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Photo by Jason Frahm. Click on image to connect to his website.

I love the above photo. A woman in her creative moment, expressing herself so joyfully and colorfully.

I have asked myself the below questions many times throughout my life.

Am I really and truly being all that I can be? Do I believe that I am worthy…that I am enough? Do I feel truly connected to myself, to others? How am I being creative and sharing my creativity? What makes me joyful? Have I let go of the things and people that no longer support me in living my best life?

As adults, and as parents we get so caught up in our work, in life, in getting here and there as quickly as possible, in our baby/toddler/kid, that we forget how important it is to take care of ourselves, to find that quiet time alone to gain clarity and move forward empowered. And these questions can be confrontational and scary to explore on a deep level. The process can be a very vulnerable one…but such a valuable one.

“Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose.” – Brene Brown

For me a lot is down to just getting creative. When I am creative I connect to my joy, and to the light again and all my mind chatter dissipates. The stars align.


Being creative takes on many forms. In the artist sense of the word it is definitely scary to put yourself “out there” for all to see on a canvas. Your heart goes into creating a piece, the colors and forms represent you and someone can breezily walk on by and say: “Oh I don’t like that…what were they thinking?

Creativity takes courage.

Art, writing, acting, singing, dancing, directing, producing, cooking, decorating, working, playing, communicating….the list goes on and on.

Maybe you have not yet found exactly what it is you want to create for your life, or maybe you know already but fear or the infamous, “I’ll do it tomorrow” keeps stopping you? Well, NOW is the time! Whatever it is that you are inspired to create for your life...just do it! I love the title of a book I once read by Susan Jeffers called: “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

I know this is easy to say and I have struggled with fear, and comparing myself to others, and intense procrastination for months/years at at time….But I know, without a doubt that when I actually take that first step in the direction of the vision I hold for my life…it feels wonderfully great and the fear is transformed to fuel to carry me  further on down that path.

Being an artist I doodled for years, painting here and there…until I finally decided I needed to get a bit serious about it all if I wanted to share it – which I did. Still took me a while to get my website up and running, but at least I began to tell people that I was an artist (scary at first) and to talk about it (did I really have anything worthwhile to say?)  I was working in a restaurant around this time and the table I was waiting on asked me what I loved to do. I said paint, and they asked to see some of my work, which I happened to have on my camera that was in my bag. I showed them some photos of my work and they ended up buying 2 pieces! You just never know.


“Africa” – 36 x 36 – Acrylic/Mixed media on canvas, By Annabel Ruffell ART.com

Creativity extends to our interactions with people…with our children and how we play with them, talk to them, how we deal with daily situations, how we deal with the general public, and how we create our life….and we have the power to change the canvas at any moment. We can pick a different color, a different style, a different direction.

I remind myself of it daily…to talk to people, to strangers, to connect, to be open….some days I do, others I just don’t. Some days I just want to run into a place, get what I need and run out and not talk to anyone. I sometimes get that niggling feeling as I am leaving the store or coffee shop, that the person who was standing next to me putting milk in their coffee would have been great to connect with. But I am out the door already and in my car…and it is too late. The moment has passed.

Sometimes our days feel long and stressful and filled with seeming obstacles. This is when I try to take a deep breath and find joy in the little things, like my son singing “The Wheels on the Bus”, or a ladybug landing on my hand, or a neighbor bringing me fresh juice he just made from the garden. Connecting with that joy opens the door to my creativity again and vice versa.

“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, and our struggle for worthiness; but it appears it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” – Brene Brown

What Journey are YOU on?

Please share any story you have about creating creativity and joy in your life!