Using Jealousy Productively

“Jealousy is a map”.

I’ve read Julia Cameron’s words before and it usually hits me the same each time. Profoundly.

Amber wrote a great article about it here, and Lindsey wrote another great article on this same thought here.

The Artists Way is a life changing book. Chapter 7 is where Julia discusses the jealousy in our creative lives and how to use it for our own betterment. One of the tasks she recommends is writing down who you are jealous of, why, and how you can make positive changes in your life to develop those same things in yourself (thus jealousy being the map of what goals we need to set and pointing us in the direction of self improvement.)

So I sat down, ready to think jealous thoughts :)

Some interesting things happened.

My jealousy didn’t have anything to do with what I thought it would.  It wasn’t a matter of photography, music, or business.

What was it?

Who I was jealous of?

My sister.

Watching her be a mother and wife is inspiring. She lives the everyday in an extraordinary way.

She can cook gourmet meals out of leftovers or food storage, she engages in imaginative play with her kids, she can assemble fun fashions out of random things, she writes profound thoughts, she teaches her kids the value of adventure, and there are several moments of spontaneous dancing that occurs throughout her day.

I however, pour all of my best self and creativity into my business and have no creativity to spare for the other parts of my life. A new recipe for dinner? Wait… fix dinner period? I have no creativity left for it. Build a fort or use my imagination with Buzzy? I already used up that creative energy earlier that morning writing a new photography class!

Yes, I am jealous. I am jealous of the way she lives creatively in the every day small things.

But here’s the thing… the small things aren’t so small.

For it is “by small and simple things that great things are brought to pass.” -Alma 37:6

Thus, I’ve determined a new focus for 2012.

I have one goal: to live a creative LIFE.

REAL LIFE.

The part that doesn’t get blogged, photographed, financially compensated, praised, or likely even recognized. 

A true creative life does not consist solely of an artist and their work.

A creative life is how you approach everything you do.

A creative life is ultimately who you become because of it.

How do you solve problems?
How do you make decisions?
How do you get out of the routine?
How do you teach your children?
How do you use those leftovers in a third variation of a meal?
How do you deal with disappointment?
How do you find time for yourself?
How do you stretch a budget?
How do you repair a relationship?
How do you jazz up a relationship!?
How do you show love?
How do you show gratitude?
How do you play with your kids?
How do you relax?
How do you give?
How do you strengthen your own talents?
How do you not lose sight of who you are?

Creativity solves a heck of a lot of problems! The thought is scintillating to me! I rarely put creativity to work in the areas of life I don’t consider “creative”.

I thought areas of my life were lacking creatively because I had simply “run dry” by using my creativity elsewhere.

But I don’t think that is how it actually works.  Its really a matter of perspective.  Can I use creativity intentionally in all those other areas I’m sorely lacking the spark in?

I deeply want to change this for 2012. I’m hypothesizing here, but I believe that the more creative LIFE we live, the more creative ARTISTS we become.

I’m ready to put it to the test! Anyone want to join me?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  She hopes to include in her bio one year from now that she is a creative cook (wow!) and exciting mother who makes the everyday an adventure.  Resolutions are awesome.

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.

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