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Creativity: A Path for Growth

It is very hard to believe that there is less than a month left of this school year. To me, it seems as if time is speeding up, and events fly by at the blink of an eye. This time of year can be one of very mixed emotions. While there is excitement about reaching the end of a year, for our Grads and leaving students, it can be a time of ups and downs as they consider a new stage or place of learning.

Regardless of why a student is leaving, she is typically seeking a new place for her education. When a family is relocating, they are investigating schools in a new place- seeking to find an ideal match for their daughter. Similarly, our grads are seeking an ideal match- be it a particular program or school. As our girls and families go through this transition each year, there are, inevitably, some disappointments, resulting in a transitional time that feels quite unsettling.

This reminds me of the complex notion of vulnerability about which Brené Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly. Brown defines vulnerability as the willingness to show up and be seen without guarantee of outcome. This is what our girls and families face as they make a transition; while there is never certainty, there is great hope for particular results. Beyond showing up without knowing the outcome, how does one deal with the undesired result- the decline of offer, or the choice that turns out not to be what one thought?

This weekend, I started reading Brené Brown’s latest book Rising Strong. The broad premise of this book is how to work through disappointments to understand one’s reactions, and ultimately to ‘rise strongly.’ This is an important concept for everyone, as life is filled with moments of potential vulnerability. Brown outlines a number of stages through which one must go to learn and grow; however, as I started the book, I was particularly taken with the notion of creativity’s being an important ingredient for growth. I am a big proponent of creativity, and believe strongly that it fosters great change, but had not considered its specific practical use for working through our ‘falls’ in life.

Brown says, “Creativity embeds knowledge so that it can become practice…We’re born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration- it is how we fold our experiences into our being…I’ve come to believe that creativity is the mechanism that allows learning to seep into our being and become practice. What we understand and learn about rising strong is only rumor until we live it and integrate it through some form of creativity so it becomes a part of us.”

As each of us goes through our ‘falls’ in life, it will be important to be creative; to remember to pause, reflect, and integrate our experiences, our feelings, and ultimately our learning into future experiences for growth.

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