So you’re in a creative rut. Or maybe you’re just learning to tap into your artistic and expressive nature. Where do you begin?
Often as adults we have come so far from the free-spirited beings we were as children, before "Life" set in, that it’s hard for us to remember how easy our days used to be, before, when we played as kids. And that’s where we need to be in order to tap into that creative source that brings us new energy, joy and freedom again. So here are five ways to jump-start the creative process:
1. Stop. Drop. And Rest.
Really. Just stop for a while. Sit or lay down. Do nothing. Forget the responsibilities. Forget your schedule. It’s important to feel okay with simply existing in this moment, with no limits on time or expenditures of energy. There is no way you will connect with your creative center if you are focused on outer distractions. It is imperative you take time to be with yourself, whether it’s 15 minutes or 50 minutes. Stare at the clouds, the stars, or your favorite painting. Watch the birds or traffic going by. Just do it.
2. Make something.
Here’s where you get to pull a creation out of thin air. Make a craft. Bake a cake and decorate it. Pull out that knitting that you gave up on three years ago. How about refinishing a piece of furniture or making a garden table out of logs and scrap wood? Even better, don’t plan your craft, follow a recipe or make plans based on detailed instructions. Just gather the elements and begin. See what you can make by figuring out how to do it once step at a time. You might be amazed by the results. You might be horrified by the results. However it comes out, the important thing is that you went through the process and trusted that you would have a finished creation in the end.
3. Dress up.
I’m not talking fairy gowns or witch costumes (unless you want to do that). Start small. If you need inspiration for a task, dress the part. Put on that sombrero, top hat or colored wig in the back of your closet. Do you have a velvet cape in a drawer somewhere? Put on something old or silly, look at yourself and laugh. Make faces in the mirror, and remember how you did this when you were younger. In this exercise, it’s all about forgetting the serious side of life. If you act goofy and experiment with alter egos, you remember that you can be who you want to be, and channel great ideas from that big kid inside of you.
4. Go on an adventure—alone!
The idea here is to go do something you either have never done, or have not done in a long time. It can be as simple as a long, scenic drive in the country, going to a gallery opening, or scheduling that zipline adventure in the forest that you’re somewhat scared to sign up for. Do this alone, because taking somebody else along only results in distractions. The task will help you follow your own guidance, allow yourself to experience the joy, fun and adventure that comes during the process, and realize that interesting and synchronistic things can happen when you step out of your comfort zone and go exploring.
5. Pick one thing you always used to do as a kid, and revisit that phase.
Were you one of those kids who went through a phase of making silly voices or sound effects in every situation? Maybe you spent a lot of time having conversations with an imaginary friend. Or lost track of time setting up elaborate arrangements of plastic soldiers or action figures. Remember what that felt like. The exercise is to recall the specific feelings that you experienced when you were in that phase. Not what motivated you to do whatever it was, but who you were in those moments. Were you pretending to be somebody else? Were you being more of your true self? Take another look at that time and see it for the simple fun it was, as well as for the deeper meaning it gave you. Can you bring those feelings into the present time and create from them again?
Add Your Own Exercises
These five suggested ways to become more creative are not limited. Has following them sparked new ideas about how to open up more to the fun and artistic part of yourself? Continue exploring this on your own. The more you step away from your present routines and explore the hidden or lost aspects of yourself, the easier it will be to access your creativity when you need it.
This article Copyright © Cheryl E. Kraynak