by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the second part of my blog, What Are Ways For Nurturing Creativity And Inspiration? Read Part 1 here.
KEY WAYS FOR NURTURING CREATIVITY:
When I shine my authentic self, I open the way for others to be empowered. My victory at expressing my true self allows others to see their own possibilities. My win is your win. Happy people create a peaceful world. This is a solid reason to believe in myself as a creator.
Your conscious mind needs breaks. Your subconscious is always absorbing for you, so you won’t miss out.
Take a much-needed break, knowing that ‘time on the shelf’ (a phrase coined by pyrography artist, Amanda Packard, featured on YourCreativeChord Podcast) is exactly what’s necessary to rejuvenate inspiration. When you come back to your creative process after a rest, you’ll find your energy has exponentially grown.
How do you handle negative self-talk or doubt within the creative process?
I pray about negative self-talk or doubt. Prayer in Buddhism is not wishing or asking external help. It’s making a determination to win over weakness, enjoy, appreciate, and use struggles and victories as personal mission to encourage others and repay gratitude.
What Are Ways For Nurturing Creativity And Inspiration? Part 1
How To Feel Spring Emerging From Your Heart
Creativity Brings Comfort, Courage, and Hope
Special Episode For British Radio Station, ResonanceFM & International Women's Day YourCreativeChord Podcast
How To Live A Life of Joyful Creativity Part 2 | YourCreativeChord Podcast
How To Live A Life of Joyful Creativity: An Interview with Ryan Hargrove On Creative Process Part 1 | YourCreativeChord Podcast
What Self-Care Has To Do With Creativity
Set Your Positive Intent & Inspire Yourself
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by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I have more blogs and podcasts that cover this topic from different perspectives under my Creativity, and Inspiration sections, so check those out! I also learn about the creative process from the creators and positivity experts I interview for YourCreativeChord Podcast.
I sometimes use my ‘Creative Exploration Formula’ (see above image) for jumpstarting a creative project. This is a way for creators to get in the creative zone, minus the negative inner critic, to start a new project or continue one. It’s a step by step process, but as creators, we know that rules are for breaking.
So change it, break it, throw any part of it out the window if the muse has landed with you.
GET INSIDE YOUR BOX!
Start by setting limitations or parameters for yourself, or by placing yourself within a structure. This gives you a clear box where you’ll set yourself to work on creating something new. The idea of limits may already be set for you if it’s a professional task you must complete.
Remember that limits are a good way for sparking fresh ideas that wouldn’t normally flow if everything were wide open or willy-nilly, anything goes.
Limits force you to think. Thinking within limitations pushes you to find a new way to do something. Being in a particular box is good in this sense.
If you get blocked creatively, find a way to break open that box.
LET GO OF YOUR HEAD!
Before you begin creating something, you must mindfully let go of your head, whatever mood you’re in, any expectations, and check your ego at the door. None of these are welcome in the creative process. They are the uninvited. Let them go.
The point is to not care about your results. Yet.
MAKE IT STUPID.
During some creative sessions, I’ve set myself the goal of writing the worst possible song I’ve ever composed. I purposely strike the attitude that I do not care about the result. I strive to make it stupid. Ignore all the rules or protocol.
I do that to forcefully eject any expectations or inner critic from my inner space. Ninety percent of the time that I use this strategy, my creative results blow me away with positive ideas I would never expect to emerge.
Getting rid of that inner critic is a super powerful way to get creative juices pumping!
TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER COMPASS.
I silence myself to tune into what I believe in or care about. I hone in on my powerful feelings or beliefs. I let everything be guided by that inner compass. It is authentic and mystic.
It’s both my higher power and my deepest desires, dreams, wants (or sometimes, pain), or passion. I allow that place to fill my silence with truth, no matter what it feels or looks or sounds like. I let the creative voice flow.
If I hear negativity creep in, I start again from the top:
I tap into my heart with an open, pure curiosity to learn and be led.
I allow my curiosity to explore, brainstorm, try anything and anything. I allow myself to be okay with whatever happens. I go deep into this process, ignoring all rules or outer ‘voices.’
I pretend that everything is an experiment. Because it is.
ENVISION WITH GREAT ATTENTION
Sometimes, I spend time visualizing. I envision the mood, color, sound, story, setting that I intend to express. I practice deeply feeling these, through each nuance, change, or detail, and through each of my senses.
I allow for failure. I invite failure. In the words of L.A. Composer, Kristen Baum, who I recently featured on YourCreativeChord podcast, "Failure tells you as much as success." I use failure, mistakes or messing up to ignite my curiosity for inquiry. I ask myself why it’s not working.
Once I find something not working, I ask myself what I could instead substitute. I make shifts, changes, and "redesigns" based on the answers from my questions about the 'failure.'
My ‘Creative Exploration Formula’ leads me through the creative process like a trusted friend. But if I feel creative block and am unable to dislodge myself from it, I review my list of ways for nurturing creativity.
Watch for next week's blog featuring ways for nurturing creativity...
YourCreativeChord offers quality content, a positive community, and support for those interested in nurturing creativity and inspiration.
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to join the conversation below to let me know if you find this blog helpful or if you have questions or suggestions!
In my blog, Learning To Be Creative, I walk through my creative process in a simplified way.
