When was the last time you sat down and colored?
Exactly. Why don’t we do that kind of thing anymore?
At a certain point I realized that the only thing that allows my mind to completely go quiet is painting. Yet it still has taken me years to recognize that I could actually cultivate this habit. I grew up with voices in my head that said creative activities were for kids, and not a productive use of time.
Why You Need A Creative Outlet
First retreat I ever did, the retreat leader suggested that we all find a simple activity we could do every day. She chose to play solitaire. I did my yoga. Another woman walked on her stair master. Someone else took a walk on the same path each day. The point was to provide a structure from which to view the mind from the same perspective each day. The activity was the same, so the nuances of the mind revealed themselves. Creativity thrives in this environment.
Your Mind Needs Rest
Just like the body needs sleep in order to function optimally, the mind also needs rest. Mobile phones, social media and internet have virtually blocked easy access to this vital necessity.
White space or down time allows the thinking mind to take rest so that new neural connections can be made and new ideas formed. I can’t tell you how many problems I’ve solved by holding a paint brush. The simple act of letting go of the grip of conceptual mind seems to magically release a flood of insights. A creative outlet invites this experience. It’s possible to train the mind to do this through meditation practice, but I find that keeping my hands busy making art can also achieve the same result.
Creativity Breeds Inspiration
And it’s fun! It is so fun to create art! Or write. Or dance or draw.
But you have to get out of your own way.
We are creative beings. As technology reaches into the farthest reaches of civilization, we are becoming a planet of consumers. The opposite of consumer is a producer: someone who creates.
Though I’ve played around making art my entire life, I’ve recently committed to painting on a daily basis.
What are you creating right now?
I have a challenge for you. Because creating can be a solitary endeavour, I’d like to invite you to share your creative acts and commit to 30 days of practicing whatever your form is — whether it is painting, doodling on cardboard boxes, pressing flowers, woodworking, photography, writing poems, sewing puppets, baking cupcakes, making soup, carving pumpkins…whatever!