Then Do Something to That
Creativity is anything and everything. Everyone is creative – not only in an artistic sense. I have found that journaling and other habits support my spiritual, emotional, and intellectual development. Below are the three “techniques” that influence me the most. Of course, there are many other ways of being creative, but for now:
I began journaling after college. In the intervening 2 decades(!), I have gone through many small books. There are periods when I’ve journaled more than others, times in my life when I wrote more and periods when collage and drawings have taken up most of the space. Whatever I “do” in my journal, I know that it is often a springboard for my overall creativity. I think of journals like the seedlings started indoors in winter… once your ideas are ready for planting somewhere else, you can transplant them.
To convince you that you don’t need to be an artist to do this, here is an image from one of my journals (glue sticks, markers and repeating words and patterns go a long way).
I believe in feng shui. Not that I understand the science of it but it just makes plain common sense that our surroundings influence our energy. From what we wear to what we sit on, balance and simplicity on the outside promote the same on the inside. Color not clutter; minimalism not messiness.
I believe that design is important for our creativity and our practice. Color, texture, proportion, and a basic attention to the energy generated by objects on or around us are central to our sense of well being.Also, I am a proud declutterer. This might have something to do with growing up in a cluttered (but clean – thanks mom!) house where a ridiculous amount of time was spent looking for lost keys and misplaced eye glasses. Or maybe it was the years living with an anal roommate (thanks Peter!) where confusion did not reign, my anxiety levels lowered, and my creativity bloomed. I have found my personal balance – I love to throw away unused items, neaten drawers, straighten piles, and organize objects, and I still have issues with putting my clothes away neatly. But I understand that calm and balance around me cultivate those qualities within me. I never meditate without first making my bed.My teacher, Gina Sharpe, tells a story about sititng a retreat with an Asian master. On the first day, the eager Western students sat on the edges of their cushions awaiting his words of wisdom. He told them, “I want you to go clean your rooms and make sure everything is in order.” In that moment, that was the wisest teaching he could offer.
The body is the perfect entry into our creativity as it is the ultimate source of everything we manifest. Many are intimidated by moving their bodies but any authentic embodiment (including stillness) is creative if done with an openess to exploration and fun…
Yoga is one of the most prevalent and profound embodied practices. There are so many options out there for yoga, I can’t outline all the different styles and philosophies. But if you do a little research, I’m pretty sure you will find a studio and teacher you like; what you will definitely like is how it makes you feel. This ancient system works on various physical and energetic pathways and contributes to an allover sense of well-being. As you study more intensively, you will find that yoga is not only about the physical practice but includes a complete system for spiritual and emotional health as well.If you are totally new to yoga or limited in physical capacities, you may want to try an Iyengar, Slow Flow, Restorative, or Yin Yoga class first. It’s best to practice with a teacher for a while to learn proper alignment.