Five Tips to Tap Into Your Creative Spirit
We All Are Creative
Every creative is challenged with how to best structure their life to engage in creative pursuits.
Just how do you get the work done? How do you tap into that creative spirit? Do you require yourself to spend a designated amount of time every day working on your craft, no matter what? Do you write a certain number of words per day? Do you schedule time first thing in the morning? Are you a free spirit who waits to be inspired by your personal muse?
Look for the light: In the book, Be Your Finest Art by Joanne Miller and Dorsey McHugh, Dorsey writes, “There is always light even in the darkest shadows…We retrain our eyes and brains to see what light is doing. This takes a new kind of seeing. No color exists apart from light.” Just as a painter must retrain their brain to see light where there appears to be only darkness, it is important to retrain our brains to see the possibilities and opportunities all around us. Focusing only on the negative does not encourage creativity.
Be Willing to Do It Badly (even in public): Too many of us hold back for fear of making a mistake or looking foolish. We compare ourselves to others and decide we are not gifted enough to move forward and consequently lose out altogether on creating something worthwhile. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown writes that “Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance…Somewhere along the way, we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it.” Be willing to practice your art imperfectly and take imperfect action in order to grow your creative spirit and ability.
Think of yourself as the Story-Teller of your life: When you stop thinking of life as just surviving each day but instead think of it as creating a story with your life, you have become an artist! With this in mind it is easy to see that we are all artists in some sense of the word even if we don’t pick up a paintbrush or a pencil. While you are at it, make sure that you present yourself as someone who has a story to tell. In her book, Big Magic-Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “I always try to remind myself that I am having an affair with my creativity, and I make an effort to present myself to inspiration like somebody you might actually want to have an affair with…Dress for the novel you want to write is another way of saying it.” Every day is an extraordinary gift filled with potential. What will you create today? What chapter will you add to the story?
Value play time: Our creative self thrives when we play. When we focus on doing everything the right way, following instructions and avoiding mistakes, we squelch our artistic nature. To release our creativity, we have to let go of the fear of failing and learn to play freely while simultaneously learning from trail and error. Make sure you give yourself permission to play and enjoy life aside from your business or your craft. Your work will benefit.
Look for the message in the mess: Just a nature abhors a straight line, we are all broken in some way. The life lessons that we have learned from personal failings and tragedies is what makes us who we are. Being authentic and sharing our brokenness frees our creative spirit and helps us connect with the brokenness in others. Ask yourself, how can you take your mess and make it your message?
Pablo Picasso wrote, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ” Are you nurturing your creative spirit? I hope so. Just as we were all created, we have a spark of that creative ability inside each of us that is yearning to break free. Take time to recognize and nurture that spirit. I promise that you will be richly rewarded, perhaps even amazed, at what you can create.
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