(or: How To Be Amazingly Creative Wherever You Go)
Creativity is all about flow.
How do we know when we’re at our most creative?
It’s those occasions where we lose all sense of where we are and how much time has passed, and disappear into creating with a deep sense of passion and enjoyment that nothing else can bring us.
You’ve been there, we both have.
When we finally surface, we wonder how the time has disappeared and where we’ve been, and we know it’s a glorious place we must try to return to as often as possible.
Finding your creative flow though isn’t just about those individual sessions of creating where you feel all resistance has dissolved and you’re sailing freely in warm waters.
Creative flow is also about a larger, wider sense that you have a strong underlying creativity that allows you to find this flow whenever you wish. It’s not a random lottery, you don’t just hang around waiting to be blessed with this gift of creating freely.
You make it happen for yourself.
And there are ways you can make this more easy.
In a recent post about the valuable lessons I’ve learnt about creating through daily yoga practice, I talked about the energy in my yoga mat, and how I feel that by rolling up the mat mindfully and slowly at the end of a session, it in some ways preserves the energy and good feelings I’ve generated, ready for a great start next time when I came to unroll the mat again.
I believe it’s the same with creating. There are things we can do – you could call them routines or rituals – that allow us to mark the beginning and end of our creative sessions, and help us find that flow more easily.
There’s a danger here of two things.
First, relying on too many different variables to be favourable in order to create.
For example, feeling you can only create at your best when you have all the possible materials you might need, when you have at least three hours of undisturbed time ahead of you and the sun is shining with not a cloud in the sky.
The second is relying on rituals that are location specific. For example, believing you can only write well at a certain desk, with a certain pen, at a specific time of day, and there’s no point even trying to write anywhere else at any other time because you won’t be able to.
We need to develop simple and powerful rituals that we can easily transport and translate to different situations, so we can put ourselves in the best state of creating, and find the right kind of energy, whenever we want.
Back to yoga for a moment if I may.
After my first couple of weeks of classes I knew this was something I was going to really enjoy and get into, so I bought my own mat to practice at home.
Yes, on one level, it’s just a lump of rubber.
But it’s my connection – my gateway – to wonderful yoga sessions that leave me calm, full of energy and life, and feeling like I can save the world before lunchtime.
I take my mat to classes, I use it at my own home yoga studio (um, ok, my front room), I use it at my friend’s house when we do morning sessions together once a week or so, and I took it away to a little cottage up in the Welsh mountains for a long weekend recently.
That little mat has allowed me to do yoga wherever I’ve gone with equal enjoyment.
Once you unroll your mat, it’s time for yoga. It almost instantly puts you in the right frame of mind, a state that knows this is yoga time, and nothing else matters for the next 20, 30, 40 minutes, or however long you set your timer for.
It’s not a magic mat, but it almost feels like it is. It has the energy.
Creativity too, is a woo-wah energy kinda thing.
You can find similar little rituals – like unrolling a yoga mat – that help you to signal that now it’s time to create, this is what’s most important, let’s get focused and create what matters.
My yoga mat is portable and simple. I can take it pretty much anywhere and do yoga. Whatever my external surroundings, inside I feel the same, I’m in the same zone, I have the same energy, a very positive energy.
What rituals can YOU use to help you take your creative energy with you and be amazingly creative wherever you go?
Remember to keep it simple (too many variables decreases the chances of them all being “perfect” at the same time) and portable (believing you can only be creative in a certain room/ building/ city/ country again really limits your creativity).
Come up with two or three ideas about little rituals or objects you can use yourself to give yourself permission, to open the gates and let your creative energy flow freely.
Then practice them, and adapt them as you need to. The more often you use them, the more easily and more often you’ll be able to slip into that wonderful creative state that brings a fulfillment that nothing else can.
If you like what you just read, please use the buttons below to share with others who might do too. This helps support and spread the word about my work.