Photo by TanteTati
It's the time of year that we thinking of gratitude and giving thanks for our blessings. Expressing our gratitude is one way to keep a sense of inspiration for our creative gifts alive. However, did you know that there is a relationship between gratitude and creativity?
Research has proven that there a connection between happiness and innovative thinking. When we allow ourselves to experience emotions such as gratitude, happiness, and play, thoses emotions help us remember more vividly, and encourage us to think outside the box. Gratitude can open us to new ideas and approaches to our creative practice.
It is easy to get lost in "lack" thinking i.e.....if only I got into that exhibition, if only that producer said yes to my demo, I wish I had my own studio, then I can create this or that. But when we look at the positives, the book that got published, the weekend that the kids were away and I got so much done, etc., that energy can move towards more creative wins. If we can practice gratitude everyday instead of special events like Thanksgiving or the holiday season, we can use that energy to stay inspired and more discipline with our creativity.
Think about what you are grateful for and see how that feeling can move you into a more positive place with your creative work. Lori McNee of FineArtTips.com shared some thoughts from the fomer ForTheCreators.com blog:that I love:
"BE THANKFUL FOR WHERE YOU’RE AT:
Be thankful for the time you do have to create, however small
Be thankful for the opportunity you have been given to learn your craft
Be thankful for the friends and family who do show you unconditional support
Be thankful for the materials you have that allow you to be creative
Be thankful for the space you have to create in
Be thankful for how far you’ve come"
What and who are you grateful for today that helps you with your creative practice?
Ah yes, the Holidays……! The holidays are a wonderful time of year for reconnecting and celebrating productivity and blessings from the last eleven and twelve months. As creatives this season comes with mixed blessings….the ability to sell some of our wares depending on our creative practice for holiday gift giving is ideal. For others, time to work on our creative projects….can be compromised. If you are among the latter, it can get tricky to balance all of the demands that the season brings. But with a little advance planning and discipline, this season does not have to be unproductive.
Here’s a few tips on how to navigate the holiday season to your advantage:
The holidays are indeed stressful but don’t have to be. With a little planning on the front end you can establish the priorities, the activities and your desired goals and actually meet them without feeling resentful or stressful.
What tips or tricks do you use to maintain your creative practice or reach your goals during the holiday season?
One of the most popular creative blockbusters that you may hear about is a tool, made popular by Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way is the morning pages. As Julia defines it, the morning pages are “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. “ The writing that is done here is not “high art” or publishable by any means…it is whatever comes to your head that you need or want to get out on paper, pen in hand. That’s right, it is not a typing or texting exercise…it is old school writing.
There are many people who use this as tool to unblock their creativity. For me it has been a tool that I have been using for a few years and it helps me to do a “mind dump” on everything that is going on in my daily world. Write everything from gratitude lists, poetry, funny things that happened during the day to venting out frustrations. Once I do this daily version of journaling, I begin the day a bit lighter and focused, especially as part of my morning ritual.
If you have been thinking of starting this practice, here is a few benefits that may encourage you to start earlier than later:
• There is No Wrong Way to Do the Morning Pages: Julia said so herself! It’s all about what comes out of your mind and on to the page. There is no writing structure or topic to follow. It is whatever is on your brain at the moment.
• The Morning Pages Clears the Fog of the Mind: For me, it is a wonderful brain dump….and at times I am surprised as to what appears on the page. There may be issues or thoughts latent in the brain that you don’t realize is in your subconscious. The morning pages allows you to get it out.
• The Morning Pages Helps You Discover Patterns of Thoughts or Concerns: You may be surprised that you are venting about similar issues or that a problem you thought you had now includes a solution in your writing. That is the magic of the process…when you identify patterns or find solutions, it helps clear the way for creativity.
• The Morning Pages Can Help You Think Through Creative Projects: New ideas often come as I write for artistic projects or for resources for my creativity coaching practice. I may write down an idea for workshop, or an art series and then expand on it. I may recall a detail from an Artist’s Date or an event I attended that I will write about which launches other ideas.
• The Morning Pages is a Healthy Way to Release Stress: If you have a habit of venting or complaining to your friends or family, a journaling practice of any kind is a healthy way to get it all out without losing friends and loved ones in the process. You can identify triggers, or crazymakers that may be getting in the way of your creativity.
Any journaling practice can have benefits to help you clear the mind and focus on your creative practice. Do you do the morning pages? What has been the benefits of this daily ritual for your creativity?