How To Hack Your Creativity
Let me come off strong here and clarify a common misconception — you are creative.
Yes, you, the one reading this that has a hard time identifying as creative. Yes, you, the one who doesn’t feel that their creativity is worth being noticed. Yes, you, the art student who studies art history hoping one day that you can create something as meaningful as those artists you study.
Creativity is anything that engages your right brain, allowing for more freedom, expression, flow and energy. As the Founder of ōSHen Creative, a creative agency for holistic wellness brands, I’m constantly exploring my edge as a creator. But, not in the ways that you might expect and this is where I hope to bring you all who do not identify as creators inspiration for the ways in which we flow through life and allow the creativity inside of us to flourish.
My days are not filled with imaginative ideas flowing from pages of my notebook. Most days, I’m actively seeking how to solve a problem more efficiently, figuring out new ways to keep my team motivated and asking my clients questions to help them reach a deeper part of themselves that is needed to push their company further. Sure, there are the few and far in between days when I get to jump on set of a shoot, or play on photoshop but the majority of my days as a creative are spent doing “non-creative” things. But, this to me, is still creativity.
Sure, there are days when my creative and/or energy levels are low. That’s okay. Welcome to being human (I tell myself). But, on those days when it’s less about my energy levels being low and more about being stuck in an old thinking pattern there are a few tried and true hacks that I have learned, discovered and incorporated in to my routine that I hope will provide you with some sure-fire ways to get away from the left-brain thinking and into your right brain flow. Let’s hack.
Before you open your phone, before the scrolling or the swiping right and left -- take 30 minutes to throw your thoughts on some paper. This exercise is from the book, The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron. There’s no right or wrong way to do this - simply put anything you’re thinking, feeling or trying to figure out on this paper. You may just use it as a form of free therapy or a moment to practice your penmanship (which I think we all need to do these days) or perhaps you’ll come up with a solution that you may had not come up with before. Try to take the pressure off the importance of these and just let it flow and see what happens. The right side of the brain will thank you.
Another hack from Julia Cameron is the Artists’ date. Find something that you enjoy. Yes, even if that is going to take you some time to figure out. What sparks your creativity or interest? What makes you a little scared? Well, that my friend is how you’ll spend 1-2 hours a week, alone, doing on your solo date night. Sometimes for me it’s a movie, or a walk outside, exploring a new hiking trail, or taking p a ceramics class, or picking up my camera and just going outside. Whatever it is for you, schedule it in your calendar and go. You’ll have resistance. This is when you need to keep pushing forward and don’t let anything or anyone get in your way.
I learned Vedic Meditation with Jac Lewis from The Broad Place last year in Los Angeles (I’d highly recommend you sign up whenever they come again!). I practice this twice a day, repeating a mantra inside my mind for twenty minutes once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The reset I experience after this exercise allows so much more flow and curiosity in to my daily routine.
Ah, I just love everything about a coffee shop. I can’t quite recall when I fell in love with the coffee culture — whether it was from admiring it in movies or when I lived in New York and coffee basically permeated from everyone’s cells.. But there’s something quite endearing about being in a public space, with a cup of something that warms the body that helps the mind go off and just feel free to escape. Escape the everyday routine, escape the to-do lists (kinda) and maybe just escape from where we usually work from and maybe that’s the best part of the coffee shop - the newness. You never know who you might meet, or talk to or if you live in LA, what dog you’ll see. All of these factors help contribute to the enchantment of a coffee shop.
Sometimes the mind, body and spirit just need to get out in nature. Feeling stuck and need some inspiration? My favorite, tried and true hack is a simple walk. A walk is not only good for our bodies to get the blood and circulation moving and increase our heart rate, it’s good for our minds to become aware of what’s going on outside of us. When you go outside, look at the trees, the birds flying, the ant that’s crossing the sidewalk or walking on a piece of grass. Look at the world with intrigue. Nature also reminds us that there’s perfection in the imperfections. This is what we call wabi-sabi. And that for me, allows me to take the pressure off being perfect and just being real.
Are you interested in learning more about how to step into your power as a creator? Are you looking for a community to keep you accountable for showing up for yourself? Look no further: We’ve created Creative Workshops, a 12-month series to help you discover your innate artist (whatever that means for you) that you can join in-person here in Los Angeles or remotely from wherever you have wifi. Coming soon….
And, if you want to take it a step further, we’ve created Creative Retreats — designed for the person looking to add in creativity into their daily routine, all the while getting your work and wellness routines done! Coming soon…
I want to hear from you, how do you hack your creativity? Have you tried any of the above? If so, tell us your experience as that will expand others to figuring out what may work for them.