As a creative person, it can be tough to ‘turn it on’ at the drop of a hat and conjure up all those amazing ideas that you’ve had floating through your head during the week. In fact, it can be downright frustrating when you can’t remember them all!
It’s that creative paradox of having so many beautiful ideas that you can’t seem to remember. This is because our heads are brimming with so many thoughts, worries, fears that can subconsciously, yet actively cut us off from the creative current.
Being in flow with creativity can feel like a river of golden energy shooting through every cell! It is the most magnificent feeling and yet one that can be somewhat elusive. I have found ways that not only set the stage but also prepare us to reap the rewards of all that goodness.
1. Pick A Creative Mantra or Quote
When we talk about mindfulness practice, mantras come up a lot: in yoga, in meditation, in books that we read and it’s because words are powerful and words loaded with intention are our calling card to the Universe. Whatever your goal is as a writer, painter, singer, dancer, find a mantra that resonates with it and moves you. Write it down, put it in your studio or on the desktop of your computer. Repeat it as often as you need to and let it wash over you.
2. Carry A Pocket-Sized Unlined Notebook
An absolute essential for creatives of all kinds (not just writers) since this is where you can keep all of your ideas, musings, street names, drawings, jokes, authors, quotes that resonate with you. You can be sitting on the streetcar and overhear someone mention a book that they just read that lead to one of the most epiphanic creative moments of their life and repeat the title to yourself all the way home only to be distracted for a mere moment and lose it. Record all of these nudges and winks that inspire you so that you can continue to relish in them long after.
3. Use a FUN Writing Instrument!
It could be a bright colored pen, a pencil with an exciting texture or even something temporary and messy like a piece of chalk — just make sure you have something to write with. I think your instrument of choice and how you wield it can say a lot about you too! It is entirely a way to express yourself in more ways than one.
4.Warm Up with Some Lyric-less music
We are literally bombarded with messages day-in and day-out. Sometimes the very thing our muse needs most is a little space to breathe. Classical music has been said to boost creativity in what is described as the ‘the Mozart effect.’ In a study with 155 participants, they performed various cognitive tasks either while listening to a different mood of music (positive/negative valence and high/low arousal) or in silence. Results suggested that the combination of positive valence and high arousal, known as “happy music,” heightened the participant's creativity. Pop in your headphones and let your surroundings melt away. This can even serve as a 15-30 minutes warm-up if you find music distracting while you work.
5.Scent Your Space
The more that I work with incense and essential oils, the more their numerous benefits become apparent to me and my creativity. Not only can the scents of Lemon, Cedarwood, Lavender uplift and sooth any creeping anxieties (which cuts us off from the flow of creativity) but they also cleanse and purify our energy too. Using high-quality incense to bless your desk or studio space in combination with your mantra can become an empowering part the creative process.
6. Don’t Accept Anything Less Than Stellar Lighting
Lighting plays so many factors on our ability to sleep, wake, enjoy. Getting to know the light that makes you feel settled and safe but not sleepy is really the sweet spot. Sunlight can also be a magnificent energizer if you’re feeling a little drowsy take your creativity into a park or garden (or just open all the windows wide).
7. Commune With Nature
I really believe that nature is the anecdote to my creative blocks. When I am lethargic or uninspired, I check-in and see when I last lingered mindfully outdoors. As someone who has the mediterranean sea within walking distance from their home, there really is no rhyme or reason other than getting bogged down with household duties or deadlines. With busy lives, we can forget that that nurturing our souls is every bit as important as meeting our word count for the day.
8. Get A Pinterest Account (I swear it helps) !
It sounds kitschy, but I find Pinterest is a really great source of inspiration. You can create a new board for each project or merely cruise around pinning quotes, landscapes, or DIY recipes. It’s an effortless way to awaken those bits inside you that say,’Oh yes I like that!’ which can prompt new ideas and creations. If you’re more low-tech, mood boards are a more realistic option and don’t require heaps of supplies. I find decoupaging can be one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to create a collage of inspiring images with just water and some craft glue you’re off to the races!
9. Brew a Cup (or Kettle) of Your Favorite Tea
There is a ritual to making tea that can evoke total serenity. There is the pitter patter of the water boiling, the strong scent of a rich, loose leaf tea as you prepare a small mound into the sachet and then there is the waiting period. Not too long, not too little, just right. To me brewing tea, is a lot like brewing ideas. I like to make this part of my ritual to remind myself to slow down and to savor these little moments that just for me.
10. Flip Through A Dictionary
I’m a writer so this one may lean a bit towards those with a gift for the gab. I find there is so much possibility and excitement within the pages of a dictionary. New
words! New meanings! I often find it incredibly arousing to spend a bit of time reading definitions, even of words that I already think I know. Learning about the origins of words can be incredibly grounding and invoke great reflections which is why it’s an essential part of my toolkit for creativity!
Briana is a self-proclaimed eccentric with a passion for learning about other people, countries, and cultures, She presently enjoys the creative freedom to write on topics surrounding recruitment, wellness, and design. Fuelled almost exclusively by espresso, empathy, and enthusiasm, you can reach Brie on Twitter @bree_z or on her website.
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