It’s 6 am and the alarm is screaming for you to start the day. What your alarm doesn’t realize is that you’ve been awake for the past 15 minutes, doing your best to relax as the long list of to-do’s begins running through your mind. As you reach towards your phone to shut off the alarm, your finger moves towards the email icon that sits proudly on the home screen, waiting for you to open it up “just to see” who might be trying to get in touch with you, which articles you should be reading and what topics are already trending for the day. Before your feet hit the ground, you feel like you’re behind.
With this mindset in place, it’s easy to slip into the pattern of go, go, go, do, do, do. You push your emotions down until they come to a boil until, well, if you're like me, you’re waiting on line at Starbucks, and before you know it, the tears are running down your face into your tall soy double-shot macchiato…and you aren’t even sure why you're crying.
If this is you, please know two very important things: 1) You are not alone and 2) It doesn’t have to be like this forever. (Insert sigh of relief here).
When you live life on autopilot, you slowly begin to disconnect from the wise voice within. The voice that is always trying to guide you towards your deepest desires, the voice that has been with you since birth, the voice that is patiently waiting for you to tune in and listen up. Creativity allows you to quite your mind and reconnects you to the voice of your soul.
On some level, most of us know that creativity is beneficial...and yet, we talk ourselves out of it all the time. You convince yourself that you need to be making BIG, beautiful, mind-blowingly creative things in order to consider yourself “creative”, and that’s a pretty intimidating belief, which is why most people never even try to be creative. I’ve got good news for you. It’s not that serious, people!
Creativity is singing a song...just for the joy of expressing your self. It's creating something, anything, with your hands, it’s taking a bubble bath…and playing with the bubbles, it’s playing with your kid’s hula hoop…when your kids are nowhere in sight. Creativity is anything that invites you to stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and connect to the present moment, effortlessly.
Want to get more creative? Smart girl! Creativity is an incredibly powerful tool that is often over looked and under estimated. Other benefits include:
Becoming a better problem solver. As with life, there aren’t any rules for creativity. You simply start creating and see where it goes. As obstacles are presented, you decide which direction is the best way to go.
Experiencing an expanded sense of time. When you’re completely immersed in a project, time ceases to exist. An hour feels like a minute and you aren’t concerned with the outside world.
Saving money. When you don’t feel validated or your desires aren’t being met, it’s easy to walk into a store and purchase something that seems like it could fill the void you feel inside. Instead, creating art allows you to express your desires and validate your emotions without breaking the bank. Cha-ching!
Having a stronger sense of self. Creativity allows you to be you. Whether you are writing, cooking, painting, drawing, taking a pottery class, dancing or singing…the impulse comes from within YOU, which starts a conversation between your mind, body and soul.
Freedom. There is no right or wrong way to create, which gives you the freedom to see what comes through you…it invites you to feel your way through the project.
Stress relief. Creativity is meditative. It invites you to use your body, mind and soul in tandem which sparks a deep connection to self while simultaneously bringing you into the present moment. (HINT: The present moment is where life truly happens. That future you’re so worried about isn’t here yet.)
So the question becomes: Where do I begin?! The answer: Start small. A lot of the clients that I work with suffer from a mix of overachievement and perfectionism, which can lead to an all-or-nothing mindset. The truth is, a life filled with creative impulse begins with small changes in your daily routine.
Here are some very simple ways you can begin to explore creativity in your life (without having to make a commitment of any kind -YAY for FREEDOM!)
Move your HIPS. Shakira was onto something when she wrote “my hips don’t lie.” The body is where you soul lives. You can connect more deeply with untapped parts of yourself when you experience your body in new ways. That voice that lives within you (the one you probably ignore all too often) that’s your intuition. While it can sometimes be a bit intimidating to think that YOU have all the answers, and truthfully you DON’T always have the answers, your body knows more than you give it credit for. CREATIVITY is one path that will lead you back to your inner wisdom, strength and clarity. Your hips contain, quite literally, your babymaker, and house so much of your generative energy as a woman. So, you might notice that connection by moving or swaying; it taps your sexual energy as well as your creativity (get it, girl!). The next time you’re waiting in line, doing the dishes, talking on the phone or even changing a diaper…let those hips sway back and forth or in a figure-eight and tune into what’s coming up for you. Your body is always communicating with you.
Hum and/or sing. Your throat is another very intuitive and creative space, specifically for women. You don’t have to be a “good” singer to benefit from this one, by the way. It's not about being "good," it's about allowing your soul to explore all sides of you through creativity, without worrying about the results. This also carries over into everyday life. Speaking up for yourself takes courage, and when you do, it's often times not because you need to be "right," you speak your mind simply because your truth needs to be heard. Remember, start small. Just start humming again... see where it takes you. Notice any emotions or desires that come up for you as you activate your voice.
Be inspired. Go see a movie, check out a local band, visit a museum or read a good book. This can be especially important if you work in a creative field…sometimes even creativity can get a bit stale. When you see someone doing the kind of work that lights up their soul, it just might inspire you to do the same.
Where ever you choose to begin, take it easy on yourself as you explore the world of creativity. Your body is speaking to you all day, every day…all you need to do is to tune in, listen up and honor her desires.