I went through my childhood and into my early adulthood believing that I was not creative. I can’t say exactly where this belief came from, but I have an inkling it had something to do with the fact that I wasn’t anything stellar in art class and was no musical protege. I didn’t fit the definition of a “creative” as I understood it at this time.
I almost didn’t even pursue teaching, which turned out to be one of my true passions, because I doubted that I would be able to cook up creative, engaging lessons--ones that kids would remember and actually enjoy. I doubted that I could design unit plans that would be truly inspiring and innovative.
Luckily I brought all of these beliefs to a mentor who was helping me decide what path to follow. She told me something really profound. She said: “You can learn to be more creative.” And you may laugh. This seems so simple, right? But when you hold such a strong belief about yourself, you may not ever even consider the alternative--or that there is a different possibility at all. I decided to buy into the possibility that I could learn to become creative. I wanted to believe I could and so with some skepticism, I chose teaching.
I didn’t know that I was starting a journey towards discovering an even more profound and personally life-changing truth--a truth that actually has two parts:
#1: I found that creativity exists innately in all of us--every single human. We just need to
discover how it manifests uniquely for us and how we want to express it.
#2: When we understand our own creative self and manifest this energy into our
everyday, we expand our potential in ways we may have never thought possible.
Shifting Beliefs around Creativity
For some, creativity definitely flows more naturally and uninhibited. For many of us, creativity has only become blocked through the noise, distraction, and confusion the world surrounds us with. Although we are innately creative, this energy becomes stifled through our life experiences: experiences like stress, overworking, comparison, overwhelm, the digital age of information overstimulation--or having a less than encouraging elementary art teacher!
On top of the distractions, the world has constructed a definition around what it means to be “creative” and therefore most of us associate creativity with being a great artist, painter, writer, musician, dancer, designer, actor etc. We’ve labeled these things: The Arts. And they are arts, beautiful wonders of our world that have birthed epic creations. But these disciplines are not the end all be all of creativity.
Creativity has a place in all aspects of life, all professions, relationships etc. There are now many learning and design theories circulating around business places and schools that perpetuate the process of learning and problem solving as a creative process. “Creativity” is a highly valued workplace skill. Google “most important skills needed in the workplace” and you’ll see multiple lists that include some aspect of “creativity.”
Solving a math problem, doing a science experiment, creating an Excel spreadsheet all utilize creative power, but ask yourself if you would automatically categorize any of these activities as “creative”? Probably not, because in our world that loves labels, activities like these are considered “left-brained” or “analytical” as though there is a complete separation from the right brain and left brain functioning. When in reality, our brain function is not so black and white. And the creative and analytical feed off one another in everyone’s mind.
My Personal Ah-Ha Moments
It was really only within the last year that I had these ah-ha moments where I finally believed, with conviction, in my own creativity and understood that all humans are creative. The process getting here was pretty gradual. I had been exploring my own forms of expression, what my passions were and what really lit my fire the most for a few years.
As I explored new ideas and creative modalities for teaching, wrote some stories, did some painting here and there and taught myself some semblances of songs on my ukulele, I definitely felt I was creative in certain senses, but I was still aligning myself with the pigeon-holed definition of “creative.” I still felt that if I wasn’t excellent at playing music, painting, singing, creating something really extraordinarily unique and cool, then I wasn’t creative, or creative “enough.” What that really meant was that I was stuck comparing my creativity to other people’s and therefore stifling my own!
When I finally started to own my unique form of creativity, really stepped into my passions, purpose and began expressing in a way that felt authentic to me, I knew I had found my creative flow.
My ah-ha moments came through my yoga training when I learned about chakra theory and then when I created my own business brand. Creating something like this business, this huge, ever-evolving project that is totally an expression of the true me, made me step fully into my role as a capable creator. But you don’t need to start a business in order to step fully into your expression! This is how it manifested for me! There’s a lot you can do in order to step into your own power, connecting with your true creative self.
Finding Empowerment through Connecting to the Core Creative in You
In my exploration into creativity and what this looks like for each person, I found that creativity is essentially our passions, our ability to see new possibilities, problem-solve, create new ideas, realities and really activate our imaginations. It’s a guiding energy that connects us deeply with ourselves and how we express ourselves in the world.
The more you practice intentional presence in a creative space, the more natural it becomes, and the easier you can connect to this true essence, which offers clarity, inspiration and peace in your everyday. This essence is the truth of who we are. When we find our creativity and actually connect with it, we’re connecting more closely and intimately with ourselves and we're opening to all the universe has to offer.
10 years ago, I would not have described myself as a creative person. Finding my creative expression was the opening to greater self-empowerment, enabling me to step more fully into who I am and why I’m here. Now, I have ideas flowing like a fountain. I have full days and daily habits devoted to creating and to connecting with this energy! I’m not creating arts and crafts necessarily--although I have come to enjoy hobbies like these. I cook, bake, create new materials for my business, templates that help organize, affirmations to start my day! Everyday, something new is being created. Pretty exciting, right?!
And I bet if you stop and think about your days, you are creating something new everyday too! Many of us just need to wake up to everything we are already creating and see ourselves as the Conscious Creators we are. Use this as a starting point to go deeper with all your potential!
