I recently decided to ring about martial arts lessons for my daughter, after seeing a local paper article on an eight-year-old girl doing really well. I decided it would be good for my daughter’s confidence, self-discipline, and fitness. Unfortunately the man on the other end of the phone told me I was being a little over-enthusiastic, and my two-year-old daughter would have to wait another few years before she would be old enough for classes.
But, he said, perhaps you could do a class instead?
I have to admit, it was something I’d been thinking about, but had never gotten up the nerve to arrange.
So I did it.
I turned up on the first night, and there were two people who started at the same time as me. A five-year-old boy and a ten-year-old boy, all of us nervous and not sure about what was to come. I was one of only two adults in the class, plus our Sensei up front. Not exactly an auspicious start.
The three of us spent the entire class trying to keep up with the moves that others around us were doing so proficiently. I got to the end, and realised I’d really enjoyed it. I was a little concerned about being the only other adult, but decided to go again. And again. And again. In fact, I love it, and have been going regularly for about six months now.
Recently I went to my first grading. I’ve never been so nervous in my life, but I was thrilled when I passed and was given the certificate and my yellow belt at the end.
Some weeks it’s physically hard, and I’m sweating and bright red in the face by the end. Other weeks it’s about learning new moves, and I have to concentrate and focus on what I’m doing. But every week it’s something new and fun, and it takes me out of my comfort zone.
It also helps me to think about the world in a slightly different way. And if you want to add creativity into your life, then that’s vitally important.
I think one important way to encourage creativity is to take yourself out of your normal life, and to change things up. Someone once said that creativity is the ability to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar, and that’s exactly what you should aim for. Get yourself out of your rut, and try something new, meet new people, and see what happens.
So look around you, find something to do that will take you out of your usual routine. It will make you look at the world again, and maybe that new perspective will be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.