As a creative entrepreneur it’s important to remain inspired, to keep our juices flowing and hands crafting. Easier said than done, am I right? There are so many things that can hinder us from our full potential, leaving us uninspired and empty handed. So I’ve been taking mental notes as I worked through my week and found 3 practices that are essential for me as a creative. Maybe they will be for you too?
This is something I overthought and made far too complicated – meditation. I had thought before that there was some sort of trade secret, some spiritual wooha that made meditation work. Well, not quite. Instead the recipe for a successful meditation is: time, silence, breathing.
Find a quiet place without any distractions, any phones, any music or any people. Find a comfortable place for your butt. Whether you roll out a yoga mat, or sit on the carpet, find something that’s comfortable but not too comfortable, if you get my drift. You don’t want to be dozing off mid meditation. Now that you’re in a quiet and comfortable spot, sit yourself down into a position that works for you. I sit crossed legged with both ankles touching the ground. I then rest my palms on my knees and sit up straight but relaxed.
Then the secret sauce – breathe. That’s right, this is the KEY to meditation and what I thought was far too simple to be all. But you breathe, slowly and fully. Inhaling and exhaling. And while you are breathing you train your mind to stay focused. It’s far too easy to become sidetracked and allow little thoughts to invade. But remain steadfast! Allow nothing to break in the silence of that moment. Expel all thoughts, focus on nothing but your breath. This is the challenge of meditation.
And the reward? When you quiet your surroundings you allow for your inner self to be heard. As you breathe and your lungs expand allowing for oxygen to permeate; the thoughts that had once been haunting you grow quiet. The jumbled mess of all the projects and neverending to-do list start to iron themselves out. You find yourself reveling in your pure existence on earth. Then all those little worries suddenly start to seem, well, small.
It also trains your brain to respond quicker and more rationally. Instead of reacting to something instantly, you take time to respond to it. Your brain is a muscle that should be trained alongside the rest of them. As you can imagine, a calm and declutter brain has helped increase my creativity. You’ve got to clean out the old dusty rooms of your brain and allow for those new ideas to move in.
This one might seem a bit specific. While most might just say exercise is enough, I really prefer long walks. And if you can take them somewhere beautiful and inspiring, that’s even better.
Walking has a bunch of health benefits that you could easily read up on Google such as improving circulation, weight management, strengthening muscles, improving sleep, supporting joints and bones, mood boosting, etc.
Blah blah blah, what does this have to do with my creativity? Well, I love long walks because it’s the BEST time to come up with amazing ideas. When you take yourself out of your usual routine and get your body moving, you’ll realize that your ideas start moving too. It’s as if you’re jostling around your brain up there while walking, and a few little knocks was all it took for it to answer.
Of course, scientifically walking helps blood flow and circulation which would inevitably reach your brain. And as I mentioned before in the meditation section, your brain is a muscle that needs to be trained like the rest of them.
But after a few miles of walking, you’ll get back in the office raring to go. Energized, motivated and inspired. Long walks are definitely my favorite.
Oh, and as I mentioned before, if you can do it somewhere beautiful and in nature I find it works out better than a crowded city street. The sounds of nature help reduce stress and calm the mind. Putting you in the perfect place for creativity to thrive.
Finding good creative fuel outside of your profession is essential for creativity. Ah ha! You thought I was going to talk about food didn’t you! Well food is important too, what you eat contributes to a healthy body and brain, but for this third topic I’m going to discuss finding inspiration.
Consume as much knowledge and inspiration as you can from a variety of sources. Books, documentaries, movies, music, fine art galleries, poetry, photography… the list goes on.
Have you ever played Taboo? It’s a game where you have to describe a word without saying any of the similar words listed on the card. My husband hates the game. The more you focus on the words you aren’t supposed to say, the more likely you are to say them and lose the round. I compare this to looking at work in our own field. The more we try not to copy a design we like, the more we tend to do so OR stifle our creativity.
Plus you’ll never know how something will affect you creatively until you give it a try. Go to the opera, go to that museum you’ve been eyeing, walk into those little artsy retail shops, eat at that cute Parisian style cafe and read the paper. Try it all! Fill up your tank with good fuel and you’re bound to go somewhere.