15 Tips to Fuel Your Creativity

Image from thoibau.today

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
~  Pablo Picasso

 

2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity.

Creativity. NOT productivity.

Go back and read that sentence again if you have to!

Productivity is the act of producing something. The dictionary defines productivity as ‘the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input’. Think widgets, or burning through your to-do list. It is often not a joyful task, or one that requires your best work or your best self to turn up. Yes, you can still be productive this year, but that’s not what the energies of 2018 are all about.

Image from hdwall.us

2018 is a fabulous year for all forms of creativity. Creativity is defined as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Creativity is a wild beast. It’s a tender young seedling that will grow into a blooming bush or an incredible tree. Creativity is the act of making something that is fuelled by your own life force and shaped by your imagination and heartsong.

After so many years of sitting in ‘productive’ energy, getting back to that wild space of creativity can feel uncomfortable and odd. It can make us anxious if we don’t get an instant result, a perfect first creation or a super-productive outcome. And worse, trying to be ‘productive’ with our creativity makes that flow of imagination and inventiveness slow to a trickle or stop altogether. Remember: once you have your creative outcome you can work from a place of productivity, but not before.

Image from canyonechoes.org

Here are my top ten suggestions for reconnecting to and feeding your creative energy this year:

  1. Listen to music. Range widely and try new styles and genres.
  2. Read books. Libraries and bookshops have a world of inspiration just waiting for you to explore.
  3. Watch movies. Change it up and look at things that are not your usual choices.
  4. Go for long walks in nature. Camping can also be good. Use this as unplugged time and leave your phone and laptop at home or turned off.
  5. Sit in a cafe with a hot or cold beverage. People watch, or write in your journal. Sit in a space of awareness. Use your whole self as an antenna.
  6. Move your body. Dancing is good. Or a yoga class. Surfing or playing with your dog or your kids (or borrow the dog or kids of a friend!). Movement gets you into flow!
  7. Watch a live performance. Or give one.
  8. Visit the local art gallery or museum.
  9. Take a road trip. Go around the corner or around the world. Travel has direct links to the imagination switch in your brain.
  10. Sign up to some kind of creative hands-on course. Try ceramics or drum making, decorative cookies or welding. It doesn’t need to be in the field where you want to shine. Anything that gets you making something with your hands will do. Can’t access a course? Bake something or go dig in the garden and grow things.
  11. Got a project idea? Just start. Work it out as you go. Don’t need it to be perfect or all planned out in advance.
  12. Dedicate some regular time and space for your creative projects. No, this won’t kill creativity. Turning up and creating a routine supports sustainable creative flow.
  13. Let yourself be a beginner.
  14. Try collaborating with others and sharing knowledge and skills.
  15. Enjoy regular down-time. Working and needing to be productive every waking moment leaves no space for new ideas to form or bubble to the surface. Rest and play are your friends this year!

I can’t wait to see what magic you create in 2018, or how living more creatively and playfully helps you heal and re-energise in all kinds of places in your life. Drop me a line and keep me posted!

Much love, Nicole  xx

Image from aelitaandre.com

How to Nurture your Creativity

“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:

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.
  5. 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.    
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Cloud busting – lie back on the grass, or in a hammock and bust the clouds with your mind.  What shapes do you see?
  11. Poetry readings and other live performance – hearing an artist share their own work is always powerful.
  12. Journal – a safe space for pouring your imaginings onto paper.  I’ve just written a free seven day course on how to journal here.
  13. Live with curiosity – curiosity and creativity go hand in hand.   
  14. 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.
  15. 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!

 

Speaking your Truth – tips for the Throat Chakra

Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it. – Naomi Wolf

(image by auslorri)

We often talk about speaking our truth, but how many people even understand what that means?  Our truth is that wise part of us that knows who we are, what we need, and what we believe in.  It is a personal truth – it differs between individuals, and it often changes over time.  What matters most is that we acknowledge this truth, and honour it by being able to voice our ideas, opinions, needs and wants.

If you have trouble asking for help, if you say no when you mean yes and yes when you mean no, if you find it hard to say what you really feel or think for fear of upsetting or offending others, if you worry about being judged or ridiculed for your opinions, or if your voice deserts you altogether when you’re called upon to speak up, it’s time to work on speaking your truth, and we can help do that by balancing and opening the Throat Chakra, an energy centre located near the base of the neck.  If you put your hand to your throat you’ll automatically gravitate to it.

