Whether you’re a writer, a painter, a gardener, a builder, or someone who loves cooking, creativity is an ember that lives within us, just waiting to ignite.
For some, this ember is familiar and tended to often. For others, the ember rarely gets stoked.
Navigating daily life within a complicated web of societal dos and don’ts requires energy that can drain even the most dedicated creatives.
We access our creativity best when we are in a calm, openhearted state. But we can also access creativity when we feel stuck, and use it to soothe ourselves.
Creative flow is real. Anyone who has ridden the wave of creativity can attest to coming out the other side feeling whole, exhilarated, alive and at the same time utterly spent.
A creative state allows us to lose ourselves and find ourselves, often simultaneously. But if it feels so good, why don’t we spend more time in it?
If you’re reading this, you likely want to tap into your creativity more often because you know the value of doing so is high.
As someone who writes and creates to process my experiences, I know that creativity is my lifeline. It enriches my life and makes my toughest challenges bearable.
Here are 3 methods I regularly use to tap into creativity with ease. If they resonate with you, give them a try.
As easy and clean as it might seem to think our way into a creative state, we are better off getting in touch with our emotions. Our feelings are our superpower.
I have found the work of Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, to be a transformative guide to moving through emotions to get to a core state where creativity flows with ease. Hilary is a psychotherapist and researcher who has extensively studied the science of emotions. She recommends the Change Triangle® tool for emotional health to guide you from a place of disconnection to your true self. According to Hilary, “being real, or authentic, just feels better. And it leads to all sorts of good things: connection, compassion, calm, creativity, courage and confidence.”
Anyone can use the Change Triangle® to get reacquainted with core emotions like joy, anger, sadness, fear and excitement. It’s intended to help us see that when we don’t allow ourselves to feel our core emotions, we can get trapped in our defenses. We can also get caught up in inhibitory feelings like anxiety, shame and guilt that mask our true emotions. It’s only by allowing ourselves to see and feel our core emotions that we can settle into the openhearted, authentic state where creativity lives.
You can learn more about Hilary’s work and the Change Triangle® on her website. Once you get the hang of it, it is a helpful method to move through emotions that may be blocking creativity.
When I am out for a run or walking my dog, I get flooded with creative ideas. While I am moving, I can write an entire article in my mind without any effort at all.
Moving our bodies activates our feel-good endorphins and eases stress. There is something about it that shakes up the stagnant energy that can block creativity.
Whether you lace up your shoes to go for a run or walk, or do some light stretching or deep belly breathing, something shifts when you consciously choose to renew your physical energy. Allow the movement to ignite the creative ember that lives within you. There is no need to overthink it: simply move and be moved.
I believe that when we combine structure with creativity, we make magic. Being creative draws on a different energy than being analytical or structured. But structure gives us the organization and form to allow our creativity to flow freely.
If we are disorganized and overwhelmed, the chaos can sever our connection to creativity. But if we carve out time to plan ahead and organize our daily lives, we can reserve blocks of time for our creative endeavors.
Our strategies for creating structure are as unique as we are. Perhaps you have a set time that you go to sleep or wake up. Maybe you organize your time and appointments digitally, or on paper. Use a system you are most likely to stick to.
I created a paper planning system that gives me a Sunday ritual of organizing my week. I use this system to reserve blocks for creative time. That’s what works best for me.
Use a structure that can encompass all your details and to-dos so you have the mental space to be present and calm throughout your day. This sense of organization will help you step into your creative state with ease.
Article originally published on emilymadill.com