Ask anyone if they have any creative pursuits and you usually get one of two responses: ‘Yes, I love… [insert enthusiastic conversation about hobby here]’, or ‘Oh, I’m really not a creative type’.
But, not being creative is one of life’s biggest myths. Everyone has the capacity for creativity. In the words of Pablo Picasso: “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
Without creativity there would be no innovation. No music, no aeroplanes, no surfboards, no balloons. Those whose minds have ventured outside the box are the ones who allow amazing things to happen.
Creativity isn’t just about appreciating fine paintings or whipping up a sculpture in the backyard. Creativity is about how you view and interpret the world; how you pursue what you love. It’s about making observations that may not always be the same as everyone else, about finding inspiration in the everyday and what you do with it.
In fact, life is the ultimate creative adventure. Creativity is what makes life fun. It gets you excited about what you are doing and opens the door to making new things happen. You don’t have to be a painter or a writer. You just need an open mind and the motivation to look.
Most importantly, creativity is literally like therapy for your mind. Whether you are gardening, dancing, listening to music or taking photographs, these activities reduce stress, renew brain function, improve mood and nurture a social life.
But how do you bring a little creativity into an already cray cray busy mama day?
1. Meet creative people
A support network is a big part of nurturing a more creative life. Creative friends are amazing peeps – likeminded, inspiring friends who will give you genuine feedback and support you in your creative ventures. Sign up for a class or a local group, or jump into online conversations and forums to chat about books, swap macramé patterns, or simply share something inspiring you’ve seen that day.
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2. Experience something different
Creativity begins with curiosity, so allow yourself to try something different, wherever it takes you. If you always go for dance music, seek out some jazz. If you always eat Italian, rustle up something Moroccan. Try the road less travelled, you might just encounter something that helps you evolve a little more.
If you don’t have any spare adult time to seek out creative events, just go outside with the kids! Explore museums, go for long adventures in nature, just get outdoors, be mindful and enjoy life.
3. See the world from a creative perspective
No time for experiences? Try shifting how you exist in the world throughout your day-to-day. Take photos as you walk the kids to the park, write a letter to your daughter, notice the colours when you make a meal, decorate your To-Do list with glitter and sequins. Just sprinkling a little creativity around everyday tasks will suddenly make them more magical.
4. Have a creative space
Give your creative side space to exist and grow. This space might be a corner of the garage, or it might simply be a notebook that you carry around everywhere you go. Whatever it is, it is your place to collect ideas, expand your thoughts, and nurture your passion.
5. Find balance
In a world that promotes multi-tasking and busyness, seek a little balance in your life. Simplifying our day often frees both time and attention for something more creative. Ignore that voice that says it’s a waste of time and give yourself permission to spend a little time being creative. If it helps, schedule your creative time in your diary.
6. Do something, anything
You don’t need to spend your creative time in an active pursuit. Read an essay on something new, listen to music, sit with a pen and paper and doodle. Without plan or analysis, you might surprise yourself. If you are stuck for ideas, start by simply taking 10 minutes at the end of every day to observe the day. Write down one interesting thing you have seen. It will force you to begin to notice things around you and you will start to watch with a purpose. It doesn’t matter what the outcome, it’s the action and journey that matters.