CREATIVITY AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

 

It took me a long time to call myself an artist. Close friends knew I painted, wrote and would tinker with any art supplies they left lying around, I wasn’t an artist. In my view an artist was someone that had gallery shows and sold paintings. Artists were people that dedicated their whole life solely to the creative of their art. Artists were starving until they were chosen as especially gifted and became famous. Given this definition, I wasn’t an artist. I’d heard artists were ‘“right brained” kind of people. They were extremely creative but messy. As a lover of spreadsheets and organizational structure, I couldn’t be an artist.

In a society that tells us value equates to productivity, the pressure to hustle forward makes it easy to ignore our own desire to express ourselves. Writing, painting, singing, dancing, all become something we’d love to do if only we had more time. Never enough time!

Self-care is in itself, reclaiming your time. By setting aside time to do something just because it feels good, we say that in this moment, nothing is more important than ourselves. Creative practice to me, is carving out time to express for the sake of expression. This way, we learn to trust our own voices and get more in touch with our instincts. Taking the time to get creative gives you space to honor your own voice, decisions, and point of views. The more we tap into our own creativity through play, the easier it is to tap into that creative voice again when we are problem solving in our day to day lives.


Ready to make space for your inner artist? Below are some easy ways to get started that have worked for me.


  1. Sing in the shower! Or your car, or the club, or wherever! Sing your all your favorite songs out loud and let your voice do it’s own unique thing.

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2. People watch! This may sound a little weird but many people are too in their phones to notice what’s going on around them anyway. Notice how people walk, talk, move. One of my favorite things is sitting in coffee shop window, watching people walk by and create whole stories in my head about where they are coming from and where they are going. Also a great writing exercise if that’s your thing.

3. Take a class you’ve always wanted to take! A quick online search can bring up the best one day cooking, sewing, painting, jewelry making, etc classes in your area. Groupon is a great place to find low cost, one day art classes.

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4. Grab a pen & paper and write three pages of anything that comes to mind. These are not meant to be amazing works of literature or even shared. This is just for you, to clear up some space in your head to help the ideas flow!

5. Make a favorite meal from scratch. Cooking is an awesome way to get creative by finding an awesome recipe and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts and taste buds a bit to spice it up. Not sure of what to make? Spend some time exploring recipe blogs and cook something that just looks good based on the picture. One of my favorite places to find healthy recipes is Food Heaven Made Easy

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Try one of these this week & don’t be afraid to look or feel silly! Silliness is part of the process. If you need encouragement tag us, we’re happy to cheer you on! And if you’re really ready to dive into your own creativity some more, I recommend reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.


Most importantly, continue to make space for yourself.


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Sesalli

is a writer in LA, follow her here!