Thanks for being part of the Inner Creative community this year.
It’s been a privilege to be a part of someone’s creative awakening – whether it’s about bringing more creativity into everyday life, or tapping into one’s creativity to get greater business insights. I love seeing those aha moments and the joy on someone’s face when it all clicks into place :-).
Here is my Christmas inspired mandala for you – may it evoke the spirit of this festive season. And as a special thank you to everyone on my mailing list I have included my initial black and white outline, so you can colour in your own version (and it’s not too late to sign up to get it too).
Wishing you all the best over the coming Christmas, New Year and festive season.
Here’s to a stellar 2016 – may it be full of joy, good health, success and creativity for you!
Looking forward to providing more creative guidance and tips next year, and inspiring more of you to unlock your creative inspiration to get more out of life and business.
I also hope that you get a little time out for yourself to recharge your creative batteries :-).
Mandalas are an ancient art form of developing patterns and shapes within a circle. They are very accessible forms of art – you don’t need to be a master artist or a zen monk to create some beautiful and rewarding results. However, when you’re starting out they seem a little intimidating. So I have created the following warm up exercise to help you begin creating your own mandalas.
In early April 2015, I went on a Play Adventure where each day for 30 days I ‘coloured in’ a mandala colouring page (that I had previously created).
Here are all thirty designs that I created out of that one mandala colouring page. I even surprised myself by how many different and unique results I could create out of such a seemingly simple outline.
This Play Adventure was rewarding in so many ways. I introduced more play and fun into my day. I got to express myself creatively. I learnt more about the creative process and what worked for me. It also got me thinking about creative inspiration, taking risks and how ideas can flow. I learnt so much!
I captured my learning in the following blogs each week:
Going on a mandala Play Adventure was rewarding in so many ways. I got to introduce more play and fun into my day. I got to express myself creatively. I learnt more about the creative process and what worked for me. But the biggest takeaway was learning about the importance of developing a creative habit or practice: doing something creative on a regular basis and making it a normal part of my everyday life.
By creative habit, I mean that you are spending time on a specific creative project (like collating a photo book, colouring in a colouring book, or knitting a baby rug). It can also include what’s known as a creative practice, where you are developing a particular craft or skill over time, for example short story writing, watercolour painting, or hand carving wooden chess pieces.
So the 30 day mandala Play Adventure has come to an end. It has been challenging but it was definitely worth it. It’s been so rewarding, and I had so much fun! And I think that keeping a playful mindset was definitely a contributing factor.
At the start I wasn’t quite sure that I’d be able to colour the same mandala colouring page in 30 different ways. But I dived in to see where the adventure would take me. I ended up finishing with so many ideas still left inside of me. Who knows? I might have been able to create another 30 mandalas, or even more?
This unexpected flow of ideas has got me thinking about how we sometimes impose limits on our creativity through scarcity thinking. We can falsely hold onto our ideas, worried that if we use them (or share them) that there’ll be nothing left.
But our first ideas might not even be the best ones. In InGenius, Tina Seelig writes that people often fall into the trap of going with the first solution they find, rather than taking the time to work a little harder to come up with a more innovative response. (She refers to Tim Hurson’s ‘3rd third’ concept from Think Better to explain this further.) It’s as if our ideas come in waves or sets. The first set of ideas are pretty obvious (and if you want a quick fix then this might be fine). However, if you dig a bit deeper then you get a more interesting set of ideas. As you continue to push the boundaries and test the limits of your assumptions and what’s possible, then you’ll get progressively more innovative sets or waves of ideas (which may result in a more effective and/or far-reaching solution). For this reason, Seelig asks participants in brainstorming sessions to share their worst ideas up front. This way participants turn off their judgment and open their minds to lots more possibilities than if they only shared their initial, and most likely to be obvious, response to the issue.
You can see how this concept of idea waves plays out over the 30 days of my Mandala Play Adventure. For instance, I couldn’t have created the 3D lotus mandala from Day 12 on the first day.
As I wrote in my previous blog about inspiration, our ideas are not created in isolation from one another. So I prefer to think that by using or creating something from our one idea that we plant a seed for another idea to follow.