4 Steps to Prime Your Creative Pump
You do have creative bones, you just don’t know it.
The problem isn’t what most non-artists believe about themselves, ie ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body.’ The problem is we don’t learn how to tap into our creativity. When we’re schooled to do as we’re told it can be hard and scary to enter the deep dark world of our unknown imagination. It can be stressful, maybe terrifying. But even with all that fear you can find your way to begin.
Everybody is creative. Even you.
I’d been an actor for many years before I began teaching drama and improv. For me it was just natural to act and dance and sing. But after teaching others to dig into themselves I began to realize the importance of creative self expression for everyone; people feel energized, interested, awake, powerful, clear, and joyful to name a few superlatives. For me the facilitator, helping people find their way to creativity is one of the most uplifting and satisfying jobs I do.
Research Proves You are Creative
Back in the 1990’s I went back to school to study the relevance of arts education for adults, thinking my research would be focussed in the field of theatre arts. But instead I became interested in creativity in general – what is it, how does it work, where does it come from, why are we creative? And what I soon found was there was very little research into creativity. In general it was considered a realm inhabited primarily by artists, although in the field of psychology people from CG Jung to M. Csikszentmihalyi had established the fact that our ability to be creative is what distinguishes us as humans. In other words, all of us have the potential to be creative.
You can learn how to be creative.
In short my research proved what I’d been learning from my students in acting classes, creativity is natural and the ability to utilize it can be learned and improved. I’ve been teaching songwriting for the past decade and before that I was teaching improv and theatre. What I’ve learned in all my years of teaching is that everyone is creative. Not just artists. Everyone. If you are a human being, you are creative. If you’re not being creative, you can still learn how to be.
What makes you human is the fact that you are creative.
There had been times when I thought that being an artist made me special. But my research into creativity taught me that the only difference between artists and everyone else is the amount of time spent in the act of being creative. Artists spend most to all their time, if they are fortunate, doing their art. The effort and attention that is spent in the act of being creative is what gets them good at it.
An easy way to move into your creativity.
To help you I developed these guidelines I’ve named 4 Steps to Prime Your Creative Pump. My hope is that following these steps will guide you quickly and easily where you can into a place to allow their creative energy to flow. Whatever creative work you dream of doing these steps will work.
The first step sounds easy but it might be the hardest. It is called “relaxation”. You need to relax and shut off your auto pilot message loop of a mind and breath and become mindful of your breath and head into that wonderfully relaxing state of meditation.
The second step is “observation”. Now that you’re relaxed you can begin to observe your surroundings. Observe everything you can see, smell, hear, taste, touch. You can decide to get up and walk around at this point, or you may want to just shut your eyes and imagine yourself going for a walk. It’s your choice. Either way, use all your senses and notice what’s around you.
The third step is “receiving” Bring yourself into your observations. Receive the information you’ve been gathering through your observations and make it more self-reflective. What are you thinking or what are you feeling? Now your surroundings become more experiential, Now that you’re relaxed and observing your surroundings you can be a receptor of what in your surroundings wants your attention. Zero in on one object that you feel wants to communicate with you. Ask that object what it wants.
Now that you have relaxed, observed your surroundings and received information, you’re ready to begin making. Take a moment to record in your mind how you feel now. Tell yourself that in a moment you’ll begin writing or drawing or dancing or whatever creative self-expression you’re about to engage in. Tell yourself to maintain this attitude of relaxation, observation and receiving as you create.
The time you spend on each step can vary, but altogether it should not take any more than ten to fifteen (10-15) minutes depending on your preference.
If you’d like to know how to apply these four steps to writing a song, you can go to the side bar of this blog page and sign up to receive my Free E-Book “Mining for Gold: Connect to Your Creativity and Write Meaningful Lyrics.
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