Publisher - July 2023

“Clean out a corner of your mind,
and creativity will instantly fill it.”
—Dee Hock

Let’s give creativity some airtime. The theme of this month’s issue is “Creative Minds” and features mega, talented, creative women and other ways to perk up your life via creativity. However, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people exclaim: “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”

Please allow me to set the record straight: Almost everyone has a creative bone in their body, including you! If you cook, clean, sing (even if it’s only in the shower), parent, garden, read, smoke, you have creativity. Yes, I meant to say smoke; how do you think smoke rings came about? Someone got very fancy and creative with the toxins leaving their body.

It’s time to give yourself creative credit!

My father was creative and artistically talented though he worked in the heavy equipment industry and drove a truck—Mack truck. But, he could rock some school projects! You should have seen my 5th grade Boston Tea Party ship—amazing! I have to tell on my dad here—a very funny story. We were hosting a wedding shower at my parent’s lake house. I put Dad on carving duty. He was to cut the watermelon so it became a basket with a handle—a functional watermelon sculpture of sorts. He began his task, and it was looking incredible. Right before he was finished, one side of the handle broke away from where it joined the main part of the watermelon. All of us took a collective gasp, and Dad said a choice word or two. In all his creativity, this is what I just adored: He didn’t sweat it. He went down to our boathouse, gathered a few nails and a hammer, and proceeded to nail the handle back onto the melon. It wasn’t ideal, but when we arranged a few Gerbera daisies over the nails—his idea—it worked. It was hilarious, and that’s the sort of creativity that makes lasting memories—and makes life work.

The point of my story is to let you know creativity gives you permission to make mistakes and experiment, which is the whole reason many so-called non-creatives shun their creativity: They. Are. Scared. Scared to make a mistake, scared it won’t be perfect, scared it won’t be good enough, scared someone will make fun of them, and so on and so forth.

Throw all that stinkin’ thinkin’ out. Who cares? We have all lived through the pandemonium of Covid-19 and the worst political times in the history of the country. It is time to live!

In today’s busy-ness and high-stress daily climate, I understand it is difficult to relax enough to be creative. Creativity is like sex, you have to give it the right thoughts, atmosphere and space for it to materialize. (Well, you do if you’re a woman.) I have found my most creative thoughts come during my most mindless times, like while getting a massage, taking a shower, or falling asleep. Come to find out, there is something to this mindlessness. In fact, great minds like Einstein and Jobs both thrived on it. They scheduled “No time” into their days specifcally to boost their creativity. According to Steve Kotler, author of the book The Art of the Impossible and TED speaker, “No time” has to do with a quiet moment a person can isolate from the noise and demands of the world. Neuroscience has shown that “No time” has a profound positive effect on creativity and innovation. Basically, it provides the necessary time for your mind to wander to places and ideas that stay hidden among distractions.

Even though I work in an industry where creativity is a must, I have never scheduled “No time” for myself. In fact, with the onslaught of technology, I now fill my shower time with books-on-tape and my beach walks with high energy workout music. I even fall asleep at night listening to ten minutes of my Audible book. I have stolen the little “No-time” I didn’t even realize I had.

So, this all has to change…immediately. I have to change! I need “No-time,” and I need it now! What about you?

I have an idea—Let’s start on July 4th, Independence Day, by honoring the day with independent thought. Wake up an hour before everyone else, find your spot, pour your coffee and get lost in silence. July 4th is a special day that changed the trajectory of America and its citizens forever, so take some time on this day to do the same for yourself. You won’t regret it—Red, white and blue, make the first hour about YOU! God Bless America. Please pray for our country.

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen