Have you lost your creative flow? Re-start your creative adventure with these simple steps.
You are a creative individual. Whether at home or at work, you don’t settle. You set higher standards for yourself and your family. Driven from within, you strive to improve. You seek new solutions to common everyday problems as a parent, writer, artisan, driver, designer, chef, decorator, conversationalist, mentor, and friend. The dance of the creative process moves you and lifts your spirits in ineffable ways.
Modern life, however, commands your attention. Turbulent times brought on by new communication devices, market volatility, the drive to succeed, and the continuous responsibilities of daily living block your natural creative flow.
Awash in the current of day-to-day busyness, overwhelmed by the tidal wave of meetings, phone calls, text messages, and emails, you unwittingly forfeit your most prized asset: your creativity.
With distractions abounding, how do you avoid drowning in the sea of busyness?
Carve Out Creative Space.
Modern life doesn’t support creativity. The more technology we have, the more distracted we become. The human mind favors a quiet space to create. Set up the conditions necessary for a creative, inspiring environment.
• Block off sacred “creative time” on your calendar, and honor that time like you would a doctor’s appointment or an important meeting.
• If you’re “creating” at your computer, close your email program and shut off your cell phone—and the ringer on your landline, too.
• If possible, shut your door to mute the distractions of other activities.
• Plan escapes from your usual work environment. How many creative ideas come to you while staring at your computer while in your office? Perhaps there’s good reason why great ideas get sketched on paper napkins in coffee shops.
Welcome the Wanderer.
Reflection need not be the exclusive enjoyment of poets and artists. All creative work requires an inner space for the mind to wander aimlessly. Occasional periods of reverie allow thoughts to incubate and form new connections, yet the value and significance of this reflective state is not acknowledged in modern culture. Our fanatical focus on constant activity stifles creativity, leaving the “Wanderer” no room to explore.
Learn to simply stop and listen. Appreciate the innate beauty around you; feel grateful for your existence. Seek natural surroundings. Hear the chorus of rustling leaves, the cadence of people walking. Find your inner center. Allow your thoughts to sink into the ocean depths. Welcome the Wanderer and his creative renaissance back into your life.
Elevate your Consciousness.
Psychiatrist and consciousness researcher David R. Hawkins, author of the bestseller Power vs. Force: The Anatomy of Consciousness, reveals that creativity comes from a higher level of consciousness. The works of creative geniuses tend to be aligned to powerful energy fields, the same fields associated with love, gratitude, and devotion.
How do you elevate your consciousness to align to fields that induce high-powered creativity? Live by basic spiritual dictums: Be kind to everything and everyone, including yourself; revere all life; approach all of life with humility. Devote time to something greater than yourself—your family, a loved one, humanity, or divinity.
Problems are the life force of creative endeavor, not the enemy. Without problems, we wouldn’t innovate. We have a tendency, however, to resist problems. Learning to let go of our resistance to problems allows us to harness creative tension. Learn to love the “unanswerable” questions. Embrace failure as a launching pad for success.
Revitalize your Physical Energy.
The relationship between creative endeavor and physical energy is often understated. How can we expect to produce creative work when we’re sluggish or stressed?
• Take a break. Get up and stretch. Move. Stagnation hinders ideation.
• Breathe deeply and consciously—especially during your creative time.
• Drink water throughout the day. Many of us live in a continual state of dehydration. Physiological stress induced by dehydration makes it difficult to focus and think clearly.
• Sit up straight. Slouching collapses your diaphragm and leads to shallow breathing, disrupting the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide needed for relaxation. Before you know it, lethargy sets in and a nap becomes more desirable than creative work.
• Pay attention to your blood-sugar levels. When you feel your brain “check out,” have a piece of fruit, an energy bar, or a handful of mixed nuts to give you some energy.
Praise the Muse.
Creative geniuses generally don’t take credit for their work; instead, they credit a “higher power” as the source of their inspiration. William Blake called it “Poetic Genius.” Puccini said his greatest opera Madame Butterfly was “dictated to me by God.” Both Brahms and Beethoven appealed directly to the “Creator Himself.”
Creative individuals need not wrestle between the polarities of false modesty and overt narcissism. If your thoughts aren’t personal, can you take credit for them as “mine”? Humility is the trademark of creative genius—available to all, accepted by the treasured few. So praise the Muse, not oneself.
Champion a Positive Attitude.
In our culture of cynics and critics, the creative individual must guard his creative space and the rituals that support it. Naysayers ignorantly block the manifestation of creative thoughts.
Rise above pervasive negativity to a domain where few travel. The domain of optimism is often barren of people, yet bountiful in creative inspiration. Creative ideas arise from minds that allow them.
This doesn’t mean optimists can’t also be realistic. Practical optimism serves an important function in ideation when combined with patience and perseverance. Trust that you’ll find creative solutions. Transcend negativity with a simple smile.
A positive attitude may not make you popular with certain family members, friends, and colleagues, but it will help you foster a Creative Life of greater fulfillment.
The Creative Life is calling you, and an ocean of potential with untold treasures awaits. Be the creative soul courageous enough to sail its waters and tame the aquatic beasts that rule the domain of busyness, demands, and delusions. Everything you need is within you. Your creative adventure lies ahead.
Scott Jeffrey, strategic coach and author of Creativity Revealed: Discovering the Source of Inspiration, shows readers how to tap into the source of creativity and harness it for greater personal and professional success. Visit www.scottjeffrey.com.