myself saying “Remember this”. At the same time, I know I will make new friends, find new favourite places and that, soon enough, our new house will feel like home.

This truly is a “sad-glad” moment. A blend of two colours and an experience I can create from.

Creative folks like you and I need to embrace those experiences that move us. The Tragically Hip modeled that brilliantly.  More than that, we have to be brave enough to share them. Showing up and revealing our hearts puts them on display there to be judged. Scary stuff.

As creative folks, we must embrace and share those things that move us deeply.  As for me, I’m choosing to share fully. To be truly creative I have to experience my life in all its colours.

That’s what I’m committing to in this new life I’m moving into. This journey makes me excited for the possibilities. New experiences. More acts of creativity. More connection. Tinged with a little sadness at what is being left behind.

What are you experiencing these days? Are you using it to inspire your creativity?

2 thoughts on “The Secret Sauce of Creativity”

  1. Aprille,
    Embracing vulnerability is the key to a deepr, fuller life. Revealing our humanity. I heartily agree with this post and love the way you are stepping into your creativity so fully. But in my experience, you always were on that path. Being Real.

    It is “Scary stuff” and so envigorating.
    Thank you!

    “Creative folks like you and I need to embrace those experiences that move us. The Tragically Hip modeled that brilliantly. More than that, we have to be brave enough to share them. Showing up and revealing our hearts puts them on display there to be judged. Scary stuff.”

    1. Thanks Terry. As deep as I try to dive it always feels like just scratching the surface. Bet that’s what keeps us curious and creating!

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