I believe as women age, we find our inner creativity.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at all the ingenious ways you keep everything together.
If you’ve ever pushed a child to get her homework done a few minutes before school, you have creative juices stirring around inside.
If you’ve ever baked cookies for the school bake sale while typing up an email confirming a work meeting, you’re a creative.
If you’ve ever planned a party for your family because “you’re the only one who’s good at it,” your creative juices are flowing freely.
Until they aren’t.
If you’re a writer, an entrepreneur, a gardener, a designer, a parent, a teacher, a healer, or even an activist, I know you have creative skills buried inside of you. You call on them all of the time to get things done.
Still, in the best of times, we can at times feel like we’re anything but creative. Even easy tasks can become difficult, feeling like we’re a long way from getting in sync with our inner selves. Things like:
- Imposter syndrome
It all adds up, and prevents us from reaching deep down inside and getting things done.
What is creativity?
Creativity can be defined in many ways. Merriam-Webster says it’s “the ability to create.” Dictionary states: “the use of imagination or original ideas.” Wikipedia says it’s “a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed.”
I like Albert Einstein’s definition better:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
I believe we’re all creative and use our skills regularly. It’s a way of adding value to our lives.
Creativity is often linked to writing or painting, or composing. But creativity can be so much more than that. It’s a way of breaking free from “follow the step-by-step formula,” and doing something different to get to the finish line. Whatever that finish line may be.
Creativity doesn’t happen with extreme focus
Has this ever happened to you? You’re under deadline; you have a project that needs completing. But the more time you spend on it, the more frustrated you become. When you’ve finally had enough, you walk away. You jump in the shower. Go for a walk. Head out to lunch. Then … WHAM! A concept hits you, and you can finish your project in minutes. The entire thing is pulled together, and it makes it all seem so easy.
What was missing?
It turns out, there’s science behind being more creative. Focus and deep concentration stop creativity. Creativity actually comes from a lower frequency of brain wave activity. That’s why you’ll often hear the most creative people say things like:
It came to me in a dream.
You can’t find your creative spirit by being busier. You can’t multitask and get more things done.
If you really want to dive in deep, break through writer’s block, or invent something new, you’ll have to tap your creativity from within.
Do something new
Especially in midlife, life can be a bit humdrum. You’ve reached a point where all you do is live on autopilot, doing the same things over and over again.
Has that gotten even worse for you, too, as we’ve moved through the past two years?
I’ve always worked from home. But now that I have a full house with others working from home too, we have clearly defined patterns for when we wake, work, eat, and what we do after work.
So I’m looking for ways to break free from this “sameness” in new ways.
Arts and crafts – whether it’s painting, drawing, ceramics, quilting, sewing, cross stitch, or woodworking, this is a great way to get your fingers dirty and let your creative juice flow. I use Craftsy and Masterclass to come up with a variety of ways to get active.
Spend time in nature – I walk 10,000 steps every day. But even that can be mundane when you take the same path each time you walk. I challenge myself to find new parks, forests, hikes, or walks at least once a week to see and experience new things.
Cook and bake – not only can this improve your health, but it can also get your creative juices flowing.
Listen to music – stop listening to the same things. Open up your Spotify account and try a new playlist. I love to surf based on the recommendations it gives me.
Go to a garden center – I fall in love every time I head to my local nursery. I stroll through the aisles, breathing in the beauty of the native plants. Just this week, my local nursery is opening up their poinsettia room – rainbows of red, white, pink, and blue poinsettias fill me with wonder. And give me what I need to dive into my writing when I return to my desk. (I even have a souvenir on my desk!)
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
Make creativity a habit to get your creative juices flowing
Like everything, the more you use it, the greater skill you’ll have of using it. That applies to creativity too.
When you’re creative, you’re more likely to have creative ideas. Do you have a way of capturing these ideas?
Carry a journal or notebook with you. You can use a notes feature on your phone in a pinch. Or carry sticky notes in your purse to quickly write your ideas down. Then keep them in an organized fashion for when you have more time to dig into the details. I have a variety of idea files on my desktop, and an idea journal on my desk to record ideas as they develop.
I also seek out ways to build new ideas. If you’ve stopped taking on new tasks, introduce something new into your life. A new class, signing up for a committee, or even doing a little research on a subject new to you can help refine your idea skills.
Don’t stop there. Dive in deep and learn from experts. I’m not talking about leading experts you may never have a chance of meeting – you’ll find many experts in your local community. Get involved in local events, and invite someone new out to lunch. The key is bringing yourself to a new level of awareness, one that happily lets in new ideas every challenge you take on.
Happy mind + Healthy body = Creativity
Life has been tough on us these past months. Sleep, time, energy, mindset – it all impacts the level of creativity you bring to your life.
The more in touch you are with self-love, the more self-care you introduce to your daily life, the more sensitive you’ll be to your creative side.
To stimulate creativity:
Get more sleep – no, you can’t survive on four hours. You can’t “sleep when you’re dead.” [That used to be a favorite saying before I figured this out.] A lack of sleep causes a host of physical and mental problems. To get healthy and stay healthy, start by getting more sleep.
Get more sunshine – I know, that isn’t easy in the middle of winter, especially when you live further north like I do. Vitamin D is uber important – I recently had my vitamin D levels checked and will be talking about that in a future post. We know now that vitamin D deficiency is rampant throughout the world and its impacting our health. Get sunshine when you can. Supplement to fill in the void. You’ll feel the difference.
Bring nature to you – Buy yourself flowers. Keep plants throughout your work and living space. Pick up gorgeous rocks you find while walking on the beach. Build a terrarium. Place photographs of nature on your walls. We’re meant to soak up the outside, yet most of us spend little time there. I highly recommend going outside …. And bring the outside in whenever you can.
You are a creative. You just have to make creativity a bigger part of your life.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou