Special guest expert and Creativity Instigator, Melissa Dinwiddie, is absolutely one of the most creative, multi-passionate people I know. She’s a visual artist, jazz singer, musician, former ballerina… I could go on!
But believe it or not, she calls herself a former “non-creative person”! Melissa’s on a mission to change the conversation on creative expression and play, and she teaches people just like you and me to “turn the creative taps to ‘on’,” so you can live what she calls a “full color life”.
Melissa's creative sandbox community and programs, empower people to reclaim their innate entitlement to creative play. Whatever their creative outlet may be painting drawing making music, garden explore in the kitchen.
Very creative at a young age, then by high school stopped seeing herself as an artist because she wasn’t great at drawing, then the same thing happened to her with music and then dance.
Melissa chronicles quite a creative journey:
Got into Juilliard, but couldn’t dance due to tendonitis, and eating disorder cropped up.
Let Juilliard and went to UC Berkeley, but lost her way with dance and the arts, and went into academia instead.
Creativity started to come up during her wedding plans and eventually found her love for doing arts and crafts, and she started making a little money with her art through client work doing Ketubah art for Jewish weddings.
The Ketubah art wasn’t what she loved to do, but she could make money at it, but then that fell apart which led to hitting rock bottom.
Whether or not you consider yourself creative, every person needs “that thing” that fulfills them.
How following passions, relationships — whatever it is, there need not be just one and sometimes it takes some time, it’s not always “love at first sight”.
For people wondering how to find their passion, it’s important to know that for most of us it’s not a Eureka moment.
We talk about my own story with graphic design and rediscovering a love for it now, as a small part of my life using tools like Canva, creating graphics for the podcast.
Melissa’s serious, but “lighter weight relationship” with her jazz singing — is a way for other people to think about things they love doing, but don’t necessarily want to commit their life to.
How she continues to work to let go of perfectionism, and play with her creative interests and have fun with them and not needing to be “the best” at them. All of her life is better for allowing this imperfection and playfulness in her life.
How things that feel easy and fun just might be the things you should most pay attention to — a quote she heard “the things that come easiest to you and are most natural are your highest value offering” and these are things that really feed you. On the flip side is the erroneous belief that things “should” come easier to you — but many of these things are skills requiring time and practice. And just because they’re hard, doesn’t mean they should be a “stop sign”.
Gregg Lavoy’s book Callings says that “blocks are not blocks to creativity, they ARE creativity”... the blocks are actually gifts to get you to you push through the amazing feeling on the other side.
When you’re a beginner, it’s totally normal not to be awesome at it immediately.
Feeling resistant to something that is calling to you is a classic hallmark of something to in fact pay attention to you.
Ira Glass Taste Gap video.
Something to be aware of is that as you’re learning your ability to see what is possible grows faster than your ability.
Melissa’s “Golden Formula” for finding what you’re interested in is a combination of self awareness + self compassion, which she believes leads to everything good.
Self awareness: Noticing everything around you that works for you, that’s good, that you are interested in.
- Self compassion: Being able to be kind with yourself when you notice these the things that call to you, or that you might need to let go of.