Creativity: Maria Colaco Creates Compassion
Maria Colaco is all about creativity. It permeates everything she does, and she does a lot. Check out her blog, Plus.Lily.Makes.Three, at NewYorkMom.Wordpress.com, where she talks about parenting, fashion, money-making ideas, etc. Check our her modern dance company at MariaColaco.com. She choreographs, dances, writes, does the occasional commercial, and blogs in her spare time. She is an all-about-town mom of one daughter and one dog, and her passion is to feel and express movement in her life and to help others move as well.
To her, movement is creativity, and it can be expressed in many different ways, she says, and with different goals. Dance itself can be "a medium for social change," she says. It can be a form of movement in more than one way. For instance, she is currently developing a dance project based on the struggles of carpet weavers from India's northern Kashmir region. Their fine craft involves working with a material that makes their eyes go bad in eight years, so they have to teach it quickly to those who come after them to ensure the maintenance of the craftsmanship. This piece and others will go into a touring performance that will raise money for three mother-and-children-based charities in India.
Maria is actually from India, and when she was little, her mother would take her to help out at one of Mother Teresa's leper colonies, where a seed was planted in her heart, the seed of generosity and giving back. She migrated to America when she was 12, and eventually married and adopted a 1 1/2 year-old daughter. Unfortunately, they lost that daughter for a year and a half, then got her back. That time was difficult for her; she stopped doing most of her dancing. But when they got their daughter Lily back, she experienced not only a resurgence of the joy of parenting but also a resurgence of the desire to move and create and feel the satisfaction of creating something original from one's own mind. She wanted to "spread the love."
Maria has a quest, and she brings to that quest a unique breadth of experience. She is hoping to take the money raised, as well as some of her dancers and board of directors, with her to India to give to those carefully-picked charities not only the checks but she hopes to begin long-term relationships with these groups to "nurture" them. Nurturing is indeed something she's good at, something that is important to her. To those other mothers out there who want to nurture their sense of inner creativity, she advises them to:
- Make time to be by themselves.
- Turn all distractions—the TV, the computer, etc.—off.
- Just get your hands moving, even if it's with something simple.
Let's all be about creativity. Let's follow Maria's example and seek creative solutions to the problems we see.
Photo at top courtesy of Flickr.