An absolutely essential aspect of being creative is your awareness of the world around you, being tuned into your senses and experiencing them as fully as you can.
Imagine if one or more of your senses were blocked, or you lost them completely.
Think about how drastically your ways of experiencing your world would be compromised.
I’ve been told on a number of occasions that I experience things in more detail, and more intensely than most people.
To me it’s just me, it’s how I’ve always been. I have to absorb all the fine detail to be able to write about it afterwards, or to write about something like it in the future.
Plus I want to enjoy life’s pleasures as deeply as possible, and you cannot do that if you’re sleepwalking through your days.
Anais Nin said: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection” which sums up this way of being very well.
So for every wonderful, sensory experience I’ve had, I also have the memory of it to replay, like a tiny beautiful movie in the ever growing collection in my head. By writing about these times, as I often do, it helps to preserve what I felt and had, to make the moments more precious, and the memories of them more vivid.
What also happens by capturing these moments is that you open yourself up to be more appreciative of similar times in the future, to experience them more vibrantly too.
Then, once again, you write about them, and the memory is amplified, and so the cycle continues, as Anais Nin spoke of.
How fully do you use your senses in day to day life? How aware are you of each of them right now?
The more you use your senses, and become aware of them, the more creative you will be, because the amount of stimulation and inspiration around you is heightened.
One of the simplest and most effective ways of practicing this way of heightening and honing your senses is by cooking.
It doesn’t have to be something incredibly complex and sophisticated, just something you enjoy. Cooking engages every one of your five senses, all at once, and is one of the most immediately accessible sensory experiences we can have.
Imagine this simple example – caramelizing onions.
You first of all prepare the onions, removing the skin with your hands, engaging your senses of touch, and sight, and smell.
After chopping them, you add them to the frying pan and hear a glorious sizzling, combining with the scent of the onions filling your nostrils. As they begin to soften and caramelize, you taste them occasionally to see if they are ready.
All the while the scent and sight and sound of the dissolving onions is all around you, and of course your sense of touch is engaged as you stir and taste.
This very easy cooking activity is rich in stimulation for each of your five sense. It helps to remind us to be aware of each of them, and to make use of them more. You could try it tonight.
You can find other activities of course, and I encourage you to do so.
Whichever you choose, focus on each of your senses. They are your connection and your creative lifeline to the world around you.
Become more sensory, and you become more creative, and what you create becomes more enriched and engaging for others. Go, celebrate your senses!
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