Hurricane Harvey has come and gone; leaving in it’s path devastation, loss, and years of rebuild and regrowth. I feel extremely lucky that my home and no one in my immediate family had any major issues with the storm. The same cannot be said for thousands of Houstonians. The silver lining in it all is being a witness to the community come together to help friends, neighbors, and complete strangers. Becoming one unit and standing together, hand-in-hand, in the face of adversity is the only way to overcome it, and it fills my heart [and my eyes] with joy to observe the love being spread around my city.
I have been doing my own to help with the relief efforts where I can, and this blog post is one of them! Although I did not lose material possessions during the storm, a few things did escape me over the last several weeks; sleep, exercise, and clean eating just to name a few. As those slowly started to reenter and make home in my life once again, one thing did not; creativity. To be honest, this week is the first week I’ve had my creativity and motivation back since before the storm hit in August. Below are the top 3 actions I took to reignite and restore creativity in my daily life.
1. Do something artistic
This can look different for every single person. For some it may be painting, for some it may be photography. Writing, drawing, journaling, dancing, the options really are endless. Doing something artistic simply means to spend some time reveling in an activity that brings you joy as well as concentration of the mind. When we are in our artistic element, whatever that may mean to us, we stop thinking about all our “to-do’s” or “should be doings,” and instead focus our efforts on allowing the mind to do what it does best; flow.
Josh and I are creeping up on one year of marriage (what?!), and I am just now finishing our honeymoon scrapbook! I worked on this every night that we were in Europe last year, sans a few days at the end, but once we got back home I put it in a drawer and haven’t touched it since. Not only was it exciting to stroll through the memories of our honeymoon, but getting crafty was just what my mind needed to help ignite that creative spark!
2. Mentorship via books or podcasts
I rarely listen to the radio or music anymore. As much as I love music, and I really really love music, I’ve found myself passing my time while in the car or on the stairmaster by listening to motivational podcasts. My current favorites are below:
For living a happy, productive lifestyle: Earn Your Happy Podcast
For yoga inspiration: Yoga Crush Podcast
There is also a book I started 2 weeks ago (normally I’d have it finished by now but it is literally SO good that I don’t want it to be over) that has literally pulled me out of my inspiration funk and sent me speeding down a creative highway! Unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve probably heard about the book-turned-big-screen-movie Eat Pray Love. The New York Times best-selling author, Elizabeth Gilbert, completely outdoes herself in this ‘self-help’ book, Big Magic. It is a MUST read if you are looking for creative inspiration!
I’ll admit that I saved this one for last because it is the most challenging for me. Sometimes I even resist meditating; fighting my body every step of the way as I walk to my meditation space. As I reluctantly sit down on my cushion with crossed legs, my brain runs rampant. Meditating for me is hard work, but it has started to become easier. I forced myself to meditate during my creative block and day after day it was the same struggle. Until one day when it wasn’t. Magical things happen when you can finally allow your cloudy, task-oriented mind to be relaxed and clear; a vessel connecting the brain to the vast space of energy source, divine spirit, the universe. Once I sit patiently through the fog and muck, I make it to the other side. My mind is open and ready for whatever creative or inspiring ideas pop into my head. It can be very intimidating to just sit down and start meditating on your own. Guided meditations are extremely helpful in this regard. My current favorite is Tara Brach. She has some short meditations too which are great when you’re just starting out.
Although there are countless other ways to reignite your creativity, the above mentioned suggestions are a good place to start. They can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, adding just a few minutes for meditation in the morning and a few chapters of reading or podcast listening at night. What do you do for creative inspiration? Comment below! Until next time…