Inevitably, this is a time of reflection. We ask ourselves, what have we done? what are we doing? and where are we going?
That can be particularly important if, like me, you are middle aged. I’ve written about the mid-life transition previously (as explored by Carl Jung HERE) and one of the suggestions he makes is that this period is a time to look back and re discover passions, interests or activities that have fallen by the wayside.
I have both a professional and personal interest in this. I hear many of the doctors I coach share a deep need to discover or re-discover who else they are, in addition to being a medic (and this is the younger generation as well). Passions range from sports, writing books to painting pictures and many more. Of course, all of these outlets are incredibly important to give balance in our life and invest in our resilience, but I’m particularly curious about the ‘creative’ outlets.
Some research suggests that creativity plays an important role in our mental health, but what if we don’t see ourselves as ‘a creative type’ or ‘artsy’? And what is creativity anyway?
If ‘creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness,’ then I’m guessing we’ve all been pretty creatively inventive with the fridge contents over the last few days. For me, creativity is about producing something new, through experimentation and risk, through failure and surprising successes. This improvisation and problem solving is not the sole proviso of the Arts and I believe is an important part of us all.
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” Carl Jung
So, I encourage doctors I coach to invest in this part of themselves as best they can, with kindness and sensitivity. Some people are clear what their outlet is and just need time / permission to do it, others need support in re-discovering what matters to them, or at least what made them feel both relaxed and excited all those years ago.
For me it’s photography. My creative arts degree and passion for photography got left behind 20years ago, but in 2018 I reignited this part of me. It has not been easy, and I will continue to struggle with finding space and peace to explore it. But I know if I don’t try, I’ll regret it. I even had the chance to take photographs at the Leaders In Healthcare conference 2018 and will be possibly sharing some of those images called Looking@Leaders in 2019.
But in the meantime, here is a photograph I took this year that still interests me. And here is my Twitter feed address to track what I’m interested in. @AlexisHutson1
What did you leave behind and what do you need to pick back up?