How many times have you said “I’m just not creative?” If you’re like me, it’s been a ton. And you know what? I don’t buy it. We are creative every single day. You don’t have to be a writer, artist, or musician in order to claim that. The clothes you wear, the words you choose to say, the route you walk to your car. All day long, your brain is making patterns, designs, and decisions that leave a creative mark on this world. I think each of us has a deep passion for something. It could be sailboats or pineapples or palm tress (can you tell it’s winter here?). But the point is, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. It can be as simple as deciding to read a book that really interests you, trying a food that you’ve never tasted but are curious about, or talking to a neighbor who you pass every day, but don’t know. These are all inherently human acts that feed our curiosity, which ultimately, is an expression of creativity. Looking to jumpstart that feeling? Try the below practice, which should take about 15 minutes.
(1) MOVE (about 3 minutes)
Standing tall, take a few breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you feel grounded, start shaking your hands, as if you are trying to shake water off them. Lift and lower them as you shake them. Allow the rest of your body to move as well. Sway side to side. Jump up and down. Twist forward and back. Do whatever movement feels good to you for the next 2-3 minutes that allows you to release any excess energy or stress that you have.
(2) MEDITATE (about 7 minutes)
Sit on the edge of a cushion or in a chair and lengthen your spine. Reground yourself by closing your eyes and breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once your breath and heart rate have returned to a normal level, begin alternate nostril breathing. It sounds scary, but it is really simple and great for balancing the left brain (controls planning and organizing) and right brain (controls creativity).
Make a fist with your right hand, and then raise just the thumb and pinky finger. Use your right thumb to gently close off the right side of your nose by pressing on the outside of it. Inhale deeply through the left nostril, and once your belly has fully expanded, plug the left side of the nose with your pinky finger, release the hold on the right nostril and exhale out through the right side. Inhale into the right nostril, plug it and release your grip on the left, exhaling to the left side. Repeat this cycle 5-10 times (inhale on left, exhale on right, inhale on right, exhale on left), ending on the exhale to the left side.
For the remaining 5 minutes or so, resume normal breathing, but continue to keep your eyes closed. Imagine a deep blue color between your eyebrows. Watch it grow larger on your inhales, and then smaller on the exhales. This helps awaken your third eye, which controls creativity, wisdom, and intuition. Gently open your eyes when you are finished.
(3) MEDIATE (about 5 minutes)
Grab a pen and some paper. Free write in response to any of the following questions: What do I experience that makes me emotional? How does my passion meet my story? What have I witnessed that others should see?