A creative outlet lets you switch gears into a state of mind where goals are not linear. I grew up with the unfortunate mis-understanding that said creative activities were for kids, and not a productive use of time. At a certain point I realized that one 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 of accessing creativity.
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 or pen. The simple act of letting go of the grip of conceptual mind seems to magically release a flood of insights. 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
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. Having a creative outlet is somewhat subversive. It’s a message to the universe that you think for yourself rather than blindly accepting what is put before you.
Though I’ve played around making art my entire life, I’ve recently committed to painting on a daily basis. And it’s fun to create art! Or write. Or dance or draw. But you have to get out of your own way.
What are you creating right now?
I have a challenge for you. Because creating can be a solitary endeavor, 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…use your imagination! If you want to get extra creative juices flowing, incorporate it into a home-retreat. To get started, download your free guide here.