If you are thinking of skipping this post because you think you aren’t creative or you don’t need to be creative, think again. We are born creatives. I firmly believe we are here to innovate, to invent, to say yes to our ideas and share them with the world. Everything we see, EVERYTHING, was once an idea!
You don’t have to be a writer or an artist to be creative. It’s all about saying Yes to that project inside of you that’s been calling your name. I know you are a creative being and please don’t try to convince me otherwise, the fact that you were never good with colors and drawing in kindergarten won’t cut it. I’m talking about something much bigger! We are only truly fulfilled when we embark on a journey of becoming a supporter of our own ideas. And our own ideas are unique, special and are longing to create and make something. Don’t shut your ideas down and forget about them for the sake of a paycheck, of security, of responsibility or the fear of feeling vulnerable to put yourself out there.
There are many activities that involve your ingenuity, original ideas and creativity. It doesn’t have to all be related to work or career, for example:
Planning a party • Planning vacation • Planning a surprise gift for a loved one • Making a handmade something for a loved one • Decorating the house • Organizing • Traveling • Volunteering • Personal projects • Cooking • Writing • Making something • Building something
There are many things we can do to get in the flow of creativity. For the last couple months, I’ve noticed how certain morning ritual activities have sparked my creative abilities. What I mean by spark is:When reaching out for ideas I find less mind cluttered, less of a diminishing chatter percolating in my head.
- When reaching out for ideas I find less mind cluttered, less of a diminishing chatter percolating in my head.
- My imagination is more active and ideas come down streaming unexpectedly.
- I seem to visualize a richer image library of ideas and options, where before I used to struggle to even get one option.
- Doubts and fear have a lower voice in my head. I don’t feel small when I hear them.
- I haven’t felt stuck creatively in very long time.
- Why are rituals good for creativity?
Putting certain routines on autopilot helps with using less of our mental energy. If to that, you add a sense of purpose in the activity, it will become a ritual and its intention and awareness will bring creative benefits such as the ones mentioned above. Believe it or not making tons of small decisions a day such as, what to wear, what to eat, what to work on, depletes our willpower and ultimately leaves us lacking the energy that we need to give to more important tasks, specially imagination, creativity, productivity and just getting into a healthy work flow.
Have you noticed how your best ideas always come streaming down when we are doing mundane repetitive tasks?. We have done them for so long that we don’t have to think about how to do them anymore. Driving to work, taking a shower, washing the dishes, etc.
Creative inductive Morning Rituals
Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way
The idea here is to write everything that crosses your mind until you fill out 3 pages. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not, there is no wrong way of doing the Morning Pages. And they aren’t meant to be read by you or anyone else.
How it helps: I’ve been doing the Morning Pages for 2 weeks and I’ve already felt the benefits. My most accurate description of how this ritual benefits me is: Everyday I feel as if I have no traveling luggage to carry around throughout the day and there is an ongoing energy supply available for anything I want to use it for.
I go running every morning. There are some mornings where I don’t run because I plan to take a dancing class at night instead. I think it is key to choose an exercise you like. Exercising just for the sake of moving only will eventually make you feel the opposite of creative. If you haven’t found how you love to exercise, experiment with an exercise activity that involves community. Where there is community involved there is always potential to spark even more creativity.
How it helps: Exercising just makes me feel like a winner!! And when I feel like a winner believing in my ideas is a given. It feels like the day just starts on the bright side and that train carries me throughout the day. It’s very hard to be down like that. I can see how my self-confidence helps me show up genuinely without filtering my ideas through doubt.
Meditating at least 10 min
My morning meditations have also gotten better due to my morning pages. I try to do the pages before I meditate every morning. I don’t have a special space to meditate most times I just sit wherever space is available at the moment. There are tons of information on meditation online. My suggestion is the best moment to start is always now. Don’t wait another day!
How it helps: Meditation helps me by practicing being the observer and being able to better differentiate my ego voice from my consciousness voice. As I differentiate them, I’m better able to choose instead of reacting or just blindly identifying with my ego. My ego gets really uncomfortable when I create because it likes to judge. My ego is the opposite of creativity, so meditation is key to practice letting it go and choose awareness.
Being in touch with nature
Even though I live a short 10min drive from the beach it’s challenging to spend any time there most of my mornings. So I use my time to run to observe nature around me. Nature is everywhere, it’s mainly a matter of shifting our focus. We don’t need to be exposed to majestic scenery everyday to receive the benefits of nature.
How it helps: Observing nature is a constant reminder that life isn’t about being perfect, life has ups and downs and that is perfect. Perfection is the biggest enemy of creativity. When we go through a creative process no matter what it is we aren’t looking for perfection, we are looking to reveal what comes out and appreciate it.
Working from my living room instead of my home office, or going to a co-working space or coffee shop instead of working from home makes a huge difference. If you work at an office where you don’t have the freedom to change your environment try to do it at home. Plan your next vacation out in a park. Plan your Holiday gifting ideas in a coffee shop. Call friends to get together and paint after work outdoors or indoors.
How it helps: Different settings stimulate my brain in different ways. The spontaneity of new conversations, new people, new visuals, new smells and new circumstances stimulate my brain for new ideas. This just happens automatically.
Taking showers to reach the creative well
I shower before bed and after I run in the mornings. If I don’t run in the morning I usually don’t shower in the morning. This ritual though isn’t about what’s the best time to shower, more over it’s about consciously considering showers as a ritual that can instantly get us into the creative flow. If I feel stuck, a quick shower always does the trick!
How it helps: A lot of times when working from home we see showers as a time waster, because we are so anxious to finally get to our computer and start working. I started seeing my morning showers as an opportunity to reach out to my creative well. And most importantly I started writing down my ideas, especially the ones that seem to make no sense, those eventually are the ones that take me further into the creative process.
There are many other rituals I would like to try regularly. For example, the Artist Dates also from “The Artist’s Way” book. Swimming in the ocean and wearing simple or the same clothes every day.
Have you tried any of these habits or morning rituals yet? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear about how you empower your creativity and make your habits and rituals build your dreams!