Why not plan to take 20 minutes at a gallery or at a coffee shop every week to enhance your creative mind? Treating yourself like an artist – not just a taskmaster – can add so much joy to your life, no matter what you do for a living.
To become a more productive, creative person the key is in those little mental shifts in attitude and slight changes in how you spend time – they will make the goal a reality. To get started, try these seven ways to help you increase your creativity in everyday life.
1. Make a creative date
Write it in your calendar and honor it. No excuses, no exceptions. If you treat this like any other appointment you wouldn’t cancel (doctor, hair, massage), it will give you a creative sense of purpose. Thus, it will make you more creative. Guaranteed.
2. Do something badly (seriously!)
Go somewhere alone, and dance as inelegantly as possible. Grab a fat crayon, and scrawl something at random. Slop some paint around on a sheet of paper, choosing the most jarring, clashing colors you can find. Give yourself permission to do things without judging them. Give yourself the freedom to be bad at something. This can be one of the most creatively freeing things a perfectionist can do, and it’s often the only way to begin recovering the spontaneous creativity you had as a child.
3. Do something different
While you’re out doing errands, slip into a fabric store, an art store, a gallery, or a design or garden store. Even a few moments looking at unusual things will stimulate your senses and get your creative engine purring.
4. Use your creativity to make presents
It always seems to be someone’s birthday, an anniversary, or a special occasion, right? Think about ways to use your creative abilities to make unique gifts, specialized gift wrap or cards. Are you a photographer, a good cook, a party planner? Do you do a craft like knitting or drawing? How can you make gifts – using your talent – that will be special and unique?
5. Take a sensual break
A little sensory stimulation does wonders for the soul and the creative spirit. And it’s easy to do – just add a splash of vanilla to your bath, burn chocolate-scented candles, and bring a glass of champagne – or nibble on gingersnaps. Throw in some rose petals, and enjoy yourself – or ask your lover to join you. Sex and romance are also great inspirations for creativity.
6. Take a deep breath…
And then another! Repeat for 5 minutes. There’s almost nothing more refreshing and simple than stopping for a few moments to breathe deeply. It stimulates the mind, oxygenates the blood and makes you more receptive to that still, small voice that is the source of your creativity. If you want to derive maximum benefit from this type of exercise, read about Pranayama, the ancient yogic form of breathing that powerfully changes the body and mind.
7. Child’s play
Get together with a child – anyone seven or under will do. Offer to babysit for a family member or a friend who has children. If you’re in a situation that allows you to watch them draw or paint, note their total absorption in their activity. They don’t judge or question their talent – they just do it. They are like Buddhas in our midst – follow their example, and your muse will alight on your shoulder.
Every human being has creative abilities, and it’s time to let yours out to play. The world needs more creativity in a thousand ways to solve the problems that beset it. Let your creative journey lead you into a better mental space, so you can inspire everyone around you.
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