11 ways to entice your creativity
Recently, I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm a big fan of Gilbert's work on creativity and this book is no exception! It's an excellent read about creativity and it's place in our lives.
At one point in the book, Gilbert talks about a writer who, when experiencing a creative block, would prepare himself to swoon creativity. He'd shave, get cleaned up, and dress himself to the nines and then sit down to write, as if heading out on a date with creativity.
In my experience, I too find that my creative spirit shows up when I show up for it, when I make room for it come in, when I reach out to it and say, "come, let's tango!"
1. DRESS UP
Like the writer in Gilbert's book, I find that putting on clothes that make me feel good and presentable is a small and easy way to show up for my day and my creativity. It's a message to my creativity that I'm here and ready. I pull my hair back, brush my teeth, put on earrings and my favorite essential oil.
I love listening to music and I find that when I get started on any creative endeavor, putting on tunes that make my heart sing is a sure fire way to get the creativity flowing. Moving to that music can be even more effective. It's uplifting. It feels good to move. Who cares if you look silly! You are showing creativity that you are playful and fun and free.
There's a beautiful saying that says singing allows spirit to see you and I love this! Be seen by your creative spirit by opening your mouth and singing out. Sing your creative spirit your favorite song or make one up, even if you don't feel like you have a good voice, sing. No one but the universe will hear you :)
4. BANG ON A DRUM
I recently started using a little hand held drum before setting out to paint or write. I stand and drum a simple rhythm before getting going and the results are astounding. It helps me clear my head and seems to settle me into another wave of consciousness, one that is much more receptive to the subtle language of creativity. It sounds a little out there, but try it! It certainly can't hurt and it's pretty fun!
5. SET THE MOOD
Think about the place where you are trying to coax creativity to come dance with you. Is it bright? Cheerful? Does it smell good? If you were to set up a romantic dinner for a honey, you'd want to set the right atmosphere for romance. You'd tidy things up, set the table, light candles, and the house would smell lovely and warm from your delicious cooked meal. Why not create the same kind of effect for your creativity. I like to open my shades, clear off my table, and run my essential oil diffuser.
6. CLEAN UP YOUR SPACE
I find that creativity tends to find me so much more readily in a clear, uncluttered space. When my studio feels clean and organized, my mind feels calm and my creativity seems to like those conditions. Spend a few moments putting things away before you get started with your creative practice and see how it helps. (Or if you want to go for a really deep clearing of your space and stuff, check out my friend Tenaya's course Clear your Space, Clear your Mind)
7. INVOKE YOUR CREATIVITY
Often at the beginning of a yoga practice, we call in an intention or Om or do some other small act of invoking a state of presence before beginning. Why not do this at the beginning of your creative practice too? Read an inspiring poem out loud or Om or light a candle and set an intention to be open to receive whatever gift creativity has to offer you.
8. CREATE AN ALTAR FOR YOUR CREATIVITY
Create a special little place devoted to your creativity, where you visit often to offer up your gratitude. It can be created simply with a flower or other objects that strengthen your intention to connect to your creative energy.
9. USE THE WATER ELEMENT
Creative inspiration is often described as flow, as a rushing movement that floods through you and out into the world through whichever format you decide to express it. If that's the case (and in my experience, when I'm feeling creatively inspired, that's exactly how it feels) your creativity might get inspired to move through you if you include the water element in your work space. You could do this by listening to water sounds on a nature cd while you work or install a small fountain in your space. You could get outside and work near a body of moving water like a river or the ocean. In other words, if you are not feeling the flow in yourself, find the flow in nature and let it inspire you that way.
10. TAKE YOUR CREATIVITY ON A DATE
Julia Cameron talks about this in her book, The Artist's Way. She instructs people to go on regular artist's dates to explore new places as a way to inspire creativity. I think this is a great idea. A change of scene, especially if it's somewhere new and special can transport you, and your creativity, into a place where you might just understand each other a little bit better. So go check out a gallery, go on a hike, or go to dinner at a new and interesting restaurant and see what new perspectives open up for you.
11. WRITE A LOVE LETTER TO YOUR CREATIVITY
Try this. Open up a blank page in your notebook and at the top of your page, write "Dear Creative Spirit" (or whatever you call your creativity) and then proceed to tell your creative spirit all of the things you love about it. Gush on. Let your creative spirit know just how much you love and appreciate its presence in your life.