I am often told by my clients,"I'm not really creative, I'm not an artist. I can't even draw a stick figure! I believe we all have creative abilities and it can look different from person to person.
Each human being is a part of creation, so the creative spark must reside within us. It may seem overwhelming when we think of the idea of creating or even by the word creative itself!
Maybe it feels like we are trying to harness the wind!! For some it maybe a reminder of how they are not good enough because they cannot create, or that something in you must be flawed/lacking since you can't create. This is not true!
I think it looks different to different people and in my studies of the Enneagram I realize why, it can look or feel different to each enneagram type. Some of us create through expressing from our hearts, some of us create by expressing through our minds and the third type create by expressing from their bodies, expressing in many ways what each believes to be a creative outlet.
So, I decided to write this blog, with lots of encouragement from my clients who have realized that it's not unattainable nor does it need to be complex. So thank you to each of you for nudging me to write this. I have used real examples of peoples struggles and my own to illustrate our various creative voices, practical ideas and methods that I have used. Where possible I have added links to ideas and products.
Why am I writing a whole blog about this you may ask, what's so important about your creativity?
From a Psychology of Color point of view, your creative center is physically found in the area two inches below your belly button known as your sacral or second chakra. The color of this center is orange and it is where our self-esteem, sexuality, sexual organs, sensuality, It is also the center of creativity and the area of birth and our own awakening. We could perhaps not live our fullest expressions or we may feel as though something is unfulfilled or lacking if we don't create in some way, this maybe so because our self-esteems are tied into this area. So if our self-esteems feel low a great way to raise it is by creating.
Here are some reasons why:
If you are creating (essentially you are :giving birth" this is true for both men and women) you feel better about yourself and in turn your self-esteem becomes stronger.
Your sense of yourself is affirmed.
You may becoming better at asserting your needs and wants more confidently.
You may feel more fulfilled since when your'e making or creating you feel more alive.
It stimulates your mind to come up with more ideas.
Our self-esteems are not set they are always changing and shifting based on what maybe occurring in our lives, so when we create we can continue the fluid momentum within our lives.
Why is it so good and why should I do it?
It is a form of self-expression.
To find a way and a method to express ourselves is essential to humans because it gives us purpose and meaning.
It also gives us a sense of accomplishment!
It maybe a way of joining a community!
Here are some simple ways on how to harness your creativity:
1.Candle making or soap making can be done by anyone. I know an engineer who makes his own handmade soaps and takes great pride in wrapping them and adding a label with his name and the scent of the soap.
You Tube is a great place to learn how to make your own candles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEqjWNJfA7k
2. Make your own reed diffusers, I was telling a client who believed she was not creative but enjoyed nice smelling things, how simple it is to make a reed diffuser. All she needed to do was buy cheap vodka and a fragrance that you like and some reeds, here is a recipe for a simple diffuser.
Blend together in an empty pretty jar:
1/4 c vodka
1/4 c water
15 drops fragrance
Drop in 5 to 10 reeds and you have a diffuser. The feeling of joy and a sense of pride are part of accessing your creativity.
Reeds can be bought on Amazon
3. If you like singing or playing music, join a band or choir, a client of mine tells me what pleasure she gets from her choir group, she says: "when I sing I feel like all the stress I felt before I got to my evening group melts away, I forget about everything else except my singing". If you enjoy music or singing then this can ignite your creativity.
4. Expression through our bodies, if this appeals to you there are numerous dance classes and some that are more about your own expression, like Biodanza, Nia Technique, yoga, restorative yoga and Ecstatic dance.
Biodanza and Ecstatic dance can be very liberating and exhilarating as it allows our bodies to move in ways it wants too or needs to, so it is more free form. There are of course many modalities of dance that are organized or more systematic, notice which appeals to you more? Some people may prefer the structure in dance like ballet and ballroom dance, it maybe that your preference of style may give you insight as to how your mind works.
5. Expression through food and cooking, there are many cooking classes and gastronomically pleasurable schools of cooking. Have a look in your area for these. It is also a great way to make new friends and build a community. I often recommend baking bread or pizza dough to my clients as a way to ground themselves back into their bodies, by this I mean if you have spent your time over thinking or analyzing then the very physical act of making bread relaxes your body and lets go of the thinking. I use this expression of creativity myself as it helps me calm down, relax and get out of my mind.
I made this recipe by Bobby Flay the other day and they were delicious: Parker House Rolls
I also bake as a way to destress and I have a recipe for a hot milk sponge cake that I have been using since I was 20!
6. Pottery, working with wood and clay, glass blowing, mosaic making and jewelry making. These can also be great grounding practices, they can be likened to a meditation because your concentration is centered around the activity you are doing and once again your mind has the ability to be still or silent. Chris Heuertz in his book the Sacred Enneagram talks about our body postures. He says that we need silence, stillness and solitude to become whole. Creative practices can help us get to these places of silence, solitude and stillness.
7. Arts and crafts such as painting techniques, quilting, knitting, sewing, paper making and scrapbooking are more well know forms of creative expression but they are also important to mention here. There are many adult coloring books like mandala making etc that we can use to help still the mind and engage in a creative practice.
8. Working outdoors in nature, gardening or creating your own water feature are wonderful ways to create and enjoy the benefits of your creations!
To make your own water feature, here is what I did to create a more zen calm atmosphere in my work space. Not only do I love it but my clients benefit as well. I used a large copper alloy, Chinese singing bowl that I bought when we lived in China ( you can use metal, ceramic or a glass) container, I added some crystals and sea shells and bought a small pump (make sure its not too big/ small for your container) on Amazon, added water and plugged it in, I have a great water feature!
9. Writing as an expression, whether that is poetry, short stories, fiction, non- fiction or you are writing in your journal or diary to express yourself. This too is a creative outlet for some people. There are some journals that have inspiring quotes or thoughts that can help us draw out what we maybe feeling. I sometimes use oracle cards to help me especially if I'm just not sure what I'm feeling. A great deck is Louse Hay -Affirmation deck.
They help me find a succinct way to express my emotions. I use colored pens and journals with textured paper. You can even make your own journal I made each of my children their own baby book with paper cut offs, wall paper samples and a punch to make holes in the paper. I added a piece of ribbon to tie it all together and wrote all their milestones in the book. They now have handmade baby books!
If you still have no idea what draws you to express your creativity then this maybe a way to figure it out. Go to an arts and crafts shop (we have Michaels here in the U.S), make sure you go to one that has a big variety for you to draw inspiration from. If gardening is your preference then going to a nursery might not only relax you but inspire your creative needs. Walk through it mindfully looking at things that catch your eye or pique your interest, then when you have finished walking around go back to the things that interested you and see if they are still possible options to work with? If you have a tight budget then draw inspiration from them and look up cost effective ways to replicate what you saw, You Tube has great ideas and videos on how to create things inexpensively.
Creativity lives in each of us and it can lie dormant along with our fuller potential, how would you like to harness your creativity today so that it can live in you? I would love to hear back from you about creative ideas or expressions. Ways in which you have explored and harnessed your creativity.
Until the next time,