Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is creativity. When we are kids, this part of us is supple, rich, and abundant. However, as time goes by, often natural creativity just shrinks and becomes stagnant.
I’ve experienced ‘uncreative’ phases like this in my own life. I’ve noticed an interesting trend as well – those times when I’m most engaged and creative are typically the happiest times.
It reminds me of an old, familiar Bible verse, paraphrased here: “Without vision, the people perish.”
Think about your life, friend.
Are you merely settling? Or you waking up passionate to contribute?
Earl Nightingale once said a ‘rut’ is nothing more than a grave with the ends knocked out.
Is the majority of your day doing things you ‘have to’ or are you spending your time doing what you enjoy?
I believe one of the greatest lies in the world is that we are incomplete and that we need someone or something outside of us to make us whole.
The lie that we are screwed up and need pills to be ‘normal’….the lie that we need a new car or a new lover…and then we will be enough.
The truth is, we are whole NOW. We ARE this present moment. When we drop the struggle, the ‘poor me‘ stories, and all the heavy ‘shoulds’ we are left with peace. And simultaneously, we unlock the power to create.
One of the biggest challenges in the modern world is dealing with distractions. Facebook and social media is notorious about taking us out of the present moment. It can be easy to lose hours of the day by watching other people live their lives. You are again ‘consuming’ but you are not ‘creating.’ The same can be said about pro sports, movies, and especially reality TV.
I’m guilty of this too. I definitely have my periods of time wasting time on Facebook — it happens. And lately, I’ve definitely been getting into Astros baseball games a little much.
It’s OK to enjoy the work of others in moderation. Everything has its place and time…what I aim to communicate here is that for a higher quality of life, it is necessary that we nurture the creative part of ourselves. It is not healthy to constantly be consuming information, documentaries, and media without ever thinking ourselves and creating our own content, so to speak.
It’s like breathing, if you inhale deeply, eventually you are due for an exhale.
It’s time to find a healthy ‘balance’ between consuming and creating.
Here are 3 games to help you unlock and nurture your creativity:
“What If” Game
One that I find uplifting is getting out a blank sheet of paper and writing ‘What if…’ at the top of the page. The goal is to get outside of the typical cycle of thoughts and to strengthen the imagination.
Here, I make 4 responses as examples. Typically, you will want to generate much more and aim to fill the page.
I travel to Colombia for 3 months
I play a concert at Dallas Cowboy Stadium
I sold my chocolate recipe to Hershey’s
I build at homeless rehabilitation program around community gardening
I could do this forever. The point is getting into the possibility side of life, instead of being ‘stuck’ or in the same ol’ box of thinking. Above, I did the ‘what if’ game for life in general, but you can also use the game for specific problems.
If there is something you are worried about, use this game to generate solutions. Don’t be surprised if the first few minutes seem fruitless. Creativity is interesting in that generally the longer you do it, the easier it gets. Once you ‘get in zone’ and lose your self monitoring, that’s when the amazing ideas start coming out.
Here’s how you could do it if you were having money troubles:
I apply for gigs on Craigslist
I go through my garage, attic, and closets and have a garage sale
I ask my Uncle to do his company website
Make a cottage law business and bake from home
Once you start the ‘what if’ game, you shift from focusing on the problem to creativity generating solutions. This is a much more empowering place to be.
Past-Tense Story Telling
Another game I’ve been trying lately is from Kyle Cease, a popular comedian, turned transformational expert. He has a game where you tell the story of your goal from the place of accomplishment. He recommends starting with things that are about 1 month away, and increasing the size of your stories as you go.
So for example, if my goal is to earn $10,000 next month, then I would write a story about it in past tense.
I remember when last month I made $10,000 from my business. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I had a shift inside and realized that I was creating a struggle for myself. So I dropped the struggle and started feeling really good about myself and what I am doing in the world. I let go of trying to force everything and suddenly things started flowing. My phone began ringing and my email was full of people who wanted to work with me in leveraged ways that created solid win/wins for both of us. I began to feel more worthy and deserving, and really abundant inside. The money kept pouring in….
You don’t have to tell the story the same way every time. For instance, you can repeat this exercise the next day and come up with a completely different solution. Your mind can create faster and more direct ways to achieve your goals…don’t worry about the tangible ‘planning’ aspect so much, just have fun and be creative.
“I Love” Rampages
A final exercise you can use to unlock your creativity that also boosts mood is to make “I love…” statements to really get into the flow focusing on the things I love. Yes, this is inspired by Abraham Hicks’ Rampages.
“I love playing guitar solos to enthusiastic audiences. I love the art of songwriting and losing myself in performing music. I love the feeling of being on an airplane and arriving in a foreign country for the first time. I love my friends and family. I love enjoying an abundance of healthy, delicious food….”
I go on for as long as I can. This is a great mood shifter and it is also great to review from time to time to keep your vibes high. Don’t over-think it. Just go with the best feeling thought you can think of!
The moral of all of this is: balance creating with consuming.
Remember, you are already whole. You are love. Use these games to unlock your creativity and deliberating choosing high vibrating thoughts and actions.
This is your life. It is but a collection of moments. Be present, live in the moment, and make the most of each one!