We all have what it takes to feel and be more creative in our lives. You probably think of creative folks as artists of some kind, crafty or musical by nature, but this is far from the truth. Creativity is most related to doing something in a NEW WAY, or simply living with an openness to seeing what life has for us in each moment, even when that moment seems like it’s going against us.
A great example comes from my job coaching to hundreds of clients during the economic downturn of 2008. Some clients were open to new ideas about the search involving looking at not simply getting a job as success, but instead looking at new options for making their job search a true growth experience. These were the folks who researched key people in their field to speak to and followed through with this. They thought outside the box and brainstormed with me about how they could involve themselves in their fields aside from simply sending out resumes. As you can probably guess, these are the clients that grew leaps and bounds in the process of looking for work. Most found jobs, and those still searching FELT SO ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS that this alone rewarded them with new confidence, momentum and positive attitude. Growth happens from doing something new and challenging! That may be the biggest way in to more creativity. So here are some ways to get started…
- Following the above example, THINK OUT OF THE BOX!! How can you add spice to something you don’t enjoy doing but have to accomplish? Thinking out of the box involves looking at something from a different perspective. How might someone who loves doing this approach it? For example, I used to dislike doing the laundry, especially putting everything away. After putting on music as something different, it got my body moving in between the putting away. Now I look forward to this time to really get into my music, which I don’t always have time to do. This is a simple example, but used to show you how one change led to the positive.
IF you are at a job you don’t like, what would someone who wanted that very position love about it? How did you feel when you first started? Try on a different view to get out of your old mindset. WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY THAT IS NEW AND DIFFERENT? Besides creating joy, this is quite likely to stir your creative side up. Trying anything new makes us feel alive and helps us discover new paths in life.
- An oldie but goodie, get involved in the arts. Try doing a creative task such as drawing, painting, acting, singing or dancing. Do it for the learning experience with an open mind, not to become great (although this could happen in the process!) Can you take a class, a workshop, or simply do this with a friend or by yourself for fun? Why not? You really have nothing to lose. If you feel stuck getting started, you can use the process to get unstuck. Writing or painting about your feelings at the moment can lead to some momentum. I once felt stuck with a painting and focused on the stuck place which led to creating one of my favorite pieces!
- Get outside! Simply sitting on the beach or overlooking a mountain view and taking in the sights and sounds can be inspiring as well as healing. The key is to focus fully on your senses and take it all in. Inspiration and calm lead to an open mind and heart, key for feeling into creativity. IF you can move outside, this an added plus. MOVING ALSO INCREASES EXPANSION OF THOUGHT, coming from the increase in positive feeling hormones called endorphins. I suggest taking at least an hour of outdoor time each day if you can, it will add new light to your life.
- Be a child for a day! This was a breakthrough for a recent client of mine. She really allowed herself to recreate many of the things she loved as a kid and had not thought about for years. Playing with clay, swinging and jumping on a trampoline were just some of her special fun activities. What would yours be? Giving ourselves permission to nourish the kid inside of us is essential to being creative. Take time to access your inner child by asking what he or she needs from you most? Is it simply a playful attitude of fun for the day, or is it a specific activity or place being craved? Sometimes being around kids can help as well as animals. If you have pets, when was the last time you really played with them with full attention? IF you don’t have them, going to a shelter or zoo can bring out the child in all of us. Are you near an amusement park? Do you have a bike? The list goes on. Bring out your inner kid and have fun, fun, fun as your goal for the day!
- Other people can inspire us through their own creativity. How about a local concert, art show or museum. Most communities have free events that bring these options to you. If not, can you travel within a short distance to see something of interest? Even a good movie can do this. Attending an event where there will be other people can be most inspiring, as being with a group brings you into the community. You never know who you may meet, whether you attend alone or with a friend. I strongly suggest looking in your local paper as well as utilizing the power of google to see what is around you. Soak up whatever sparks your interest. Even local high schools have good shows that can inspire. Again, the options are endless, just start where your interests are.
The takeaway is that once you start on a path to feeling more creative and therefore, alive, the momentum builds, and you will soon be on a roll. You will also meet others of like mind. A basic is to do anything different and new for a surefire way to gain positive energy. That leads to more of the same. Act now and thrive!