[By Clare Chadwick]
I truly believe that creativity runs on an ever-turning cycle. It’s a wave that you can jump on board and ride. It’s a process of give and take.
Some of us are naturally creative. It’s in our blood, we’re born like that. Others have to search for stimulus and inspiration to fire up our creative spark. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I have always, since a small child, immersed myself in creative endeavours. From writing to beading, designing to constructing, DIY-ing to photography. My brain is usually buzzing with project ideas, topics to write about, crafts to do with my kids, something to fix, something to bake or a new place I want to explore. It never ends. But with that said, due to severe sleep deprivation & the usual busyness that comes with being an adult and a mother, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all my ideas, or the flipside – underwhelmed with motivation, drive or desire to get creative.We live in this stimulated world of technology. I could spend hours browsing blogs, Pinterest, photo sites and Facebook. It’s easy to get lost in the online world and distracted from what we originally set out to research or explore.
I think it’s important, as parents, that we embrace to some degree a level of creativity. It doesn’t mean you have to make masterpieces everyday, and it doesn’t mean you have to feel pressured to ‘do more’ with your kids. But I think having a creative fluid running through your veins, makes parenting a lot more fun, adventurous and in some ways; easier.
When my motivation is lacking and I’m having trouble uncovering any resemblance of creativity or individuality, I usually break away from the scene, and go searching for that drive again. Sometimes a little change, a break or an adventure can reignite that excitement to create, complete or involve yourself and your kids in a creative venture.
Here are a few suggestions on how you too can regain some focus, and in turn get engulfed in the cycle of creativity:
- Go for a walk – go alone, or take the kids. Involve them by making it a ‘Nature Walk’ or an ‘Eye-Spy Walk.’
- Declutter a space – clean out a cupboard or a draw. Clean up your workspace. Sometimes a good clean out and a clear space can also free your headspace.
- Put the kettle on, and enjoy your tea/coffee in a different spot – drink it whilst sitting out on the lawn, or on the couch instead of the kitchen.
- Go for a drive.
- Break your daily routine every once in a while.
- Read. Get away from the computer and read an actual book.
- Set a timer for how long you’ll browse ‘inspiration’ sites such as Pinterest. I know the longer I stay on certain sites, the more overwhelmed with ideas I become. Once the timer goes off – walk away and ponder what you’d like to embrace most from the inspirations’ you found.
- Make a list. A list of pro’s, cons and interesting facts of a situation or a project or an idea.
- Write. Open a word doc and start typing. Or journal in a notepad. Just write whatever comes to mind.
- Learn a new skill, language or recipe. YouTube is a great minefield of tutorials.
- Jump out of your comfort zone. Do something completely out of the ordinary for you.
- Plan a holiday. I know they can be costly and time restricting. But start to plan and budget and research. Having something to look forward to, can be a great way to kick-start your motivation to get things done and get creative again.
- Turn technology off, even for just one day. And with your kids, embrace a day with no TV, iPad, Mobile Phones or Computer distractions.
- Head to the beach, a forest, the country or the mountains for a day. Getting out of the house and into the outside environment can be refreshing for the soul and mind.
- Take photos. Seeing life through a lens can truly change your view & opinion.
- Laugh. Relax and smile.
- Listen to music.
- Donate to charity – whether it be money or items. Doing something ‘good’ can stimulate positive energy within you.
- Have fun. Stop stressing over the little things. Enjoy life.
Are you naturally a creative soul? Or do you have to embrace different inspirations to get going?
The creative process is also the most terrifying part because you don't know exactly what's going to happen or where it is going to lead. You don't know what new dangers and challenges you'll find. It takes an enormous amount of internal security to begin with the spirit of adventure, discovery, and creativity. Without doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness.
STEPHEN COVEY, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Claire Chadwick is a mother of two, a wife, a children’s Author and a life lover. She was a Primary School Teacher for ten years before she embarked on Motherhood, and freelance writing. She is a lover of summer, coffee, the colour pink and hearing her children laugh. Claire blogs daily about parenting and life from her Brisbane home at www.claireeverafter.com and has recently launched a successful and fun children’s book called So Many Sounds. You can find out more about Claire and her book at: http://www.clairechadwick.com.au. Claire believes in living a wholesome life full of rich memories and cherished moments. Her weaknesses: designer handbags, good champagne and a jar of Nutella.