Creativity tips – Finding your joy

Have you lost your creative spark or mojo? Do you feel like the past week, month, or even year, feels like a blur? Does it all feel a little routine?

It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routine that we forget to find the joy. We lose our spark; that zest. And it’s especially tricky when you’re relying on your creativity to make a living or produce those exceptional results at work.

Connecting with our joy is one of the easiest way to get into a creative flow. 

Inner Creative Blog - Finding your joy - innercreative.com.au

Here are three easy ways that you can find your joy again:

1. Take pleasure in small everyday things.

When you’ve got a lot on your plate it’s hard to take time out to do something fun (especially if you’re feeling under pressure and time poor). That’s when you need to find small ways to bring a little smile into your day. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time either.

Sometimes it’s about doing what you’d ordinarily do, but adopting a more extravagant or mindful attitude. Give yourself permission to be indulgent, or inject a little fun or silliness. For instance, drink your cup of tea sitting outside. Put on your favourite tune while you’re getting ready in the morning. Use a coloured pen or marker to hand write your notes, instead of typing them up on the computer. Take a different route on your way to the office, walk if you can, so you can make a detour through a park or market on your way.

Being mindful while you’re doing something can also make small things more pleasurable. So spend a little more effort paying attention to what you’re doing. Feel the crunch and texture of your breakfast cereal as you chew. Notice the temperature of the water as you wash your hands. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Savour the minty flavour of your favourite chocolate fudge instead of gobbling it down all at once.

But don’t feel that you have to become a full time zen master of mindfulness. Incorporating a little fun, or savouring the experience every now and then when you remember, is enough to get bring some more joy into your every day.

2. Don’t focus on the result – be ok with making a mess.

Sometimes it can be hard to enjoy something we usually love doing if we’re worrying about the end result. This is particularly tricky for people who run creative businesses, or anyone who is relying on their creativity to produce an exceptional result. Sometimes even work, feels like work :-).

So find opportunities to experiment or create something just for the fun of it. Don’t worry about how it’s going to end up. Give yourself permission to make a mess and to have fun. Don’t worry about making it pretty or what others might think or say.

You just need to choose an appropriate time and space, when you’ll feel safe and comfortable experimenting. Maybe not when you’ve got a lot riding on the result. So choose a time when the stakes aren’t that high and you can give yourself permission to play, and potentially fail.

For instance, some artists keep an art journal where they can experiment with different techniques without worrying about creating something that’s sellable or what the market wants. Over time as they become more comfortable with their new process, they can incorporate this more into their public work. Similarly, you may have heard about Julia Cameron’s tool called “the morning pages” from The Artist’s Way. You begin each day by writing three A4 pages by hand on whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t matter what you write, or that you’re even a ‘writer’ by trade. This is just for you. You don’t share them. It’s just about clearing all of the ‘blah, blah’ critical junk out of your system before you get on to doing your real creative work later on.

But this advice is not just for artists. Find ways to keep things safe so you feel comfortable taking risks and experimenting. So if you want to try out a different presentation technique at work, say drawing up a mind map on a whiteboard as you speak, then practice this during a team meeting or with your trusted colleagues over a working lunch. Or, if you have some new ingredients you want to cook with? Then make sure you have a back up sitting in the fridge if the kids turn up their noses up at your creation, or host an experimental brunch or supper instead of a fancy dinner for 20. 

And it doesn’t have to be related to your everyday work or life either. Sit down for 5 or 10 minutes just to play with some LEGO or playdough. Doesn’t matter what it is just play.

3. Go down memory lane for activity ideas.

It might be hard to recall things that you like to do for fun, especially when life becomes more about work than play. So if you’re stuck for ideas, think back to what you’ve done on your best holidays, or what you enjoyed doing in your younger years. Did you like curling up with a good book? Playing in the sand pit? Riding your bike with friends? Going for long walks? Finding it hard to jog your memory, then join the Inner Creative mailing list for a FREE worksheet with prompts on rediscovering more clues to your creativity.

And don’t get disheartened, if you might not have the time, money or physical ability to replicate these activities exactly into your current life. That’s OK. As you reflect on your memories, think about any common threads between them, like being outside, hanging out with good friends, making something with your hands, or moving fast. These common themes are your clues to what you can do to bring these ideas from the past into your current life, even if it’s only in a small way.


 

The important thing is to bring this fun and joy back into your life as it is now, rather than wait for the perfect time and never getting around to it.

What can you do to bring a little more joy and creativity into your life?

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