How many of us, when the topic of creativity comes up, shy away and respond with self defeatist comments like “I couldn’t draw a bath”, “I’m hopeless at music”, or “writing was never my strong point”? The truth is that there is creativity in all of us – we just need to learn how to unlock it.
Finding your creative edge
“Creativity is intelligence having fun” Albert Einstein
The word “creativity” makes most people think of things like art, music, writing or photography.
But creativity can be applied to many, many things; cooking is creative, gardening is creative, yoga, dance, knitting, flower arranging and woodwork are all creative. Even science, which most people don’t think of being creative at all, has creative elements (no pun intended!).
Being entrepreneurial and building a business is creative, as is rearranging your home, organising photos into a book, or improving your visual presence on social media.
Creativity is literally to create something that wasn’t there before – so that leaves a vast realm of opportunities!
Lockdown is a rare opportunity for creativity to thrive
This period of quarantine you’ll likely know, isn’t the first in history. The concept of quarantine dates back to the 14th century where efforts were made to stop the spread of the plague. Since, there have been many events worldwide that have required lockdowns.
However, it may be the only one that we experience. This may be a joy for some to hear. But for many, after the initial discomfort of having our routines being meddled with, people are using the slower pace of life and the extra hours in the day, to consider what they are all about and rediscovering, or discovering, what makes them tick.
Boredom can be a powerful driving force. Once you have got used to your own company, and dealt with the itchy-feet feeling that you should be doing something, just sit with the boredom and see what comes up.
Ms Mann, author of The Science of Boredom, communicates this concept in her work, and says “lockdown could turn out to be one of the most creative times for humankind”.
“Allow yourself to be bored and see it as something good. Embrace boredom and your mind will occupy itself. You could end up painting — or writing — a masterpiece.”
Famous creative sparks during a period of lockdown:
- King Lear by William Shakespeare was allegedly written during a plague.
- Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity, is said to have been created whilst under quarantine in the 17th century.
- The lockdown in 1830 was inspiration for Alexander Pushkin to create and finish some of his greatest poems.
Breaking down the barriers
The problem most of us face when it comes to being creative, is that we place so much emphasis on what others think of us that we push creativity away so that we don’t have to come up against the scrutiny of our peers.
If you think back to the reasons why you don’t think you are good at painting, or music, singing, cooking, or writing, it is usually because someone passed a comment that stuck in your mind. It could have even been an unintended comment from a teacher at school saying your handwriting wasn’t neat enough, or a friend laughing in jest at you sang aloud your favourite song.
The first thing to being creative is to get rid of the monsters in your head telling you that you are not good enough and give yourself a chance to succeed.
Be kind to yourself whilst getting started
As Einstein said, “creativity is intelligence having fun” – so first, let it be fun.
Don’t sit down to write a song and feel pressured by how good or bad the outcome will be. Don’t feel embarrassed as you start to write a poem, thinking others would mock if they heard it. Be kind to yourself as you start to find your way.
You may also find that the first thing you try really doesn’t flow for you. Then try something else – don’t be disheartened by early attempts; there are many creative activities and one is sure to fit.
Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. Creativity is meant to push the boundaries of what we can all grasp in our reality, so if it all gets a bit whacky, then it is likely just a sign that your creative juices are being set free!
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” Pablo Picasso
Using creativity for future business ideas
If you have managed to retain the security of your job, then perhaps any creative time for you during lockdown is just to make the time alone more enjoyable and possibly lay the way for a new hobby, or improve on your existing skills. You may also use the time to brush up on work skills and systems to be in a better position for when you return.
However, if your income stream is at risk, or you are now starting to contemplate your future happiness doing what you currently do – something which is happening to many people now they are able to take a breather – unleash your creativity now to build the foundations for something new and exciting for your future; a new business idea perhaps.
“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
Coming up with new ideas is more natural for some than others. Freelance workers for example, are used to having to think up new projects to keep them ticking over with regular work. And some people are just naturally able to put a creative hand to almost anything.
This lockdown inspired project to send handwritten cards to loved ones, was using existing creative skills to form a new idea. Nitsan is a brand expert and passionate about design (she created the I Yoga London brand!). But the lockdown has allowed her to utilise her skills in a new project that showcases a little more about who she is.
The main thing is to not let the fact you have never done anything creative before deter you from making a start now.
Find your creativity to show people your soul
“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world” Brene Brown
If your earthly personality has not yet pursued a creative path, your soul is literally bursting with potential.
So, if you find yourself dreaming of teaching yoga, brush up on your home practice now and seek out a great studio to train with post-lockdown.
If you know your heart is calling you to help people to live more authentically, think how you could create a channel to do this, either on a personal level or professionally.
Perhaps you have the next greatest health brand in your mind right now!
Or maybe you are full of love for cooking but only you and those closest to you know how good you are when you are in the kitchen.
Finding your creativity will give people a little glimpse into who you are on a really deep level. So give yourself the chance to shine!
Using meditation to ask for guidance
Meditation can also be a powerful way to uncover your creative calling. Spend time each day in silence and quietly ask yourself “what is it I want to create for my life”. See the answers that come up from inside you and if nothing does, that is alright too.
There are plenty of online meditations to tap into that can help you clear the noise. And now that so many studios have gone online, there are a host of online guided meditation classes, which may help you to find ways to listen to your heart.
“This meditation class led by Jana Krychtalkova (usually in Light Centre Monument) but for now on Zoom, is one that I attend regularly. I think it is perfect for really connecting with your heart and opening up the possibility for creative ideas.” Claire – I Yoga London
Of course, when all is said and done, the lockdown for you may not be to seek out new creative pursuits at all. Maybe you need the time to rest, recoup, align and connect with yourself again – which is all so important as well.
Key points from this article
- Being creative simply means to create something that wasn’t there before – you choose how to activate your creativity.
- Get rid of the monsters in your head that you are not creative or not good at a particular creative activity – you can be!
- Sit with boredom and see where it takes you – allow yourself the opportunity to explore.
- Make creativity fun and don’t take yourself too seriously – be kind to yourself along the way!
- First do it for you. Whatever you are creating, think to please yourself first and the rest will follow.
- Creativity can be used to gift yourself a new hobby, advance a skill, or to start a new business idea.
- Use meditation as a tool to silencing your mind and ask for guidance.
- Don’t be afraid to show people who you really are on a deep level – let creativity lead the way.
- And if you are using lockdown as a time to rest and not start anything new, this is fine too. Listen to your heart.
If you are London based and have been inspired by the lockdown to create something new, that you would like I Yoga London to share on our blog, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org