Something that inspires creativity for me, is writing something every day. It might be with pen and paper, and just making notes of things that come to mind. It might be writing in my journal, in the mornings, or after a meditation practice. It might be writing a blog piece, like this, and just showing up, each day. I know that I always feel my best when I am in a creative flow. And despite whatever my experience or circumstance, or however I feel, I love to hold an intention for myself, to be consistent with a writing practice, every day. It means that I don't feel stuck, or pressured, or fall back into a tendency for things to be perfect before sharing. Consistency helps to stop any of those blocks or unhelpful ways of thinking, or being. So I just write, as my creative outlet, as I love to let the words flow onto a page, and it helps me feel ease and calm, and to uplift my spirits, in my everyday.
Perhaps you'd like to join me, and feel inspired with your own creativity over this holiday season. For some of us, this is time for holidays and being away somewhere perhaps with family. For others of us, it might still be a time of rest, but not a change of scene, or a holiday away. And we all have our own intentions of how we choose to spend this time, or are able to, with our circumstances.
So, an intention of mine is to stay creatively open, and to keep writing and showing up on the page, and on my blog here, over the next days and weeks into January. I've set myself a gentle and fun little challenge, to write a blog each day for the next 30 days! To stay inspired and to keep my words and creativity flowing. You might like to follow along! And perhaps you have something creative you'd love to do, and set a little challenge (with no pressure) over the next 30 days - I'd love to hear if you choose to follow along.
There are all kinds of ways we can stay inspired and creative, and of course - creativity means so many different things for us all - and we are all creative in our own ways! I thought I'd share just a few simple things here today. Things that support me, and I know have supported others - and you'll have your own to add to these. I'd love for you to share in a comment, if so.
Journaling - we all know what this is, and I know it's talked about so often. But I still have so many people ask me - what do I write about? what do I journal about? And even some who ask me, what it 'really' is and how it helps? And I always say that what works well for some, may not work so well for others. But I think it's a good thing to give things a try to see! We all have to find ways with everything, that feel right for us. But journaling is one way I feel is so valuable to just let our thoughts flow out on a page - unfiltered, raw, and so very real from our own hearts, just for us to see and read. Just to let any conscious or subconscious thoughts flow out, with no expectation, no pressure, no 'need' for anything to be perfect, and no fear of anything we share having to be a certain way or wonder how it will be received - as it's private, it's safe, and it's just a way to so beautifully tune into the parts of ourselves and to our own hearts. A way to truly write our truth.
I journal in the morning, after my meditation practice. This works so well for me as I love to just let my reflections pour onto the page. I don't think about what I write, I just pick up a pen and jot down notes of things, and sometimes it's really short, and other days it might be pages or words. I've been journaling for years, but I know it takes practice. And if you're stuck, or wondering where to start, of what to write about - start slowly and gently, with just 10 minutes of 'free flow writing'. Just closing your eyes, taking a few breaths, and letting whatever comes into your mind, just writing that, and letting it all out. It can be a beautiful and often, powerful, release. You might have a question that comes to mind, and you might write into that. You might just listen to the sounds around you, notice how you feel, how your body feels, any smells and senses, and write anything and everything that comes up for you. You'll surprise yourself at how easily the words flow, and what a release it can be to let things out.
I find journaling is therapeutic in so many ways. Not only to inspire creativity. But to support us to feel more ease and calm, and to even acknowledge parts of ourselves, and experiences, that we may never have done, out loud. It's a therapeutic practice I often suggest with clients, as a way to feel safe, and to start trusting in expressing the truth of how something truly feels and is. By writing our feelings and emotions, with gentle and supportive prompts and guidance, and not holding things inside, as so many of us often do - it can open up so much, for healing. It's a beautiful practice if you live with something challenging, like chronic pain. To write into the pain, to let yourself express how it feels, what comes up for you, what are some of the emotions and messages that your body might be yearning and calling for you to take this time, to listen. There are often repressed emotions with chronic pain or chronic illness, and journaling is a very safe and therapeutic way of unraveling this, and understanding so much of ourselves. If you'd like support with therapeutic writing and journaling in this way, I love supporting clients with guided prompts and accessing these parts of ourselves, and I truly believe that it's possible to heal through journaling in a beautiful and supportive way. Self healing in this truly empowered way.
