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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. Hi Stephen (Zenchef), Thanks so much for stopping by. I love what you wrote.. such beautiful words.

    I have to be very conscious in reminding myself to keep my ‘Wifi’ open. It’s so easy to accidentally shut it off when my mind is too crowded. Too much blockage between wifi connections can weaken it’s connection. :)

    I’m not sure exactly what this saying means “When birds fly too high, they sing out of tune.” :) Could you explain?

    Thank you again for commenting and reading. I appreciate your support.

  2. So you want to know the meaning of “when birds fly too high, they sing out of tune”? It’s from the Tao, and it took me a while to figure it out but here’s my interpretation. When people act up, show too much ego or aren’t true to themselves (it’s pictured by birds flying too high), their life reflects it (that’s the singing out of tune). It’s another way of saying that if you aren’t true to yourself, your life will reflect it.

    It’s my take on it. But you have to reflect on the Tao on your own, you will find it’s true meaning deep inside yourself. It’s enriching!

    I am a private chef and i just started a food blog at http://www.chefsgonewild.blogspot.com i poke a lot of fun at my profession and people who take themselves too seriously (there are a lot in the food world!)

    Anyway nice meeting you! I will check out your blog often.

    Take care

    >StephenZenchef

  3. Joshua

    “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” is a great book! My dad introduced me to it when I was 10 or 11, he’s been a big fan of it for a long time too. I recommend it for anyone interested it opening up their creativity.

  4. Thanks Johnny!

    ————

    Hi Joshua, Thanks for the recommendation. I’m a big fan of the book. After reading the first chapter, I was so inspired that I went out, bought the work book, drawing books and lots of art supplies. The process was so enjoyable, I felt like a little kid again. :) I had a great time drawing my own face and my hands. I was quite surprised at how well I drew, even thought I’ve always told myself that “I couldn’t draw”. It’s a great source to develop creativity and right brain activities. :)

  5. Hi Tina, I LOVE this article and had learned about the drawing as an idea from Susan Sark and had totally forgotten that it is a WONDERFUL way to get the creative juices flowing. Now that I am trying to write more often than I ever have for my blog it is so great to come across these useful tools to jump start my brain that does get stuck, side-tracked and very “un-in-the-moment”. Thanks Tina! Jenny

  6. Hey Jenny,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving this cool comment. What do you use to help get your creative juices going when you write?

    Thank you!
    Tina

  7. I’m wondering if that drawing textbook helped you to graduate beyond stick figures.
    I’m still at that level myself.
    I’ve found the best thing is to not pre-judge your ideas. Write every idea down. There’s plenty of time for pitching it later.

  8. Hi Todd,

    You know what? I would love to see you pick up the book. That book was created for people like you (who still assumes that their drawing skills are at stick figure levels).. Trust me. :) You know what? I can personally guarantee it. If you get the book and starts doing the exercises and find that you are not enjoying it or benefiting from it. I will buy the book from you. How’s that?

    :)

  9. Hi Tina Su, Great post. I especially liked the suggestion on drawing. When I was younger I felt compelled to draw little designs or write just because it felt good.

    I haven’t done it as much lately so this reminded me how much I enjoy it and to do it more often. Thanks :)

  10. Hi Ryan, Thanks for your comment.. which also serves as a reminder for myself as well. I haven’t drawn in awhile, and I shall get back to it, maybe in my next “Self Date” :) And I agree, writing is incredible too in making me feel present and connected. I get to do that more often now. :)

    Thank you for reading!

  11. Why is it that most people think that creativity happens without effort? I consider myself to be creative, but I have to use several of the techniques that you mentioned to spur my imagination. You mention a couple of techniques that I have not tried – I think I may give them a shot.

  12. zach

    I have found that my best thinking is done on graph paper, I suppose it just aligns my thoughts. And if you were to look at my notes there is a doodle on every page. Thinking creatively is definitely linked to drawing. If you are worried that you can only draw stick figures than maybe you are trying to draw the wrong thing. I usually just draw repetitive, semi-geometric patterns that somehow flow into a bigger picture. try drawing random shapes and making them into something. This will help you visualize and you may find you will be more pleased with your art if your goal is only to resemble something, not to sketch a photograph of it.

  13. Dale

    Something I do, a bit more formal, is to take a basic drawing class at a community or junior college every six or seven years. It really helps to reinvigorate the way I see things and give me new perspectives in problem solving.

  14. Hi Tina,

    I found your article quite interesting and have posted my own version of how to be creative on my site http://www.justcreativedesign.com

    All the best.
    Jacob Cass

  15. @Chris Melton: Hi Chris, When you are in the flow, in the zone with creative ideas.. does it take any effort? I think once we are in tuned with creative energy, it feels effortless, ideas will just flow and you are merely experiencing the joy of it. But I think I know what you mean tho, the process of getting in that state of mind can take practice. It becomes easier over time, with practice, and awareness. Thanks for your feedback.

    @zach: Thanks for your feedback. We each operate differently. For example, I prefer blank white paper over graph paper. I get distracted by the little blue boxes.. and always want to stay in the lines. I feel more free on white. Some people prefer using notebooks. I like your technique of drawing geological shapes and designs. Thanks for sharing!

    @Dale: I’ve heard of people doing that too. Perhaps I should try it. :) Thanks for the sharing your thoughts with us.

    @Jacob Cass: Love the theme of your site. Very well designed. Thanks for the link.

  16. Ellen

    Wow, I can’t believe no one here mentioned “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I took a 12-week class based on the book, and it was here that I first heard “creativity” and “spirituality” used synonymously. The book addresses creative block and helps one sort through the external blockages to find the creative flow inside. The process of exploration is guided by exercises in the book (our class did them together) and a daily journaling process called “morning pages”. I’m not saying this is the best or only way to regain a creative flow, but I know many people who think very highly of this process, in particular.

    Found your blog via Lifehack and subscribed to the feed! Really enjoyed your pack-ratitis article and have forwarded it to my sister (who just had me stay ten days with her to sort out that very same chink in her life!) Looking forward to more of your outstanding work!

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