The Throat Chakra is all about communication – voicing our inner truth, expressing ourselves and our creativity, speaking up about our personal intentions, desires, needs and ideas.  The colour of this chakra is blue.

The Throat Chakra governs the throat, mouth, gums, teeth, thyroid, neck, shoulders, arms and hands – we can hold a lot of tension here from not speaking and honouring our truth. We can bite down or even choke on all of our unexpressed thoughts and emotions. Do a little check of these areas.  Is there any tension, constriction or pain?  Yoga can help enormously with freeing up the energy here. (See the youtube clip below)

When our Throat Chakra is open and balanced we are excellent communicators – with good listening skills, strong non-verbal communications and a clear speaking voice. We speak our truth – we hear, acknowledge and express that inner voice.  We will also have access to our intuition and, for some people, the ability to connect into telepathic and channeling abilities. (Stay tuned to my website for information on courses to help develop intuitive and psychic skills – I’ll be uploading new dates this week.)

If the Throat Chakra is closed down or unbalanced we can suffer anxiety, frustration, low
immunity, poor or no boundaries, and an inability to ask for help or have our needs met.

Speaking up for yourself takes courage

This may be expressed outwardly as anger, criticism or judgment.  It may be expressed inwardly as fatigue, overeating and other addictions, self abuse in many forms, and not saying what we mean or feel for risk of hurting, angering, upsetting or offending others.

We might do too much talking and not enough listening, we can’t be told, we are nervous talkers, we fill the silences with words, we talk but don’t do enough doing or acting, we disclose too much, we have a lack of discernment in sharing information, we overcommit and overpromise, we ‘spin’ to make people feel good.  We swallow down our feelings and truths and they get lodged in the lower chakras, causing further blockages and lack of flow.

5 steps to help us find and speak our truth:

  1. Journalling is a terrific way to explore our thoughts and beliefs, both the conscious and the unconscious ones.  Listen to the guided meditation in Step 5 and then write in your journal, allowing yourself to just write stream of consciousness.
  2. Take small steps – say no without justifying your answer to something minor that you don’t want (or yes, to something small that you do),  eg – ‘no more for me, thanks’ when a friend tries to get you to eat an extra helping and you would have done it just to be polite, or ‘yes please’ when you are offered the last piece of something when you would normally have declined, even though you wanted it.
  3. Bee Breath Meditation (We’ll cover this tomorrow!)  A great activity for freeing up the energy of the Throat Chakra.
  4. Singing – it doesn’t matter how or even what you sing.  Just use your voice, and do it with expression, energy and joy. Or anger or any other emotion you need to get ‘out’.  Your words don’t have to match the music. If you really struggle to speak your truth and find this very confronting, start with the youtube clip below.  It’s a kids’ song, with lots of movements that free up and energise the throat chakra area.  Sing along and do the actions, even if you feel silly. Then have a big drink of water afterwards.  Brilliant!    
  5. Guided meditation – I’ve recorded a simple ten-minute guided meditation to help you work with the energy of your throat chakra.  Listen by clicking on the link below.

Nicole Cody’s Throat Chakra Meditation

Win a Throat Chakra healing necklace

I’ve made a beautiful healing necklace, using crystals and colours to heal, energise and balance the Throat Chakra.  The gorgeous stones include blue lace agate, lapis lazui, sodalite, blue fluorite, turquoise, tourmalinated quartz, chrysocolla, howlite, peruvian opal, amethyst, pearls and other pretties, with sterling silver clasps. Deliciousness! I have charged it up and programmed it up in a special meditation, filling it with energy and intention that you may speak your truth with courage, conviction, integrity, authority and joy.♥

Win these beautiful beads for yourself or someone you love!

All you need to do to win this necklace is to add a comment to this blog post.  When I’ve received 50 comments I’ll choose a winner and notify them via this post and by their email address. (No need to publish your email address – your details will be visible to me as the author of this site.) If I receive more than 50 comments in 24 hours I’ll draw from that entire pool.  If it takes more than 24 hours, 50 will be my cut-off point. Good luck! Nicole xx

And the winner is...  Michelle Birkett  Congratulations! ♥

The finished necklace - Throat Chakra healing beads ♥