Listening to music - music is such a beautiful way to inspire all kinds of creativity. I think I've written some of my favourite things to music. I have created playlists on Spotify, and depending on my mood, they're just there at my finger tips to write along to. Sometimes I feel melancholy and I love blues and jazz tunes. Other days I feel like taking myself down memory lane to my childhood days and my dads love of Motown music which always filled our home on weekends. And sometimes it's calming classical music, and other days, it's a random collection of everything.
I listen and let myself write into any of the words or phrases, or memories that songs evoke. It's been a beautiful way for me to write into feelings and emotions, and if it makes me sad or joyful, then, I write all of that. Sometimes I play my own music too - piano, guitar, or I sing - song writing is another beautiful creative outlet that lifts my spirits, and brings me back home to myself, and opens my heart to gratitude and more, of everything.
I wonder - what music do you love? I'd love to know your playlist if you have a favourite one to share? Write a little comment and let me know, I'd love to listen in.
Going for gentle stroll in nature, or just around your streets - so often we talk about feeling creative with a change of scene, and I've found this to be 'interesting' this year especially. I think we often associate 'adventure' with needing to go away somewhere new, or to be in a different place for a while. But if really choose to be creative in our every day, it's not about needing to spend time in different place. That's felt and been impossible for many of us this year. And I've learnt so much, through our time of lockdown, that creativity resides within, wherever we are, whatever our circumstances might be. Just as this sense of adventure and freedom can be found within four walls, if we are willing to see things in a different way.
If we feel we are only creative when we have a change of scene, or travel to a new place, or constantly wish we could have a new adventure to feel inspired - then, this isn't a healthy thing. I believe resisting what is, and wishing for things to be different creates more 'stuckness' and more struggle at times. Instead, we can feel inspired and creative just where we are, by allowing what is, accepting what is, and feeling a sense of ease and calm and peace within ourselves. Wherever we are, and however we feel, and whatever we might be moving through. Inspiration and creativity is available and attainable through all the very small things. Even just standing outside, breathing in the fresh air, and noticing what's around us. Taking it all in, and bringing our attention to the trees, the clouds in the sky, the leaves, flowers, light reflections - all these mindful ways we can choose for ourselves, and notice the beauty in all the small things. Inspiration can be in all the simple, precious moments, when we are truly present within it all.
Listening to inspiring podcasts or motivational talks - I've loved listening to uplifting talks each morning this year, and have found it's such an empowering way to start my 'work' day. Or to listen to something to break up the afternoon. It's a funny thing, as I have my own podcast (A Well Being - if you are keen to listen in) - but have only recently been enjoying listening to others podcasts too. But I don't listen to ones that are similar to my own really. I tend to just listen to a select few - a couple that support my business in some way, and others that inspire writing and creativity (I've found a couple of beautiful poetry podcasts that are just so soothing and beautiful to listen to), and just a couple that feel like 'pep talks' or lift my spirits, and shift my mood and energy into a space for 'creating'. It doesn't mean that I have to feel uplifted all the time, as I don't believe that's possible or even reality. We just don't feel uplifted every single day. Some days are hard and we feel all kinds of emotions, and we need all these human experiences to truly create in a meaningful way. But I know that by listening to something 'motivational', I can often shift myself from any feelings of doubt or overwhelm, to a more 'I can do this' frame of mind, and however I'm feeling or whatever my day might be like, it just helps me to be more open and to create from a space of possibility! And I love this feeling. If you'd like to know some of my favourite podcasts, then send me a message, or a leave a comment below - and I'd love to hear what some of your favourite 'motivational' podcasts are too.
