Last weekend I spoke at the Caregiver Forum hosted by Share the Care, Inc. an organization that provides respite for caregivers and adult day care. Their Caregiver Forum weekend was scheduled for the week Irma hit and four of us local artists planned to lead sessions on improvisation and communication closing with a team keynote that focused on the arts and getting engaged.  But Irma shifted our plans by a month and I was the only one left available.

I’m often leading while being led. I think that’s mostly the way it is when you lead; the message comes back around to you.  But this weekend was different. These were my people in a way I hadn’t experienced before. When I lead creativity sessions it’s often for other creatives and we connect on the foundation of our work and our experience with doing what I call corporate creativity.  Or I lead trainings for nonprofits and HR departments on team building, creativity, inclusion, diversity, storytelling or branding. I connect with those groups based on a shared passion for team building or brand expression.  But these folks didn’t know about my work style or my writing process.  They knew about my day.  The minute by minute. The repeating instructions 3 times in a row. The can-you-please-not-eat-all-the-food-for-the-week-in-a-day Thursday afternoons. The seriously-enough-with-the-stacking-of-the-empty-water-bottle-Saturdays.

I led an improvisation breakout and gave a keynote Creative Caregiving. I shared exercises and ideas on how to find your own personal creativity and how to connect with it. My message to my peeps and therefore back to myself was: your creativity is your respite care.

Creativity is yours. It’s a spa date. It’s a connection to the divine. It feeds you. It restores you. It’s all yours.  So, find a way to retreat into your creativity every day. 10 minutes! Remind yourself of your essence. Explore your ideas. And come out renewed. Find that respite for your soul and you’ll be as joyful this little band of exhausted, yet energized, caregivers.