Jennifer Louden on why you creating stuff matters

Sometimes I read things that just make me think “Yes. This. Yes yes yes yes yes.”

This, from Jennifer Louden, had this effect on me recently because I’ve thought similar thoughts too. How is spending my time crocheting really making the world a better place? What’s the point?

Jennifer says:

I create and I facilitate other women creating because it’s how we know who we are and what we are capable of. Yes, I also create and facilitate creating because is makes me so happy, because it gives my life meaning and joy. And that is essential – that is savoring! – and it’s also astonishingly true that when women claim their creative truth, they stand taller and wonder, “If I can create this, what else can I create?”

I believe that is because as women, creating has mostly been denied us. Historically and personally. In claiming our creativity, we take back what we put aside. Deferred. Devalued. Judged. Maybe it was the parent who said, “It’s not safe to go into theater design; you need a profession you can count on if your husband leaves you.” So you completely deferred your desire to create theater settings. Or you wanted a family and then the cultural story of what it means to be a good mother ate up what time you would have had for your violin, your water colors, your poetry. Or perhaps you are more like me and just never thought you were capable of creating what you wanted to create? Either way, when we retrieve what has been lost and revive it, make it ours for the self we are today, we (re)discover our full blazing immense power.

Of course, it is empowering to spend your time doing exactly what you want to spend your time doing. So many people are denied their freedom, either because of outside circumstances or because they are held back by their own sense of obligation.

If I want to spend my free time doing craft, why the hell shouldn’t I?

We owe it to ourselves, and to others, to live our lives on our own terms. To be a shining example of what could happen if we had the freedom to all be what we want to be.

…to create is divine. Yet it’s so easy to not create. To not venture into the unknown… To think it’s too late. We are too old, too behind. To fall into the resignation: what difference will it make?

Here is what I believe – it makes all the difference. I believe women who create are women who will not allow our planet to burn. I believe we are women who will be strong enough to look at how we are living and be willing to change, and to point the way for others to change, because we know the power of our own voices and the power of creation…

…this weekend I had lunch with three women I have worked with both on retreat in Taos and in the Life Navigation Course. It was almost too much for me to witness the changes that claiming their creativity has brought – and continues to bring. It made my heart beat so fast. And their changes – leaving jobs and places that were toxic, working toward creating work that has more meaning, creating books that will help others – has everything in the world to do with their happiness and shaping a fairer world.

The point of life is to make something good and beautiful in the face of meaninglessness and horror. To not give away your voice to false gods of cool shoes, Facebook likes, fat bank statements or to cynicism, resignation and anger. Rather to keep feeling, keep creating, keep enchanting yourself and others with the power of creation.

To create is to generate. To be wildly questioning and open. And in doing so, to shift the world.”

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