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9 Ways of Cultivating Creativity

Photo by Cindy Loughridge

I believe that Creativity and Spirituality are interconnected. By spirituality, I don’t mean religion, I’m referring to the human spirit, our Source, that place in us that feels connected to Life. Napoleon Hill calls it “Infinite Intelligence“. Deepak Chopra calls it “Pure Consciousness“. My friend Joshua Roman described it beautifully, “..that place in us that never ends.”. This beautiful place in us which cannot be accurately described by words, and can only be felt by the heart.

Being creative is simply relaxing into that place in you and connecting with this “Infinite Intelligence”. It is a gift in each of us, waiting to be discovered. We are all talented beings, because we all have access to the same infinite Source. We are all richly endowed, naturally.

When we act from a place of Creation, we are in a place of abundance, where there are no bounds. Limitations and scarcity only comes when we act from a place of Competition.

There is no such thing as Being more creative“, you ARE already a creative being. But, you can practice to become more in-tuned or aware of that creative energy surrounding you, all the time, of which you have unlimited access to.

Here are 9 practices I personally use to help me in ‘cultivating’ creativity.

Practice:

  • Being Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, journaling – writing down your thoughts (this can be so rewarding!).
  • Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
  • Tickling Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. I’ve found it helpful to practice seeing vivid images with my eyes closed.
    • Try it. Close your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colors, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc.
  • Being In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.

 

 

  • Being Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
  • Drawing – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently. I highly recommend the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and the workbook by Betty Edwards. This book was designed for people who has never drawn before. I first heard about this book from a psychology textbook. I have gained much from its insights.
  • Seeing Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
  • Being Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
  • Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper (or notebook, I prefer loose paper so you don’t feel restricted that you have to keep the page ‘straight’ and organized.), start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts… sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page. This is how I construct blog articles. I start with ideas and points, sometimes really crappy points at the start, and once I fall into ‘flow‘, the article will take shape before my eyes .

When Do You Feel Most Creative? Do share with a comment.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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78 thoughts on 9 Ways of Cultivating Creativity

  1. Just to add on, when you wake up from an interesting dream, quickly write it down at the moment when it’s most vivid.

    Some of my best works come from “titles”. Phrases that just popped into my head or in my dreams…

  2. Armannd

    I’ll have to agree to the previous commenter. *All* my blog articles have their origins on single phrases or ideas that just popped into my head.

    I usually have the greatest amount of ideas when trying to fall asleep. Probably because I’m most relaxed at that time. Only if I could somehow record my thoughts without waking up. :)

  3. Love your site! I’ll “social bookmark” to keep spreading the word. The comment about being “more creative” was very helpful…I sometimes “forget” that I’m always creating in some form or fashion.

  4. Great post.

    I too believe that spirituality and creativity are intimately connected.

    When you study the lives of movers and shakers and great people of any stripe, you often find that their creativity is connected to their very soul.

    Elvis, for example, began his career making a gift for his mother, who he loved deeply. His ability to perform so well, and sing from the heart even when the song was fairly drippy, was connected to his early experience singing gospel songs with his family. For him, all music was spiritual.

    Einstein found spirituality in the profoundly fascinating world of quantum physics. He felt that what he saw, what he figured out, could not have been a random event, it was too beautiful, too poetic.

    I do believe creativity is within each of us, as you say, and, I would add that because many of us are not creatively fully self-expressed, that we can become “more creative” by unlocking those shakles. I would say further that creative effectiveness can be enhanced by knowledge, and by deliberate process.

    Knowledge allows us to make new and interesting combinations to solve problems.

    Deliberate creative process is an aid to make sure we get into flow about the right challenge, and once we have good ideas for solutions, get into action on making them happen.

    For those interested in learning a simple process for creative problem solving, check out “Jack’s Notebook” my new book, a teaching fable/novel, about creativity.

    Creatively yours,
    Gregg Fraley

  5. Great tips. I especially think on paper.I have so many little pieces of paper with notes that it looks like a jigsaw puzzle on my desk.

    You have a wonderful blog and I enjoyed reading this post.
    Keep up the good work. :D

  6. Hi SJ,

    RE: Some of my best works come from “titles”. Phrases that just popped into my head or in my dreams…

    Same here, I carry loose paper with me and sometimes I write them in notebooks. It always starts as a title or thought.. and as I write them down, more related ideas will come. Very powerful stuff. And I’m learning that the more you encourage it, the more sensitive you become and the more you ‘receive’.

  7. Hi Armannd,

    I experienced the same. In fact, all my ideas, whether for business, work, blog articles all came in this form. I don’t get them near bed time tho. :) Usually when I’m not paying attention to things (like brushing teeth)… or sometimes when I am completely focused on one thing, yet feeling relaxed. Again, I use gratitude to get relaxed.

  8. Hi Cathy! Thank you so much. I appreciate your support, and it will help me tremendously if you spread the positive word.

    Re: I sometimes “forget” that I’m always creating in some form or fashion.

    Glad, the reminder was helpful to you. I need this reminder sometimes…. it’s so easy to “forget” when our minds are not clear. :)

  9. Hey Gregg,

    Wow, what a comment! Beautifully written.

    I agree with this statement: “Knowledge allows us to make new and interesting combinations to solve problems.”

    Also, the knowledge of existing solutions allows us to build on top of it, to take the parts that work effectively and add additional benefits creatively to produce a better product/idea/service.

    Best,
    Tina

  10. Alexys,

    Thanks so much!

    RE: I have so many little pieces of paper with notes that it looks like a jigsaw puzzle on my desk.

