Cultivating Creativity

I always find times of seasonal transition inspiring. Very inspiring. In fact, it was hard for me to decide what topic to share with you today as there are a number of provocative goodies on deck. That said, I know there are cycles to creative inspiration and I have certainly had my fair share of dry spells and writer’s blocks.  We all want to be inspired. Whether it’s for the sake of our family, our job, our friendships, or even our own journey of self-discovery.

As I feel I’m knee-deep in this wonderful rush of ideas, I have spent time trying to distill any active ingredients that may be causing this opening of creativity, in order to better sustain and share this inspirational wealth with you.

Here are six ways to cultivate inspiration in your life:

Wake up early | Mary Oliver wrote about it. Old adages promote it, and finally I am experientially feeling the power of getting up at the crack of dawn (approximately 5:15 AM). Yes, it’s not easy – at first. But I'm beginning to recognize how much time I actually do have when I rise early and I’ve been finding those sunrise moments some of the most productive and inspirational of the entire day.

Meditate with consistency | I have been touting the benefits of meditation for years now with my private and workplace wellness clients. However, I cannot emphasize enough the power of a consistent, daily practice. Showing up for yourself again and again without fail is an amazing self-dedication that it sends a powerful message to the universe that you are committed to improving your own life and the lives of others through this practice. It is empowering and often a great source of intuitive or creative guidance.

Read many books at once |  Almost too many. I know there are mixed view on this, but my personal opinion and practice is to be in the middle of a number of books at once. I actually find they often weave together in wildly unexpected yet synchronous ways. As if the page of one book is winking to another; a sign that I’m on the right track as I absorb and process new information and ideas. 

Spend time with kiddos | Seeing the world through a child's eyes is magical. We know this. Everything is an adventure. There is a magic in learning how to open and close a door. A freedom in running in the grass and reaching hands down into the dirt. And that little laugh! The freshness and fresh insights I get from kiddo time is unbelievable. Volunteer babysitting is definitely paying off and I highly encourage it. 

Watch interesting TV | Top Chef, The Get Down, and even the first season of The Affair, are deeply provocative, challenging and captivating on many levels.  As much as I have a love/hate relationship with the TV, I do think the storytelling of some shows is truly spectacular. Visual, interpersonal, communicative creativity at times, at its finest. Trading in space-filling TV time for something on screen that inspires and captivates you. It will help spark your own imagination. 

Let yourself be bored | We often lack the empty space of boredom. Instead we fill it with screen time of all sorts. I’m certainly not judging, I do it too. But it’s the times my phone has died and I’m stuck in traffic in the back of an UBER daydreaming as I look up at the sky that inspiration can strike. It’s the moment of bored disconnect that low-pressure creativity can take over as the mind releases the need to feel totally connected and plugged-in.

What I know for sure: there is more than enough inspiration to go around. Sometimes we feel our creative source is dried up but it may just be paused for a moment so we can build up enough energy to handle what’s coming down the road. Trust those times to rest and dedicate efforts to taking good care of yourself so you can be ready for that wonderful river of ideas to flow back to you when the time is right.

Photography by Souqfly