>My friend’s mother, Ruth, was way ahead of her time. She was a free spirit long before it was fashionable. Ruth tried a conventional upper middle class life but it just wasn’t meant to be. As a divorced woman, she set a remarkable example for her three daughters of how to listen to your inner voice and follow your passion. And this was 30 years ago when Ruth was 35 and “New Age” was just being born.
I loved a lot about Ruth. She taught me volumes about individuality and passion, but what had the greatest impact was her unwavering support of individual creativity. She used to teach art to seniors at retirement homes and I recall how she would pass out paper and colored pencils and before anyone drew anything, Ruth would walk around the room and put an “A+” on the top of every paper. Then, with her mischievous smile and joyful delivery, she’d say, “Okay, you’ve already got your grade. Now draw.”
It was masterful and always accomplished the goal: to remove judgment, release inhibitions, and permit creativity to flow. It was brilliant…but it got me thinking about why it was even necessary.
The vast majority of people around the world say we believe in a higher power. Whether it’s within a religious, spiritual or scientific framework, we as humankind none-the-less acknowledge the existence of a Creator or Creative Force from which the material world emanates. If your belief is religiously or spiritually based, then you believe you were created in the image and likeness of that Creator. If scientifically based, then you can prove that exactly the same elements are the foundational building blocks of everything that exists. So whether it’s Creator or Creative Force, we pretty much unanimously agree that it all begins with a creative act of which we are but a part.
If we originate from creativity, then it follows that we are each composed of some aspect of that creativity. If we are each comprised of creativity, then we can each create. It’s that simple and that’s the point.
Every single individual, every unique human being, has the capacity to uniquely create. We do that by combining the energies from which we originate with our own unique configuration of DNA. We co-create. Whether its art, music, flower arrangements, software or relationships…each of is is fully equipped to co-create.
Unfortunately, from early on in our lives, we are discouraged from uniqueness and creativity. We are instead guided and herded into conformity and replication. After a while, it becomes harder and harder to remember that we are creative beings by nature, so most of us spend our lives trying to re-discover that which make us unique.
That’s what I loved most about Ruth. She led by example. She not only gave everyone permission to draw but, by the way she lived her life, she gave each of us permission to be the uniquely co-creative individuals that we inherently are.
She was also a mystic and a psychic. A few years ago she “dropped her body” and “went home.” I remember years back we’d talk and laugh and she’d say that after she died we’d have a signal of some kind set up to see if it was possible to communicate after death. We never got around to actually doing it and, although I do think I clearly hear her in my head sometimes, I can’t be certain about what that is or where it’s coming from.
What I do know for sure is that she’d give me an “A+” for this piece.