What Are Ways For Nurturing Creativity And Inspiration? Part 2
Why Should You Dream Too Big & Harness Your Powerful Imagination?
Defeat Fear & Doubt with Your Courage & Capability
How To Deflect Negativity To Become Happier
Believing In The Positive
My Top Tips For Winning Over Your Insomnia
How To Live A Life of Joyful Creativity
5 Ways To Use Music & Nature For Self-Care
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Sometimes we even doubt our ability to be creative at all. In those moments, if you have my inspiring 2020 Nature Calendar, you’ll get a friendly, warm, gentle reminder that you’ve got this.
Creativity is in your life just as it’s in mine.
My calendar designs are based on my personal creative process of finding time for self-care, especially through experiencing nature. There's scientific research proving that experiencing awe improves your optimism and lowers stress.
Nature is a constant source of awe. Research shows wellness improves even if you’re looking at pictures of nature instead of being outdoors physically!
Release Your Stress To The Air
I want you to see how incredible you are. How easy it can be to release your stress to the air and relish the vibrance and wonder that nature brings to your senses. Exploring the profundity of nature’s compassionate force can put you back in rhythm with your own inherent creative flow.
That’s why I made my 2020 calendars.
And yeah, they aren’t mass distributed. These are limited editions (and almost sold out!) that I personally designed as a resource for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
I used decent quality materials so you could write your personal events and notes on them easily. I left plenty of white space so you can set and track your personal goals in the same place where you’ll see a joyful or peaceful moment in nature.
The same place where a positive affirmation will be to encourage you about your infinite creative potential.
You can feel how I incorporate authenticity, an open heart and sincere determined effort in the creative process from these calendars. You can see why this visual and written format is important to me.
If I can make something out of the simplicity of an ordinary moment within my day, so can you. These calendars were made to empower you and me toward manifesting our beautiful relationship with the unceasing compassionate power of the universe.
That’s why I made these calendars.
The cart has closed on YourCreativeChord's 2020 Inspiring Calendar. Stay tuned for 2021 Calendars in October 2020!
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU'LL LOVE MY INTERVIEWS WITH CREATORS, & INSPIRING STORIES! CLICK HERE FOR MORE!
Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the first of my photo essay series featuring images from my newly designed 2020 nature photo calendars. The calendars include monthly self-care themes highlighting strategies for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
I enjoy taking nature photos because each captured image represents my excitement, joy and appreciation for the wondrous beauty available within an ordinary moment. My pictures are symbolic of my personal dreams and inner prayers for experiencing life to its maximum potential.
It helps that I live in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky, surrounded by agricultural and horse farms, near enough to the Kentucky Horse Park that I can ride my bike there. I also lived in sunny Florida for half my life, enjoying the gorgeous beaches of Venice, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Clearwater and Dunedin.
I snapped the photo above at Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, during a sunset walk with a friend, determined to capture the serenity of the sun’s gentle departure beyond the horizon. This memory reminds me of my sincere friend, who graciously spent the weekend with me there to literally force me to enjoy some relaxation in between my whirlwind of events surrounding that time period.
The kindness of my friend’s compassionate gesture, the therapeutic nature of the deep, pulsing waves of the water, the setting of the sun as it sprayed its pastel wash of colors across the sky, and my deep love for Sarasota, as the place my Buddhist practice began (the starting point of hope in my life), exist within this momentary pause. Just as an entire lifetime of memories, personality, knowledge and emotion are represented within a person’s name, a single photo is full of kaleidoscopic meaning.
My photos are about slowing down enough to take one, solitary second out of a busy life to celebrate myself, my progress, this chapter, and the hope of the next one. It’s about letting my creative heart lead in my daily life, not my head.
I don’t compare my nature photography to other great photographers. Though I admire and deeply respect the works of others who’ve dedicated their lives to mastering technique and skill, that is not what inspires me.
I began taking photos because I was deeply moved by Daisaku Ikeda’s photography and underlying philosophy. He doesn’t claim to be a professional photographer. He began taking photos to commemorate experiences with others and leave something behind to encourage them.
I bring my photos to YourCreativeChord with a similar hope and intent; to inspire us to continually expand our lives by letting our true authenticity be the ultimate authority of our creative process. My photos are about seeing the world through the lens of my Greater Self (not my lesser self, ego).
I share my nature photography as a way of recognizing and celebrating our universal yet vulnerable point of human connection, and to experience the rejuvenating power of nature’s beauty within my images.
My photography is meant as an example of courageous creative exploration, as that is a prime point for me as a creator. I blog and podcast about the importance of allowing creative adventures, setting aside the theoretical mind, to allow one’s heart to express itself, unhindered by any limitation.
I’m a writer, poet and composer, but I venture into photography without my thinking hat. Instead, I bring childlike wonder and profound appreciation for nature’s astonishing allure.
I want to share this with you as a way of encouraging you to see your world as the artist within you knows it to be. When you see my photos, my hope is that it sparks your belief in your own creative vision. Enjoy the view.
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COMING SOON: Watch this space for new ebooks, products and courses for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
In my CREATIVITY blogs, you’ll find tips for exploring creative flow, and inspiring content related to the inherent challenges and tremendous joy within the creative process.