The above is my Facebook live class on developing a creative practice and below is a summary of the information. Please let me know your experiences with creative practices, how being creative has helped you and any questions you have regarding the post and/or video. The coupon code I mention for my online workshop/ecourse is 50OFFINTHEFLOW . Enjoy:
*What is a practice? It’s something you come back to over and over, which develops over time. You might have a Yoga asana/Meditation practice, or practice the healing arts, such as Reiki. It is activity that you explore each time you are engaged in it, the depths revealed over and over.
*Who can or should develop a creativity practice? You, of course! Everyone has a Divine Spark within themselves, part of the Great Creator. Your Inner Child is an Artist; Your Inner Artist is a Child. That part of you longs to be nurtured, cared for, and wants your attention. If you do not, then get ready for a tantrum. It may manifest in a chronic bad mood or constantly feeling like you’re “on the naughty step”. Regardless of your upbringing, you are the Parent to your Inner Child and have a responsibility to care for her, and whether you’re 5 or 105, you do have an Inner Child. We are Eternal Beings and that aspect of ourselves lives on.
Even if you don’t think you have innate talent, that’s no reason not to do something creative. You don’t take a yoga class because you’re already flexible- you gain flexibility of body and mind respectively by learning yoga poses and meditation. Likewise, you do not draw only if you already know how to draw or paint only if you know how to paint. You learn the steps that go into these activities and benefit from the journey.
We are unique individuals who are meant to get to know ourselves as we are, not as society tells us to look, act, and feel. Art helps you to do this. We are meant to think our own thoughts rather than only do things by wrote. Acting creatively, boldly, and not by a script allows those individual thoughts to come through more easily.
*Why develop a creativity practice, especially if you already have a meditation/yoga, Reiki or other energy self-healing practice? Because art enters through a path of beauty. It’s doing something that’s “good for you” that you can do because it feels good and not because it’s a discipline that you “have” to do like exercise or eating healthy. It’s enjoyable and motivating to do. It allows you to express subconscious thoughts, feelings, and ideas that may not come up through other practices. The subconscious speaks in images. Words may be misconstrued, but symbols connect deeply to our collective archetypal minds. You are accessing parts of your mind that are different than when you create and follow your inspiration that may not be accessible when you are engaged in other practices. You might need to experience the images of another time and place because of other lifetimes.
It is receptive and active at the same time while producing the “feel good” chemicals in your body and reducing stress hormones. The more you create art, the more you see beauty in the world. You notice details that you might have missed previously- the way a petal curves or the colors that naturally occur together in a flower; the playful way wind moves leaves around on a tree or through the air after they’ve fallen; the drape of fabric in a dress or light shining through a window that illuminates features of objects otherwise gone unnoticed.
*When do you find time to develop your practice? Engage your Inner Parent to look at how you really spend your time. Be self-governing. Are there activities that don’t truly spark your interest that can be eliminated or delegated? How much time do you spend watching TV when “nothing’s on” or scroll through social media when mostly you’re reading complaints and sensational headlines? Those things can be cut down or even cut out, leaving more time for creativity. Are there things you’re doing simply because “no one else will”? Then, it’s time to have a talk with your circle of support, family, and co-workers so that you can delegate some tasks and free up time for you. How much time are you sitting in a parked car waiting to pick up kids or standing at the stove waiting for things to come to a simmer? Though a whole project can’t be completed in that time, you can shift what you’re doing to include doodling, writing a few lines of poetry, or knitting a row on a scarf. Or, if you have a 10 minute window and can run to set something up, a step that has to be completed before diving in, you can select your fabric for a quilt (or clear off your cutting table if you’re like me), get water, paint, and canvas together for a painting, or gather collage papers and get your Mod Podge ready to go. Mixed media is great in this respect because you can do a quick paint/ink wash and then go back to what you’re doing while it dries, or cut out some images while you’re in the school pick up line or after you’ve finished eating on your lunch break. Make designated creative time. Even if you only allot ½ an hour a day, it’s better than nothing. If you realize how important your exercise/meditation practice is, you can start to understand how much you need to work in creativity.
How do you actually implement a creativity practice?
*Acknowledge the importance of your practice– it’s beneficial and healing for your mind, body, and Soul. You feeling good and living joyfully ripples out to those around you and those around them. Your children learn that living juicy is how life is supposed is meant to be. Your friends and colleagues are inspired to find their own creative path. Peace begins at home. Creative thinking leads to positive change throughout life because you are connecting with the Divine rather than with wide-spread mind control efforts of mainstream media and advertising. Resist the “do more to be more” mentality. The ego says that achieving and doing are important, rather than staying present and listening to your heart. Don’t fall for it. Reveal more of yourself to live the best life possible by connecting with your innermost self. Instead of listening to your inner critic, listen to your Soul, which is naturally creative. (If you feel “not creative”, then you are a blocked creative and must invite creativity back in. See Julia Cameron’s “Artist’s Way”)
*Approach your practice playfully, without limits. After all, your Inner Artist is a Child. Dive in, explore, and stay curious. You don’t ever have to show anyone your art. Give yourself permission “to make the worst art possible”. (I got that line from Suzi Blu.) Play is serious work for a child and your Inner Artist is a Child. Your Inner Child is an Artist.
*Consider your art making space sacred; you do not always have to create in a “special alone you space”, but consider a bit of ritual when you create, whether it’s a temporary or permeant space. Make it a sanctuary where you connect with your innermost self. Mine has a lock on the inside and outside. No kids are allowed, though the rest of my life is pretty kid-infused. I even get squirlly when my husband goes in there, though we agreed that some of his things would be stored in the “closet” behind my dance mirrors. 😉
Perhaps set the scene when you create- light some incense and/or a candle (beeswax or carnauba wax are healthier than paraffin). Try some essential oils in a burner- frankincense, myrrh, and cinnamon open the 3rd eye, which helps you see past the illusions of the ego (thoughts that you aren’t good enough or that your work isn’t perfect enough…). Orange boosts the mood and lavender relieves emotional fatigue. All of these are beneficial and supportive of the creative process.
*Notice beauty around you. Take a picture. Make notes. Let it reflect in your art, but most importantly, in the gratitude of your heart.
*Commit to Artist’s Dates– go to a toy store, museum, a book store, or aquarium store and look around, browse, enjoy. Take a walk and collect fallen leaves. Build a box fort. Read for fun in a hammock. Blow bubbles. Do it by yourself without having to concern yourself with another. Let yourself enjoy.
*Commit to self-care– get a massage, take a walk, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of vegetables, do yoga, meditate, journal, write down your dreams, carry/wear crystals, use flower essences, repeat affirmations.
Hopefully everyone caught Mike’s question which led to me describing my personal practice that is much like mindfulness meditation, leading to the state of FLOW. This led me to create my online workshop/ecourse, In the Flow, to help people let go of perfectionism, unleash their Inner Artist, and thoroughly enjoy the creative process. Until November 6th, I’m offering 50% off the instantly downloadable course by using the coupon code 50OFFINTHEFLOW I do hope that you partake of the offer and share the news with friends so we awaken the creativity within as many people as possible and make a better world. Thank you!!