our vote for creativity / by ali dejohn

image by  Linda Winski

image by Linda Winski

I, like many of you, carry a heavy, troubled heart. The questions, concerns, fears and disbeliefs are plentiful. I stayed up until the wee hours on election night to find out the result, spent time listening to the media try to analyze it all, and cried listening to Hillary's concession speech on NPR while taking my son to school. I read beautiful articles about how to talk to our children and combed instagram to find uplifting posts {and there were many}. I debated even writing this one, not sure if my thoughts and words will be clearly understood since I'm not in a state of clarity myself, but feel that more than ever, my voice {and our voices} need to be shared and heard. 

It was hard to know what to do with yourself yesterday, wasn't it? For me, it didn't feel quite right being anywhere, but two of the places I did go brought great meaning and purpose back to the forefront of my mind and in my heart. First, I was part of an amazing group of arts organizations who showed up at the Boulder Office of Arts & Culture Summit, each of us previewing what 2017 had in store. It was awesome to witness the powerful nature that art and creativity have in its various wonderful forms and a treasured tool for expression and joy.  Each organization was asked to summarize this in 24 seconds, then share 7 words that described your mission. I chose:  creativity, play, self-care, community, connection, inspired, love. I thought about how would we all feel if we each had more of those in our daily lives. Happier! I spent time making a mobile to go with my presentation and the sheer act of using my hands was grounding, allowing me to get out of my head and into my heart. The worries and what if's melted away at least for a few moments and I was once again reminded of the joy and power of creativity. 

Second, I attended a talk on conscious parenting and cultivating unconditional self-worth by the extraordinary Michael Vladeck. Of the many magnificent messages I came away with, being seen and embraced as the imperfect, lovable human beings we are is absolutely essential for all of us. Can you imagine a world where everyone felt valued like this? My hunch tells me we wouldn't be where we are today and in this precarious situation if we had a country of happy people. It has always been my deep belief that the heart of so many problems stems from people not feeling good enough. Perhaps there is reason for this time we're being challenged, as it's a big wake up call for all of us to take a deeper look at who we are and take action to do the hard personal work to feel truly worthy. It begins with all of us. 

We are searching for meaning and hope. We are asking ourselves what we can do to make things better and actions we can take., and how can we feel more connected not only to each other, but with our ourselves. So many of my friends want and need an action item. Well I have one for you. Try making something. Anything. Wth your own two hands. I promise it will be worth it. As a mom, a female business owner, someone who believes that everyone has good in them, and who loves this country and beautiful place I get to call home, I feel a renewed sense of deeper purpose and urgency in the work I do, more than ever before. I believe with all my heart that creativity has the power to heal our souls and unite our communities. I will continue on the Makerie's path to do my very best to bring joy, connection and inspiration to as many people as I possibly can and it's my greatest hope that more people will nourish this precious part of the themselves, in whatever way is meaningful. I am deeply grateful to provide a platform to inspire creativity, play and self-care. The Makerie will be a lighthouse during these dark days and beyond, welcoming any ship to sail into it's loving rays of light. Our vote is for creativity.