    Me too… and stickies and cue-cards :) Lately I’ve been using loose 8×11 blank paper, they’re bigger and harder to misplace.

    Thanks for the comment!

  11. .. I really love your blog! It’s nice to read such encouraging and thought provoking material :)

  12. Thanks Matt! I appreciate the encouragement!

  13. Yes, I believe this to be true. If you ever read any of my SU website you will see an example of just this. Everything I wrote there was something I didn’t even know I was capable of. My first attempt at creative writing is on there somewhere and was very rough …some very good stuff followed very quickly and I am sure that “we all have access to the same infinite source” as I cannot even explain how I was able to write any of the things I wrote. When I am inspired, it just seems to flow from me. When I am not, there is nothing.

    I believe it really is the relaxing and and connecting with the “Infinite Intelligence” that brings it out. When I am too busy, or too self absorbed, I haven’t the time or the inclination to be creative, but when I relax and just let it come to me, I am utterly surprised and astounded by the results. I

    Thanks for your newsletter. I do enjoy this kind of thinking and exploration, but I seldom take the time or have the opportunity to actually do it. This newsletter is perfect, because it allows me to take the “how do you eat an elephant approach”. In other words a little bit at a time is perfect for me right now.

  14. Campbell,

    I’ve learned that relaxing is key. I’ve found taking a bath to be helpful, similarly with meditation. Sometimes, I’ll go for a walk or sit in a coffee shop where I’m very comfortable. Then I start with a question, start writing ideas and ‘messages’ down, and that will start a serious of more ‘messages’. It’s great! I love the process.

    I enjoyed reading your words.. beautiful and very very true. I’m glad you connected with what I wrote. This makes me very happy.

    Thank you for the comment!

  15. Lovely article! When we tap into our creativity, we also tap into our divinity – the ability we have to create our life experiences. Every thought, action, and choice we make is, after all, a creative act. But when we engage specifically in creative endeavors such as art, music, you name it, we can bring that creative process we are all part of forward into consciousness.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

  16. All of these concepts are related. As you say, creativity and spirituality are connected. Being in the moment and removing the past, present, mind and ego. All of these words are pointers to finding “..that place in us that never ends.”

    I would like to think that I can just turn my centeredness and creativity on (or off) like a faucet. I frequently get lost in day to day mind wanderings which move my focus away from the moment. When I realize what has happened, I bring myself back. I have my own practice; I start by sitting up straight in my chair, and taking a couple deep breaths through my nose. I acknowledge thoughts that enter my mind, and let them subside.

    I love your ideas for uplifting my creative mind! I am going to start using them today.
    I am really enjoying checking your blog everyday, and finding new and enlightening words! Both from your posts, and from your readers! You have my complete support :)

  17. From a career development perspective, fostering creativity is never going to ‘go out of fashion’. The world, and the economy, will always need creative talent; people who have the ability to inspire and bring ideas that are fresh and new. You will never be short of opportunities, no matter what field, market or business you’re in.

  18. For years, I resigned to the fact that I was just not a creative person, even though I had creative talents when I was younger. I finally got in touch with those creative forces recently using most of the practices you describe.
    It feels great to be human again!

    Tina, thanks for visiting my site. Your comment lead me here. Wow! Great article and a great site.

  19. Andrea,

    “When we tap into our creativity, we also tap into our divinity – the ability we have to create our life experiences. Every thought, action, and choice we make is, after all, a creative act”

    Beautifully said. What ringed with me most is the reminder that we truly have “the ability to create our life experiences”. You’re a great writer. I enjoyed your blog, and will be visiting regularly. :)

    Tina

  20. Adam, Thanks for sharing your experiences and what you do to bring yourself back to the present. You are right, “fostering creativity is never going to ‘go out of fashion’”

    In fact, Daniel Pink (popular business speaker) wrote a book called “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.” on the topic.

    I believe the coined term ‘right-brainers’ is a romanticized version to categorize people. We are all creative, just some of us self-claimed ‘left-brainers’ have not been in touch with that part of ourselves yet.

    btw, I’m neither a right or left brainer. I’m both, just like you and everyone else. :)

  21. RE: “For years, I resigned to the fact that I was just not a creative person”

    Danny, Thanks for the note. And I appreciate your openness. I believe that many people out there feels this way and coin themselves with the title “I’m not a creative person” or the label “left brainer”. I think it’s cool that you’re using your experiences to inspire others. Great blog you got.

  22. Tina,

    Great post.

    Oscar Wilde said: “The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.”

  23. Bob

    I love the phrase “tickling your imagination.” What a fun way to put it!

  24. Tina, I just discovered your blog after you left a comment on mine. I’m impressed and touched by your articles and by your energy. I’ve subscribed via RSS and can say that one of the ways I find my creativity sparked is by hanging out with people like you!

  25. What a beautiful post this is! Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

    I like to think we are all connected to the source by an internal Wifi connection of sort (even if we seem to switch it off sometimes).

    Connecting to our creative spirit is not a privilege or special gift reserved for the few, it’s here for everyone to grasp. It all starts with wanting to be creative or abundant, the single act of wanting puts focus on our goal like a camera zooms on a subject. The great Law of polarity that governs all of life kicks in drawing to us the focus of our attention. The Law is indeed perfect yet people still have doubts. The sun will rise tomorrow and that is all i need to know.

    To keep my wifi connection on i often like to remind myself these words: “When birds fly too high, they sing out of tune.”

    Tina, your Wifi switch was definitely on when you wrote those words. Keep it on! Great Blog!

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