Thursday, August 24, 2000

10 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity and Optimize Your Intuitive Powers
by W. Bradford Swift

Whether you consider yourself a highly creative person or not, it is possible for all of us to be more creative if we'll take the time to nurture that part of ourselves. These simple steps will give you direction in how to bring more of your creativity to the surface and to optimize your intuitive powers at the same time. Pick the ones that seem to fit for you and give them a try.

  1. Develop the habit of taking time for regular meditation and/or reflection. Meditation doesn't have to be hard or mystical. Start by simply setting aside 15-20 minutes once or twice a day to simply sit and be quiet. There are several techniques you can try such as concentrating on the flame of a candle, or saying a word (commonly referred to as a mantra) over and over to yourself. As far as I can tell the method you choose isn't nearly as important as simply choosing to sit and be with yourself on a regular basis.
  2. Surround yourself as much as possible with an environment that supports and nurtures you. This can include setting aside a special place in your home where you can spend quality time with yourself, or finding what I call 'sweet spots,' places nearby that you enjoy spending time.
  3. Try out different pastimes that energize you and help to get you in the creative mood. This will vary for different people, but here are some common examples: jogging or other forms of aerobic exercise can have a meditative aspect to them; bicycling or swimming are other possibilities; taking long walks especially in natural settings; taking long drives through the country side, try it with and without soothing or inspirational music; or taking a long, soothing bath by candle light.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. For most people that's more than they may think. While you might be able to do okay on 5-6 hours a night, the creative juices will flow more readily with 7-8 hours. This may require taking certain actions to create a most restful environment.
  5. Identify and eliminate any habits which tend to interfere with your creativity. Some of the common ones to consider would be drinking alcohol, doing drugs, watching too much television or consuming foods high in caffeine and/or sugar. While none of these are necessarily detrimental in small amounts, if it's habitual you're probably not partaking in moderation.
  6. Treat yourself especially nice at least once a week. Creativity specialist Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, encourages her students to take themselves out on an 'artist's date', as a way to nurture themselves. These dates don't have to be expensive or extravagant just as long as their fun and energizing.
  7. Exercise your creativity and imagination. Like so many other things if you don't use your creativity it tends to atrophy, it's the old 'use it or lose it' syndrome. Spontaneous brainstorming sessions are one effective way to stimulate your creative juices to flow. If you have a problem try writing out a list of ten or more different ways you could solve it. Or make a list of the ten most exotic trips you could take then take the best ones, at least in your mind just to exercise your creativity.
  8. Make up life projects so large that they will require you to be creative in order to fulfill on them. This is a catchy one because if you aren't careful it can backfire. The idea here isn't to necessarily fulfill on the projects as much as to have the projects energize you to tap into your creativity more. As long as you remember that the purpose isn't whether or not the project is accomplished, you'll be fine.
  9. Take up a hobby or sport just for the fun of it, and have it be something that you're not already good at. As we get older we often get 'set in our ways,' which can be a real killer to creativity. Taking up something that's fun but that you aren't already good at will stretch you to develop yourself in new ways. Become a student again at something whether it's ballroom dancing, yoga, a martial art, or underwater basket weaving. S-t-r-e-t-c-h your creativity muscles.
  10. This one is for you to create on your own. Make up a tenth way to develop your creativity and intuitive powers.

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