The Practice of Creativity

February is Time to Stock Your Creativity Comfort Kit

Posted on: February 14, 2010

It’s six weeks into the year and we might feel that our creative impulses are in deep freeze and that we’ve lost focus. It’s the time that we look incredulously at our lofty goals, resolutions and intentions that were drawn up with such enthusiasm in late December where everything seemed doable and delightful.

It’s usually in February that I get a flood of calls requesting coaching. A client begins by saying, “Help, it’s FEBRUARY and I’m way off track on my goals. I’m stuck and I don’t know what’s happened. I don’t feel like doing anything.”

We tend to lose focus and steam in February. Why? In February, we’re still catching up from the effects of the lack of rest and overindulgence (due to holiday frolicking), a possible cold, and the challenges of winter. Also, a sense of the mundane has had an opportunity to settle back into our lives. The mundane voice says to us: Who cares that you want to get your novel done by August? Taking a big step to set up that non-profit organization that you want can wait until June, can’t it? Why did you think you could teach yourself how to write a screenplay, anyway?

Although we dream of spring with its promise of renewal, we surely can’t put our creative projects on hold until then, can we? What can we do?

February is a great month to stock your creativity comfort kit. What is a creativity comfort kit? It’s the 2-3 essential items that you stock somewhere (drawer, gym bag, altar, etc), that are mood shifters, dream re-vivifiers and self-love boosters. You use the kit as a jumpstart for your creative engine. Your creativity comfort kit’s goal is to literally and symbolically remind you of the following:

1) Creativity ebbs and flows, but we must still make a daily or weekly contribution, so that we do not become too distant from its rhythm.
2) We must ‘create in the middle of things’, because that is the nature of being alive. If we wait for the perfect mood or ideal time, we will not fully develop our creative life and become resentful of our everyday lives. And, if we view creativity as a type of practice, then perfect moods or perfect timing is less important than consistency and connection to our creative impulses.
3) Self-affection and self-affirmation support our creative efforts.

My creativity comfort kit contains: 1 audiotape of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ The Creative Fire and 1 audiotape of Estes’ Women Who Run With The Wolves (abridged), a doodle pad with markers, several sheets of positive statements about myself and my creative work (commonly called affirmations).

For me, listening to the soothing voice of Estes, a master storyteller, transports me from the mundane world back into the inner world of ideas and imagination. In winter, we want food and décor that soothes and comforts. During winter, our creative lives need symbolic soothing and comforting as well.

Tip: Spend a few minutes journaling what items you might stock in your creative comfort kit. You might have everything already at hand and just need to gather the items together in one place.

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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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