Meditations and guided techniques - there are so many that are inspiring - some are specifically for creativity and I find these on Insight timer or you can search for these on you tube too. This is one of my (many) favourites - https://insighttimer.com/davidji/guided-meditations/awakening-creativity
Reading favourite magazines and books - either online or 'real' hand-held books! There's nothing like holding a 'real' magazine or book in my hands, I don't think I'll ever be a kindle owner, I don't enjoy all my time on screens. But regardless, I know for my own creativity and inspiration, it feels important me to stay open to others ideas and reflections. They all inspire my own thoughts and views, and to feel challenged, sometimes even confronted, can be a healthy thing. Different perspectives can inspire us to see things in different ways, but also to know within ourselves, our own values and opinions, and why. Others words inspire creative content of my own. I'm often asked about comparison to others, when we take in so much information from others. And my simple answer to this complex 'comparison trap' we can find ourselves in, is - be discerning. Choose what you read wisely. And don't believe everything you read either - question everything. And always a reminder that there is no one else who is 'you'. We are all so unique and different, so what is the point of comparison at all.
Taking photos and photography - photography is a recent creative project of mine, since I was gifted a camera. I'm such a novice, and it's only a passion project for me, but I am really enjoying it - capturing the light, and seeing beauty in all the small things, which I love so much. I find great inspiration through looking at beautiful photography sites and pages on Instagram and Pinterest. Photography has always been something I've loved, along with travel in my past days to so many wonderful places. I love taking myself into a photo in a beautiful place and imagining myself there. Travel photos, nature photos, and books of art - as well as visiting galleries and browsing through beautiful vintage and gift shops - all these things inspire creativity for me.
Voice memos and recording thoughts as they flow - I use my iphone for this sometimes. If I have some creative ideas, instead of writing them down, I just press record on my phone and speak the thoughts and feelings as they flow. I often come back to voice memos and create them into something - a piece of writing, a blog piece, a meditation, a podcast. And just speaking to yourself out loud can be a really therapeutic - give it a try! I'm not quite on the 'voxer' train as yet, as I can find voice messages to groups to be quite overwhelming. But to just use the voice memo for myself, as a way to express myself, can be really supportive in a similar way to journaling. You might say aloud something you really need to express, but it's safe to do so, just for you, and to just let those emotions out as a release.
There are so many other ways I could write into, that inspire creativity. Things like cooking and baking - learning a new recipe and cooking in creative and different ways! Drawing and painting, and taking online courses in something you love, or to learn something new. I did a calligraphy class this year and it was so much fun. Movement and exercise just to get energy flowing. I know a lot of people love dancing to feel in the 'vibe'.
And sometimes, even more so in fact - creativity flows when we simply allow ourselves to slow down, to rest, to take steps back, to lean into quiet, stillness and doing less. And that's how I'm choosing to embrace this season of 'slow time'. Doing less, but also - writing and creating just for the pure delight and love for it. No pressure, no expectations, no outcomes to achieve. I love reminding myself and others that if we love to write, then we must write just for the love of it. If we love creating in whatever way this feels and means for us, we must do so, just for the love of it. And if have this beautiful intention for ourselves, then the inspiration and creativity naturally flows.
I hope something here has resonated or perhaps you feel inspired to create something of your own, each day, alongside me too. I'm looking forward to just showing up on my page and writing a journal piece to share, each day, for the next 30 days! Join me and follow along!
With love x
PS. Have you purchased my new book? CALM: Notes to Soothe and Uplift. It's available through different retailers and you can find holidays season 'specials' right now too - www.katietymms.com/books--writing.html
PPS. It's not too late to receive a FREE ebook for 'Self care during the holiday season' and you can receive this by signing up here - www.katiejanewellness.com/a-z-self-care-free-book.html
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.