Ready to Expand Your Potential?
Here are some more of my favorite tips to help cultivate creative energy:
Be willing to think differently.
Be willing to be open, to not let the world, others, or even yourself limit what you can
do. Pay attention to the times where people try to limit you or where you limit yourself.
Ask if the self-imposed limit is a belief of yours that you truly own--or is it coming from
somewhere else or someone else entirely? Do you know why you believe it? Is it helpful
to your life? If you discover the belief is not necessarily yours, not something you are
sure you believe in, or is limiting you from doing what you want, consider exploring this
belief more, even challenging its truth.
You know the saying “Stop and smell the roses”? That applies here. Just stopping to
notice all of the beauty around you can help connect you more deeply with your
creativity. Nature refreshes and rejuvenates in a way like nothing else does. And when
you stop and smell the roses, you are in the moment. Being in the moment is a state of
Sit quietly outside.
Listen to the sounds of nature. What do you hear? Just tuning in to the sounds around
you becomes meditative. You feel connection to the creation in you and around you.
Know that you are part of nature and all of Earth’s beauty. As created beings, we can
continually connect to creativity through connecting to the natural world.
Challenge yourself to consciously create something everyday!
If you’re up for a challenge, schedule out time to create something daily--or simply
become more conscious of what you create in your day-to-day. Are you cooking,
crafting proposals, stories, letters? Can you create something everyday that feeds your
passion, your soul?
Foster and explore creating hobbies!
Experiment, explore. Try writing, sewing, painting, drawing, yoga sequencing, dancing,
making videos, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, making music, creating
playlists, crafting, building something, pottery, jewelry-making, candle-making, etc.!
The list is really endless.
Find and feed your passions.
This may be one of the most important aspects of connecting to your own creativity.
This is the fire inside you--the experiences, hobbies, creations that really light up your
life and bring you pure joy. The more we feed these things, the more our creative ability
is tapped into and expanded!
Say no to things or people that drain you.
We cannot allow anyone to suck up our time, energy and vitality--including loved ones.
Set needed boundaries and recognize when it’s time to walk away from people who
aren't lifting you up. You do not have to give your time to anyone who drains you with
negativity. Period. Period. No buts...your energy is sacred. Protect it.
Ingest vital food and drink.
Our creative energy is our vitality, this vibrant life force energy inside of us. How we feed
and nourish our physical body matters. Some simple quick tips might be starting to eat
healthier by reducing preservatives and processed foods, staying hydrated, drinking
enough water for your body everyday. And reducing toxin intake as much as possible:
toxins in the form of alcohol, excess sugar, what we put on our skin and in our hair. All of
these toxins combine inside us affecting our moods, our energy levels and how we
interact with ourselves and the world.
Did you know just taking a 10-15 minute walk can boost creativity? It’s thought that this
mild activity stimulates the neuroplasticity in specific areas of our brains, one of which
areas is the hippocampus that is involved with learning and memory. Additionally,
movement alone helps break up the chatter of the mind, helping you find the space of
clarity and peace where creative ideas are often born.
Enjoy sex and physical touch.
Sex is one of the best ways to be purely connected with ourselves and others, purely in
a moment with no distraction. Physical touch--same thing--and we can do this with
anyone (who welcomes it!). It slows the world down to just reach out and touch
someone’s hand, arm, give them a hug. It stops the business of life to be in the moment
and express love. Additionally, if you’re into chakra theory, the Sacral energy center
housed below our navel in the area of our reproductive organs is all about accessing our
ability to create and to follow passions. Creative energy and sexual energy are
synonymously linked. Check out more on how to transmute sexual energy here.
Find the best ways to minimize stress that work for you!
Maybe this is deep breathing, yoga, a run, a good book. Find your calming medicine
(other than actual pharmaceuticals). Be conscious when your plate is becoming
overloaded. What can you take off the to-do list? What can you leave for another day?
Stress will deeply cloud our brains, making it extra tough to connect with creative
Take a social media break.
Social media can be draining for our souls and our psyche. More often than not, it can
throw us into a cycle of comparison where we get lost in this noise and very detached
from our true selves. Just walk away, maybe delete the apps for a bit when you notice
yourself unconsciously clicking into them just to pass the time by.
Be childlike. Love this tip from lifehack.org: Return to your 5-year-old frame of wonder, play and curiosity. Young children are uninhibited by the world around them. They are fully confident in their abilities. They uninhibitedly express themselves and create. The next time a hard situation comes up, try seeing it through a 5-year old lense. Or when you wake up feeling groggy and cranky in the morning, think about how an uninhibited 5 year-old approaches new experiences and embody this.
Feed your body goodness: food, feelings, thoughts, nature, movement, passion, pleasure, joy!
Create routines around creativity. Ironic as it might be, we find creativity through discipline too. Schedule out you time to explore passions, create something, or just be. Sometimes just having a silent, still few moments is all we need to reconnect to our core creative.
If you’re looking to expand your creative potential, try some of these ideas out! See what works for you! If you’re interested in doing more to shift your own beliefs around creativity, or explore your passions, reach out and see how we can work together to expand your potential!