The Practice of Creativity

Posts Tagged ‘winter

Hi creative peeps,

Winter Solstice is almost here! We’re about to enter the season of winter: Quiet. Reflection. Incubation. Going Inward.

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

OK, so right now you might not feel like you’re experiencing any of those states of being. But, I want to put Winter Solstice on your radar. Winter Solstice brings us the opportunity to pause, at least for a moment, and invites into the mystery of creativity.

Winter Solstice signals the start of winter. It is the day with the least amount of daylight. Also referred to as “the longest night” or “shortest day of the year”.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is Thursday, Dec 21.

After Thursday, we get about one minute more daylight each day until Summer Solstice. Isn’t that magical? What will you do with that extra minute?

Winter Solstice (and the beginning of winter) provides an ideal time for you to take stock of the light and dark aspects of your creativity.

So much of creating is about cultivating the willingness to explore the unknown, uncharted and mysterious places of the imaginative psyche. Often it feels as if we are in the dark while creating.

We can use the cycle of the season to go inward. During winter, you can review your creative accomplishments of the year and plant dream seeds for the future. As you turn inward into the muck of your own fertile landscape, you mirror the outward cycle of the earth.

If you have a moment on Thursday, cozy up with a journal, go to a café, or take a walk and enjoy playing with one or more of these winter inspired prompts:

Three new ways that my creativity expressed itself this year were…

What continues to interest me about my creative practice is…

I took the most risk this year in creating…

The fresh new project that wants to be born in 2018 is…

The project that needs more incubating time is…

One successful way that I kept my inner critic at bay this year was…

Harnessing support for my creative life during the winter season looks like…

One affirmation about my creative practice that I could create for 2018 is…

Time and energy wasters that take me away from creating are…

A self-limiting belief I have about my creativity that I could release into the light is…

 

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It’s March. Wow! We’re now eight 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 New Year’s goals, resolutions and intentions that were drawn up with such enthusiasm, when everything seemed doable and delightful.

It’s usually in late February and early March that I get a flood of calls requesting coaching. A client begins by saying, “Help, it’s MARCH 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 March. Why? A possible cold snatched away two weeks where we were just about to take another step on our creative projects. Weather delays. 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?

March 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 jump-start 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 still must 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. And, yes, I know that audiotapes are old school! This year I have also added a small packet of dried lavender.

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 thinking about 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.

 


Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

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

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