People often say they either are or are not “creative”. The truth is we’re all creative! It’s in our DNA. Now, like all things in life there is a real spectrum when we talk about creativity with some people in the nomad-no rules-artist camp and others in the CPA-with-an-awesome-ability-to-solve-problems camp.

Whether or not you consider yourself “creative”, the joys and benefits of fitting more creative time into your life cannot be underscored enough.

Here are 9 ways you can light & fan your creative fire today:

  1. Protect the Time
  2. The biggest hurdle to engaging in your creative pursuits is often making the time. While I do believe that spontaneity reigns supreme, for most of us, if we don’t have an activity pre-scheduled it won’t happen.You need to carve out this “me time,” book it, and then guard it with your life. Make it something you can prioritize and cross off your list.

    Be More Creative - Protect The Time

    My tips for success:

    • Have a plan for your creative time, a specific task or activity to ensure that it happens
    • Plan your creative activities in the morning when you’re most inspired and least likely to get distracted or deprioritize
    • Book 60 minutes in your calendar or day planner for one day this week (bonus: make it a recurring event)
    • In addition, add this creative activity to your to do list

  3. Clean Up & De-Clutter Your Space
  4. When we’re talking creativity & inspiration, your biggest opportunity to get “in the zone” (and thus reap the benefits) is in a clean, clear & decluttered space. Open space = open mind and open heart. A messy room or house raises your stress levels and distracts you with a constant reminder of all the things you “should” be doing instead.

    My tips for success:

    • Keep your counters & desktop clear of any piles (no matter how neatly stacked!) of “stuff”
    • Clean up at the end of every day so that your space is always ready when creativity strikes
    • Throw it out or give it away! Really – get rid of everything you don’t need or haven’t used in 3 months. Invest in great storage solutions for the items you absolutely need.

  5. Embrace Your Beginner’s Mind
  6. A lot of times getting creative means learning new things. And when you’re face to face with a new endeavour everything may feel difficult. You may look ridiculous and you may feel frustrated because when things are new they require your full attention and intention. There’s no autopilot. There’s no muscle memory.

    When you’re starting out, embracing your beginner’s mind is a game changer to becoming more creative. When you can get excited by the thought of trying something new, when you can silence voice telling you why you can’t and shouldn’t, and when you can truly appreciate the effort and joy of learning – that’s when your creativity muscles are getting a work out!

    Now, it may take days, weeks, months or sometimes years (!) to become truly accomplished in your creative pursuit. Take solace that in knowing that on your first day sitting at a piano, your first time paining a landscape, or your first time getting set-up in downward dog, that shit will seem down right impossible! But it’s not. It never is. And where intention & attention flow, results will surely grow. Just do it! Be grateful. Stay humble.

    My tips for success:

    • Embrace the days when everything is new and difficult. It won’t last forever (nothing does).
    • Never (never, never) allow yourself to feel foolish when you’re trying something new
    • Take pictures or video of yourself when you’re just starting out (it’s cringe worthy!) and continue tracking your progress as you develop in your creative pursuits. This will help yourself recognize your achievements and revel in your ever evolving abilities. And hopefully it will help you feel more courageous and eager to keep going or try something all together new!

  7. Get Outside
  8. Nothing helps me feel more creative (and happy) then getting outside. Go for a walk, have a picnic, take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass. There’s literally nothing like fresh air and sunshine to make you feel alive. If you’re looking, nature is always providing inspiration too. From flower petals, to cloud shapes, to sweeping vistas, take a moment to just marvel at how freakin’ amazing this world is!

    Be More Creative - Get Outside

    My tips for success:

    • Go outside
    • Leave your phone at home
    • Notice the small things
    • Breathe deeply

  9. Get Moving
  10. I almost never feel like exercising. Intellectually I want to want to go, and I know that I need to go, but I rarely wake up and crave exercise. Until, I do it. Then I feel amazing. Better than amazing. I feel alive, fresh, and full of ideas.

    Whether it’s running or yoga or super steamy sex, getting your heart rate going and your body moving is the perfect way to both express your creativity and get inspired.

    Be More Creative - Yoga

    My tips for success:

    • Find ways to get moving that you actually enjoy
    • Schedule it (see point 1!)
    • If possible, try to work on your creative projects on the same days that you’re exercising to take advantage of the resulting inspiration and I-can-take-over-the-world attitude

  11. Make A Really Good Meal
  12. I know some of these seem like chores (I want you to cook & clean!) but this isn’t like get home from work and heat something up. This is choose a recipe you’ve always wanted to try and spend a few hours (or a nice relaxing Saturday) shopping and slicing and sautéing. Cook a meal because you want to. Try something new. Smell your ingredients. Taste from the spoon throughout. Garnish your plates.

    Cooking (or baking!) can be equally relaxing and invigorating. This is a creative pursuit in itself and a welcome reminder to make the ordinary extraordinary and prana-building with the simple additions of presence and intention.

    My tips for success:

    • Choose a time & date where you can relax, focus and not feel rushed
    • Ensure the kitchen is sparkling clean before you start (see point 2!)
    • Consider using ingredients or styles of cooking that are new to you to amp up the fun

Creativity can be defined as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” There is no better time than now to light up your imagination, get your ideas flowing, and start (or keep) the creative process moving.