Creativity can be one of those evasive little things that when you’re so far in your head, there is no tapping into the juicy flow of ideas and solutions. I was a Jane-average creative back in the day who thankfully had a passion for all things art. I plugged away at making logos and advertisements, but nothing was fabulous.
It wasn’t until I tapped into the flow that I was able to tap into my true creative genius. Through nature and yoga my mind got quiet. I slowed down. I turned the noise around me off. I tried to spend less time on screens. I got more sleep. And I redirected my activities to things that are real.
To get into the creative flow, I had get around the busyness and distractions, which in this day and age, is not easy! It was incredible though, the transformation that occurred in my work. I was producing creative stories and graphics that would blow my mind when I looked back at them. All of a sudden I seemed to be channeling ideas from some greater source…from the flow!
This flow is superpower juice. It has answers. It is guiding and nurturing. And it is available to everyone. As a business owner, you know how complicated and busy things get. Not only are you doing your craft, but you have to worry about the business. It’s overwhelming and heavy. If you look back as to why you opened your business, perhaps it was in search of freedom, passion, and deeper fulfilment. All of which are now completely lacking.
That is why I want to share my experiences with you. I want you to feel that freedom again. To entice the inspiration back. I just want you to be happy. So let’s look at a few things that worked for me.
We are all dependent on a moving life force called prana. When prana moves appropriately, it nourishes our spirit and well-being. Yoga tames this prana and gets it going in the right direction, so we begin to feel unstuck, lighter and brighter. Yoga can also generate heat, which begins to digest stale things that may have gotten stuck. And finally yoga creates vitality…a glow that radiates physically and energetically. Getting on the mat is definitely a fast track to flow.
Walking & Movement
As humans, we are meant to move. Although movement is counter to stillness, I want to make sure nobody misinterprets my article to mean sit on a mat or chair all day! While I don’t think everyone needs to be running a marathon, we do need to make time to wiggle around more. Go on walks, bike to the store, find a fun sport like skiing, tennis, basketball, or racquetball. Dance! Find something fun that you can look forward to each day. For me, I have two dogs that always need a good walk, so it’s built into my lifestyle.
Being in Nature
This is a big one. I spent a lot of time alone in nature when I lived in Salt Lake City and I found this to be priceless for my creativity and mental well-being. I would spend hours in City Creek Canyon or Mill Creek Canyon with my girls walking trails. Almost every time I went, I swear the canyon spoke. I didn’t hear it with my ears, but with my mind. Any restlessness, anxiety or overwhelm was curbed by the time I left. And the ideas. Whoa. Sometimes I would think about a project that I was stuck on, or a big decision. I always left with my cup filled. If you ever need help, go ask the trees. This is where the flow lives.
Schedule Screen Time
I feel like screentime is horrible for tapping into the flow. TV can leave impressions that spin out the mind. Internet news, podcasts and social media can punch the emotional mind. Blaring music from the iPad is multitasking and weakening the mind. Replace these distractions with real activities. Try cooking, painting, writing, learning, meditating, singing. And do them all offline. IRL. Loosen the grip of the illusionary digital world and step back into reality.
This work is the cherry on the top. Everything you need can be called in from stillness. All the answers, inspirations and clarifications are yours when you take the time to just sit, and then ask for them.
Start to meditate or practice stillness. Find at least 10 minutes a day where you can sit up, straight spine, and just let everything go. Let your body be still. Let your eyes be still. Don’t fight the mind. Let it focus on the breath, not altering it in any way. Again, just let everything go. There is nothing to do. An alternative practice is to lie down on your back and open up the sense of hearing. Take in all of the sounds in the room. Then expand the listening to beyond the room and outside. Finally go to the furthest corners of the universe, where there is no sound. And bask in that unstruck silence. Try to build these practices to 30 minutes a day, perhaps doing them twice a day for 15 minutes.
I practice TM Meditation which I find to be even more powerful than the above practices. I highly recommend starting a similar practice if you feel called. (Don’t waste your time with an inexperienced teacher or somebody who doesn’t him/herself meditate.) The mystery of meditation continues to amuse me as it unlocks my superpowers!
If you’d like to join me in the flow for some creative experimentation, sign up for March’s Learn Over Lunch. The topic is Creating a Brand: Developing the Personality of Your Business. We’ll look at words and images that enhance how people might perceive your corporate identity.