Reconnecting with our creativity can be a really fun and enjoyable form of self-care and August's playful energies provide the perfect backdrop in which to explore the things that light our creative spark.
Think back on your childhood - most likely you moved your body daily at recess, had play dates with friends and made drawings, paintings and crafts in art class. Chances are, you felt a lot more connected to your creative center before deadlines, bills and responsibilities started to overshadow the fun stuff.
This week's focus is all about tapping back into that sense of freedom and flow to help increase your happiness and contentment. Your spirit wants to reconnect with your creativity and passion so you may be surprised by how fast inspiration comes once you give it a chance to roam free.
1) Journal. Writing is a form of therapy for a reason - it allows us to become more clear about our thoughts and feelings, promoting a sense of overall integration and wellness. I personally prefer journal prompts that tickle the brain rather than the traditional "How do I feel today?" prompts.
A few of my favorites:
Kick it up a notch. Enroll in a local or online creative writing or writing therapy course.
2) Draw. This can be intimidating for those of us who aren't naturally gifted artists, but try to remove expectations of perfection and allow your mind to explore some creative visual journaling.
Kick it up a notch. Take a painting class alone or make it a social event with friends.
3) Work with Color. Break out the metallic colored pencils, the scented markers, acrylics, water colors - or even play doh, legos or blocks! Introduce some stimulating colors into your day and spend some time creating with your hands.
The slow, steady activity of coloring is soothing to the mind as it activates the right brain and helps break our practical & logical left-brain habits. You can purchase a coloring book, markers, colored pencils, crayons or watercolors for less than $5 at a drugstore or grocery store. Go home and let yourself play! Gift yourself a 20-minute art class in your kitchen. Who cares if your creation isn't a masterpiece - this exercise is more about experimenting with colors and shapes and reconnecting to the inner joy that comes from creating.
We made play doh babies for one of the games at my best friend's baby shower - it was fascinating to watch a room full of women of all ages laugh with delight at the incredible imagination and creativity that was displayed. Roll out some doh and just have fun!
Kick It Up a Notch. Sign up for a session at your local pottery studio.
4) Spend Time in Nature. Whether you're soaking up strong mountain energy, sitting under the trees or walking on the beach, allow your mind to run free and be open to the inspiration that blows in with the wind. See if you can hear the voices of those who walked these same steps centuries before. What was life like for them? What beliefs may they have held based on their environment? Notice how the sky and earth interact. Is the sun shining? Can you also see the moon? Let your observations serve as inspiration.
Kick It Up a Notch. Book an outdoor adventure or activity you haven't done or don't normally do (Stand Up Paddle, Kayak, Canoe, Zipline, Night Nature Walk).
5) Move. Movement is a key component of body and mind integration. Creative movement like dance and yoga are great for reopening blocked creative centers. They may take us pretty far outside of our comfort zone as well - this is usually a very good thing. Have a 5-minute dance party in your kitchen or just roll out a yoga mat and let yourself experience some organic free movement - honor what your body is telling you through the movement it craves.
Kick It Up a Notch. Recruit a friend and take a ballroom, salsa or hip-hop class.
6) Bake or Cook. Creating a meal is a beautiful way to express passion and creativity. Imagine the process - you have to decide what you're in the mood for then research the best way to create it, handpick perfect ingredients, wash, boil, measure, roll, chop, sift, slice and saute, and combine several colors, tastes, aromas and seasoning to ensure your dish is exactly how you want it. This is an incredibly creative and sensual experience! If cooking a meal from scratch is way outside of your comfort zone, there are a wide variety of accessible recipes available online; most markets even have their own recipes and cooking demos. Try giving your complete focus to each step in the process and see if that heightens the creative experience of what may be a routine chore for you.
Kick It Up a Notch. Surprise your partner, mom, dad, best friend or child with a cooking class that you can do together.
7) Sunset. The sunrise and sunset are two highly powerful times that many of us take for granted or ignore most days. Our creative and emotional energies run highest around the time of the sunset. Try to make a point of watching the sunset this week - whether it's from a rooftop bar, at the beach or just stepping outside and looking up. Observe how the colors splash across the sky and interact with the clouds. Notice the intensity of the colors in this particular sunset - is it a subtle pastel or a bright showstopper? Can you see stars in the sky? Or maybe the moon? Focus your attention about 2 inches below your naval, in the creative center, and notice how this part of your body reacts to the sunset.
Kick It Up a Notch. Gather a group of friends and photograph the sunset one night this week.
8) Music. Many of us rely on music for mental escape. It helps make the gym, the day, the commute, and life in general more enjoyable. Create & listen to a playlist that gets your blood pumping or that reminds you of your childhood or a special time in your life - then observe if creation of any kind comes more easily. Music is a great conduit for creativity - blast your playlist as you cook, maybe a spontaneous dance party will even break out! Using our voice is very important for self-expression and for keeping our throat chakra clear and moving freely. Sing in the shower or car or chant AUM (OHM) three times.
Kick it Up a Notch. Join a choir, take a guitar, voice or piano lesson or book a karaoke room with friends!
What tips do you have for increasing creativity in your life? Is there something that always works for you?
Have FUN creating this week!
Do you have the capacity to receive AND hold on to what you think you want?
Let’s try it – how does it feel in your body to imagine inviting a loving, healthy relationship into your life?
Where do you feel this in your body? What sensations do you feel when you imagine this? How does it feel – expansive or constricting? Do you feel a sense of lightness at the prospect of sharing your life with a supportive partner, or does the thought of this agitate you because your nervous system is used to chaotic relationships? Did you have to self-soothe as a child so now the thought of living with someone else makes you anxious because you are truly most comfortable alone?
Tomorrow marks the Fall Equinox and signifies one of two days out of the year (the other being the Spring or 'Vernal' Equinox) when day and night are almost exactly equal lengths and the entire planet is most in balance.
Taking our queue from Nature's rhythms, this week is the optimal time to examine balance in our lives.