by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Although it may seem that creativity can sometimes come out of nowhere, in truth, it comes from a deep well of self acquired knowledge, both conscious and unconscious. Creativity comes from combining our knowledge in new ways. That is why the creative process (although primarily a right brain/frontal lobe function) also emerges from our own unique knowledge and how we weave it together!
1. Often, in any situation, we must take the quiet time to be with ourselves to observe and define an idea. What is it I want to create? Start getting specific. Define your goal. Write it down. Give it parameters. Start with one image, idea, or objective. What am I going to do to get from point A to point B? Allow the answers to come to you in your quiet time.
2. Carry A Notebook around with you to jot down a thought or phrase that comes to mind. Creativity can happen at any time. So when the moment strikes, you have the opportunity to record the thought or creative genius.
3. Brainstorming: is a great technique used in generating creative ideas. Very effective when done in small groups, it’s a stimulating way to get fresh ideas from different minds. Start by suggesting a topic or goal. “What healing product is needed in our spa?” “Which technique should we market for the holidays?” This is the foundation from which you and your group will start building ideas. With one suggestion, start building on top of that.
4. Word Association: These are words or statements that can be said or written in order to stimulate the mind into digging deeper into our well of knowledge. Associating words in a brainstorm session, can open up a whole new path. This method takes a list of words and then builds an association between other key words on the list. Once an original word has been chosen, the next person will find a word they associate with it. The next person must then do the same with the previous word. Word association can be done on your own as well. Open a book or dictionary and randomly choose a word. Then begin formulating associated words or ideas using this key word. You’ll be amazed how well this works.
5. Take An Unfocused Approach: As you have probably experienced in the past, sometimes the harder you try to be creative, the least creative you are. Perhaps not trying to hard is one way to tap into the subconscious. I find dream journaling can be an insightful approach to listening to what you fore brain has to say. Suggesting a topic to yourself before bed is one way to “sleep on it”. In the morning, recall your dreams. Even if they are images or colors or words…. jot them down first thing in the morning upon waking. Then go back to it later. See if something comes of it.
6. Wander: Take a trip. Walk around the block, through your neighborhood or through a park. Head to the sea, the hills or a mountain trail. There is a concept (and herbal formula) in Chinese culture referred to as the Free and Easy Wanderer. Walking or simply wandering often allows us to clear our head and free our minds. This allows for the free flow of movement, vital energy or Qi and is extremely therapeutic.
7. Incorporate Mind Games: Some of the best ways to engage your brain is by using your memory functions! Individuals who are always learning something new about the world, maintaining a playful spirit, and find creativity to flow easier than their sedentary counterparts. Challenge your mind and memory function. By exercising your brain, it provides inspiration and fills your mind with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.
8. Avoid Doing Drugs: Drugs cloud your mind, impair judgement and diffuses motor function. People on drugs think they are creative. To everyone else, they seem like people on drugs.
9. Educate Yourself: Learn as much as you can about everything possible. Fill your brain with inspiration, excitement and passions that interested you. Understand how to incorporate the information you learn into your own creative spin.
10. Take Everything One Day At A Time: Sometimes situations can become overwhelming when looking at the big picture. Again, take your quiet time to observe the moment. Do some soul searching. Allow yourself to take all the time, take the space that you need to grasp your creative genius. Trust the Universe. It is within you!
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm