“Creativity itself doesn't care at all about results - the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process, and let whatever happens next happen…”
I love this quote. It allows room for life when thinking about creativity. After all, we are not all born with a paintbrush in hand, a talent for poetry or hand-shaping ceramic bowls! The type of creative practice I want to talk about today is the kind we can all participate in, pursue with gusto, and benefit from - at any stage of life!
I have found that finding little (or large) ways to be creative as a practiced habit can have immeasurable joy, stress relief, and focus to my life all around. Creativity itself has been proven time and again to build confidence, foster purpose and imaginative thinking, relieve tension, and strengthen mental wellbeing. And for many of us who aren’t artists or makers for a living (lucky you, if you are!) our mental and physical energy is utilized by tasks that aren’t often very meaningful or inspiring to us. They are things that have to get done. In my opinion, developing a creative practice indicates that you are actively making time for meaning outside the demands of your daily life. By establishing the habit, you are prioritizing this pursuit.
Here are some tips to help you start getting your own creative practice in gear:
Set a timer. Begin with a short dose of creativity at the same time each day. Set yourself up with a mug of coffee in the morning, or some lemonade in the afternoon and GO! Find a time that works for you and be as consistent with it as you can.
Start an inspiration bank. Keep a desktop folder (or an actual folder - gasp!), a box of magazines, a Pinterest board etc., with images, colors or other ideas that inspire you. Reference them frequently. There is no shame in sourcing other’s creativity to spark your own!
Set yourself up in a beautiful space. You don’t need a light-filled Parisian painter’s studio, but you do need to make your set-up feel a little special. Arrange your art supplies beautifully at your desk, add fresh flowers to set by the place where you practice your guitar, or throw a cosy blanket over the chair you like to journal from...tiny tweaks like this will help invite calm and make your creative practice that much more joyful!
If you want more ideas for honing a creative practice, our upcoming September retreat will also offer a 3-day workshop in journaling with Monica Willis (see our recent blog post on why journaling is important here) as well as an artistic experience with the enormously fun and furiously creative duo, The Garage Potters. This sister-in-law team of potters work from their garage studio based in Bozeman, Montana and create one-of-a-kind hand-thrown pieces made with care and beauty.
Whatever you do to ignite your creative practice - make it about the process, not the outcome.
Quilt, draw, whittle, dance, sing, weave, journal, arrange flowers or throw clay - whatever it is make sure you are playing, exploring and risk-taking.