“Why sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” The Queen, from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
There is a winged dragon waiting at the edge of your conscious mind, and her name is Creativity. If you climb into the jewelled saddle, and nudge her with your heels she shall take you to a place deep within you. There is a sacred pool bubbling up from this place and the magical quality of this water helps us to visualise, believe in and create impossible things. Creativity, Imagination Land and the Realms of Possibility are all available to us if we learn to nurture the part of us that would take the journey, and the part which feeds the sacred pool…
I have found the following things to be useful in feeding my creative self. They are all about engaging with life; learning, experiencing and observing:
- Festivals. Festivals are fabulous! Music festivals, food festivals, folk festivals, writers festivals, medieval festivals, travel extravaganzas, bridal expos, garden exhibitions, rural shows, trade fairs… Festivals showcase ideas, beliefs, products and services, and they are filled with passionate people sharing their knowledge and gifts.
- Walks in nature – so many things to see. Interesting leaves, delicate flowers, animals busy in their own environments, the smell of a summer morning or a winter’s night, the hoot of an owl, the baying of a dog, a neighbour’s cat perched on a fence – baleful as a tiger.
- Markets – farmers’ markets for tables groaning with fresh produce, craft markets for interesting bonnets, jumpers and bangles, car boot and antique sales for all manner of treasures.
- Books – to read, to look up random bits, to instruct, to look at pictures, to give you a magical carpet ride to a place you’ve never been. You can even get talking books to listen to on the bus, or in the car.
- Music – not just the stuff you usually listen to, but other people’s music too. Ask friends for recommendations. Trawl youtube. CDs, MP3s, records. Even try the radio. I found this little treasure on facebook.
- Films – late-night foreign movies on tv, DVDs and pizza on a Saturday night, choc-top and the latest releases at the cinema, film festivals (see tip #1), movies for children, sub-titled treasures, golden oldies, footage of you and your family from your childhood, or your parents/grandparents lives.
- Outings and expeditions – These need to be able to be done in one day or less. Choose from picnics, drives, catching random buses or trains, going to places that have always been on your ‘must visit’ list – such as vineyards, art galleries, temples, new shopping malls, cafe you read about in the paper, Christmas lights etc.
- Travel – half the fun here is planning. Get brochures, search the web, speak to travel agents and friends. Then once you’re there drink it all in. All the culture, the foreignness, the food, the smells, the colour of the sky. Take photos. Capture memories. Bring home an awful souvenir or an outlandish tale.
- Lessons – Stretch yourself with something new. Guitar, Hindi, water skiing, belly dancing, sushi making, yoga, watercolour, macrame pot holders 101, computing, swordsmanship, barista course, novel writing.
- Cloud busting – lie back on the grass, or in a hammock and bust the clouds with your mind. What shapes do you see?
- Poetry readings and other live performance – hearing an artist share their own work is always powerful.
- Journal – a safe space for pouring your imaginings onto paper. I’ve just written a free seven day course on how to journal here.
- Live with curiosity – curiosity and creativity go hand in hand.
- Talk to people – they’ll tell you the most amazing things. People everywhere are happy to share their stories and experiences, mostly for a smile, and the joy of being heard.
- Make things with your hands – there is a magical flow between our hearts, our imaginations and our hands. Often this process unblocks something that is seemingly unrelated. A pottery session gives you ideas for your novel, chopping vegetables for soup informs a painting design growing inside you. Make pasta, knead dough, paint an old cupboard, dig in the garden, bead a necklace, repair a bicycle, braid your hair, pick flowers for the table, hug someone!