Exploring Happiness, Creativity, and Compassion
June 3, 2019
Week 1: Exploring Happiness, Creativity, and Compassion
We are so excited to start our Study Group with this talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf! If you haven't read or listened to the talk yet, click here!
We're going to start the week off with our first guest writer! Rio Grange is the brilliant woman behind Work + Wonder, the original General Conference Workbook. We asked Rio to share with us her thoughts on Elder Uchtdorf's talk, and tell us about her thoughts on creativity and compassion! We are basically obsessed with Rio and the spirit she emanates, and we know you will love her too!
Creativity and I go wayyyy back. In my earlier years, we got along quite well. We came up with plenty of hair styles that were sure to be the only of their kind, for better or worse. We felt it was necessary to create birth certificates for all the “lost” toads we found throughout the neighborhood. And creativity also helped me discover ways to convince my younger sisters to help with my chores without them even realizing.
Killing creativity with COMPARISON and COPYING
It’s no wonder kids enjoy a natural flow of imagination and creativity--they aren’t wasting any time comparing their friend’s blanket forts to their own! In fact, they’ll probably try to find a way to combine them into one epic clubhouse!
What changes? Why do we look at our friend’s blanket fort, and suddenly see ours as “totally lame” or “not even cool”. Community is eventually replaced with competition, and our ability to think creatively is thrown out the window. OR, we now try to force our creativity with the new found motive of being “better” or “more” than the other person.
Without even realizing it, we’ve set the bar so high for ourselves, using the measurements of other’s successes, and the pressure sets in. We eventually find that keeping up with this new standard is hard, so we choose the path of least resistance and just let go of originality all together and simply mirror someone else’s behavior, choices, and lifestyle.
Creativity is lost because we forgot we were even capable of it in the first place. We began to listen to the voice that said, our blanket fort wasn’t good enough, when actually it never had to be, because it was never a competition.
Sparking creativity with CONNECTION and COMPASSION
What if you’ve found yourself caught in this trap? What if you and Creativity aren’t getting along as well as you used to? How do we spark that relationship again, where we not only believe in, but LOVE our own authenticity? If you Google it, you might find the most common answer is to get outside! And while I agree with this wholeheartedly, after reading Elder Uchtorf’s words, I think we can add another meaning--get outside yourself:
As we lose ourself in the service of others, we can rediscover our innate ability to create and inspire! Elder Uchtdorf reminds us, “In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness.”
We will not find the creative freedom and inspiration we are seeking by only looking inward, we must also look outward and upward.
I find it so fascinating that in reviewing what halts or sparks creativity, both involve thinking about others, So what is the difference?! Why does noticing others have both the power to thwart and inspire creativity?
It is in how we are seeing them, and then how we allow those thoughts to affect the way we see ourselves. Do we suddenly feel less than, focusing on our lack because of their strength? Or are we inspired and encouraging of their successes? “In this you emulate the Savior, who, though a king, did not seek position, nor was He concerned about whether others noticed Him. He did not bother to compete with others. His thoughts were always tuned to help others. He taught, healed, conversed, and listened to others.”
It is a beautiful cycle that comes full circle. Creativity and compassion go hand-in-hand, one igniting the other, and both leading on a path of discipleship towards pure and true happiness. I’m so thrilled to be on the journey with you, you are truly something magnificent.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Rio! Make sure you go and follow her on instagram, @work.and.wonder, and plan on getting yourself a beautiful General Conference workbook in the fall!
Creating and creation are divine gifts given to us by our Heavenly Father. Here are some scriptures that show examples of His creation. Mark some (or all!) and write your thoughts on creation and ways you can create in your margins.
- 2 Nephi 2:14
- Mosiah 4:9
- Ether 3:15–16
- Doctrine & Covenants 14:9
- Moses 3:7
In our “Come, Follow Me” manual this week, it says “As I abide in Christ, I will bring forth good fruit.” Think about how your creativity and compassion changes when you are spiritually charged, verses spiritually depleted.
- Are you more likely to create when you abide in Christ?
- Are you more likely to serve others?
- Write your thoughts in John 15:4 on how inviting Christ in your life affects these things.
From time to time, we like to spotlight a member of our community! We ask them to send us a page of their recent studies, and what thoughts and feelings they had while recording those impressions! This week, we are hearing from Stefanie Steck (@bujo.blessings)! If you'd like to be featured in our weekly newsletter, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
"The temple has become one of my favorite places to be. Being a convert, I never thought I would be considered worthy to enter into the Lord house, but in 2014 I was able to be endowed, and sealed to my amazing family. I love this page in my Doctrine and Covenants, as I read about the first temple it reminds me of my first temple experience and the testimony I gained. I hope that as this book is shown to my family members in the future they will be able to feel the Spirit and love the temple as much as I do. Being able to share my testimony in simple ways, while trying to be a little artsy, means so much to me and I am very grateful that I am able to within my beautiful scriptures."
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