Finding Creative Freedom: The Bliss Of Being Barefoot And Belt-Less

If you didn’t have SO many different things restricting you, then yes of COURSE you’d be more creative, I know.

But because you feel so limited with time, energy, ideas, and a dozen other factors, you don’t create at anywhere near your full potential, in terms of quality or volume. Am I right?

What if you could create more freely?

Barefoot Self Portrait
image: dhammza

It’s summer here at the moment, and I’ve been getting into going around barefoot far more lately, and wearing flip flops rather than my usual trainers. (Translation for US readers – thongs, rather than sneakers!)

Also I’ve recently bought a pair of jeans that fit really well. I sometimes have trouble getting jeans with a small enough waist, but these fit just right and mean I can go belt-less without the fear of them suddenly ending up around my ankles. Which isn’t either a) a good look or b) very safe, especially when one is dancing salsa.

Anyway, the point is, when I’m barefoot and belt-less, I feel SO much more free and relaxed.

It’s a very simple change that results in a quite profoundly different outlook on the world, and how I feel going about my day to day business.

Would I go so far to say that being barefoot and belt-less makes me more creative? Maybe, but not necessarily. It just makes me feel more relaxed, more content, having a couple fewer pressures in my life.

How does this relate to you creativity, and how restricted YOU feel?

For me, the rather trivial acts of finding some new jeans that fitted great, and deciding not to wear socks and shoes so often weren’t dramatic changes that took weeks of careful planning and great courage. But they led to quite a shift in how I feel. A positive shift.

Often we are so entrenched in what is familiar and ritual – those things we do without questioning, without even thinking – that we forget there is an alternative. Like wearing a belt, or socks, or shoes that look fabulous but aren’t really very comfortable.

There is always a choice, and it doesn’t need to be a choice between two extremes, or a radical about face.

You don’t need to overhaul everything to change just one thing.

One little thing that could make a significant difference.

Take a long hard look at some of the ways you feel you’re restricted from being more creative. Write down the five biggest culprits.

Then take just one of them. Let’s say you feel you’re restricted by not having enough time.

What are some of the ways this restriction manifests itself? In other words, what evidence do you have that you don’t have enough time?

Often at this point, you’ll find that you begin to look at specific details and see that “I don’t have enough time” has become such a blanket, pre-programmed, speak-on-demand phrase, that you don’t even question the facts behind it.

You just say it, accept it, believe it. And then live by it, enslaved to it.

You’re working with a skewed reality, so your belief that you don’t have enough time isn’t one that has a sound basis.

Following on with this example, what if you got up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow, and every day for the next week, and spent the time creating? How would that improve your life?

If, at this suggestion, you automatically came up with a handful of reasons why this is not possible, then may the reason you’re not more creative isn’t actually about time.

Where in your creative life are your shoes pinching and your belt limiting your freedom to breathe?

What can you do today – and as we said before, it only need be little changes – to feel more free, more barefoot and belt-less, in your creativity?

Pick one thing, try it for a week, notice the difference.

Notice too how once you demonstrate in one area how your unquestioned beliefs weren’t quite so set in stone as you thought, it starts to free you to see other ways of being more creative and more free in other ways too.

Then you can choose to make a few little changes at a time there too…

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7 thoughts on “Finding Creative Freedom: The Bliss Of Being Barefoot And Belt-Less”

  1. I love this time of year when I put my shoes to the back of the wardrobe and I live in flip flops and sandals. At work I always walk around barefoot during the spring/summer months. I love it – it makes me feel like I’m walking along a beach when in fact I’m actually walking to the office kitchen to make another cuppa. Going barefoot in the office is my rebellious form of escapism.

    Once again Dan, a great post.


    1. “Going barefoot in the office is my rebellious form of escapism.”

      I like how you’ve phrased this Tor, that’s exactly what it is, a little way of getting away from what we so often accept without question as the norm, or the only way of being.

      Also, I think sometimes we build up a perfect or dream life as having to have every last detail in place before we can enjoy it. When the reality is we all have plenty to enjoy already in our lives, like the freedom of walking around barefoot.

      I wrote about this a while back on the topic, you might be interested:

      Enjoying the Creative Journey: Are Your Dreams Already Around You?

      Thanks for your input and encouragement Tor. 🙂


  2. I happened to be barefoot and beltless when I read this. 🙂 It’s so true. Just a change of wardrobe can make a big difference to your mental outlook.

    I’ve been working on getting up a little earlier to spend some quality time with my pen. My problem is I get so involved in what I’m writing that time flies and makes me late for the rest of the day. Sigh.

    So, creative time in the morning, TICK. Being organized and punctual…Perhaps I’ll try that next week.


    1. Jessica at least this shows you’re fully immersed on your writing, and giving it your attention and focus, rather than flitting around on a dozen different things procrastinating. (Not that I ever do that… Um…)

      Yes, work on the punctual part next week, for now enjoy the freedom of being in the creative flow!


  3. Umm….I don’t know any US reader under 70 who says ‘thongs’ instead of flip flops. We DO say ‘thongs’ but it has nothing to do with footwear!


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