Do you feel more alive when you are doing something that is creative or expressive?

Are you drawn to write, play music, craft, paint, design, decorate?

It’s important to allow your inner artist to be free.

We are born into this world being who we truly are and then the world happens to us.  Each person is infinitely amazing and creative in their own way. But then something happens and people begin to tell us what we’re good at or what we can and cannot do and it shapes our beliefs about ourselves.  Fortunately, we can change this by not focusing on ego and focusing on being the creative beings that Universe has blessed us to be.  

Being creative is critical to helping us be better problem solves and better overall in our lives.   Creative people are better able to adapt, live with uncertainty and allow life to unfold. Being creative doesn’t mean you’re going to be the next Picasso; because you’re not.  You’re you and you are filled with ideas and ways to express yourself. Creativity can entail writing, singing, painting, drawing, plating food, developing a new recipe, decorating your home, planting a garden.  Anything that helps you express your passion and true self. 

Additionally, there is research that shows that being creative has added health benefits.   Being creative reduces negative emotions, stress, and anxiety, and can improve medical outcomes.  That’s the reason so many people are engaged in Art Therapy as a means to be well. So set aside some time and space to allow yourself to be creative. It will improve your health. 

Exploring and Practicing Creativity

Plan, Explore, Schedule, Play

Remember it’s about the process and not the product.  Focus on exploration and enjoying what you discover about yourself or your new creative endeavor.   Here are ways to plan for explore and schedule opportunities for creativity in your life.

  • Write a poem each day
  • Start each day with writing “Morning Pages.”  Julia Cameron suggests getting up 30 minutes earlier each day and write 3 pages in long hand; stream of consciousness.  The pages are way to get the clutter and chaos out of your brain to free yourself so that you can be creative. These are not to be read or shared. Consider starting with an affirmation and then just writing. 
  • Painting:  set up a place with your paints, brushes, canvas/paper and schedule time to just paint.
  • When walking notice all things beautiful (for example look for heart shaped rocks, leaves, moss, etc) it will activate a different part  of your brain and bring you into the moment; not to mention joy.
  • Write and journal
  • Plate your food to look like something in a magazine …use the good dishes and cloth napkins. Set the table
  • Schedule Play: Play is an important part of every being’s development.   Play is a physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective. Play can assist in self-awareness and self-development.  You are never too old to play. Also, providing yourself the permission and kindness to have unstructured time is key to well-being.  
  • Make a list of 25 things you enjoy doing.  It doesn’t matter if it’s been years since you’ve done it. Then make a date and do it.  This is a good go to list for setting your play dates for yourself.   

Take Five – This is an “as fast as you can” activity for each topic below.   Basically, just list five: hobbies that sound fun, classes that sound fun, skills that would be fun to have, silly things you want to try, and things you used to enjoy doing.  This can be done alone or as a quick activity with a friend or family. Julia Cameron encourages us to be as quick as we can because this about being spontaneous.

photo credits: Tim Mossholder, Tim Arterbury, & My_Life_Journal

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