The majority of us would like to release our creativity and free our Selves from the structure of our daily routines. Time is a big issue for most of us and this was addressed last week in Time To Make A Change and Try-This Tuesday: Gaining Control Of Your Time.
I can think of other blocks that I put up for myself. (Note: a block is only a block if you make it a block and in general, blocks can be removed as much as they can be put up!) Maybe you can relate? One such “block” is that my life is fairly routine and the activities I’m involved in don’t include jet-setting, extreme sports, serving in ashrams or hanging out in different parts of town, meeting strange and wonderful people. It’s hard to imagine that I could find inspiration to feed my creative Self when I am toting the kids to their extracurricular activities or play dates, cooking dinner, feeding them etc.
But I can if I want to. If I can just get outside of my own head long enough to notice a moment – a verbal or facial expression, a determined beetle crawling in and out of the sidewalk’s crevices, the sunlight filtering in through the trees in my backyard – I can twist any of these experiences into:
- A character sketch for a great piece of fiction
- A storyline for a children’s book
- A poem
- A journal entry
- The first sentence of a free-writing session
- A writing prompt for my monthly writing group
- A sketch
- A painting or colouring activity with my daughter
- A song to make up for my son (who really doesn’t care what I’m singing or how I sound as long as I’m smiling at him)
How’s that for a list of ideas for creative exploration?
Sometimes it takes an extra step to get out of our heads or to shake things up a little so that we are able to notice these little moments that can bring forth masterpieces. And yes, I think a silly little ditty about a beetle looking for a playmate can be a masterpiece! People make their livings writing and singing about such things!
So, what can YOU do to consciously notice the extraordinary in the every-day? TAKE A PICTURE!! With the luxury we have of digital cameras, teeny-tiny picture snappers that can fit in coat pockets and purses, we can’t think of many excuses to not carry one around. Not to mention the fact that most phones now come with a camera. Take one day this week and decide to take your camera around everywhere you go. Give yourself a quota of how many pictures you’d like to take. Make 3 your minimum. Snap pics at the grocery store, on your walk, in your living room, anywhere you go. Do it consciously and think about what you are capturing as you do it. Is it the raindrops on the spiderweb or the spider itself? Is it the spaghetti sauce on your son’s face or the mischief in his eye? What is the remarkable component that speaks to you? In other words, why did you take the picture?
At the end of the day, view the photos you’ve taken (on the camera or on the computer) and see if you can use that picture to inspire any of the ideas I generated above. Not sure where to start? Pull out your journal or your task binder and ask yourself:
- What caught my eye about this moment?
- What is the theme embedded in this picture? (Remember we talked about themes previously.)
- How did it feel to be consciously aware of my surroundings?
- Do I see myself doing this again at some point?