We all have days where our negative thoughts rise to the surface and seem to dominate everything. Well, today we begin some changes which will beat the little critters into submission! For many of us we can transform our lives and fill them with the things we want if we take sufficient steps that are always all heading in the right direction. Try some of these and see if they help you transform your thinking which will impact on your doing!
- My life changing activity has to be journaling. ‘Yes, yes’ you might respond ‘but what’s the point?’ In response I would say,’ Why don’t you grab a pen, a book with some good quality paper and start writing?’ Why am I such an advocate? Well, I have been keeping a journal for five years and in that time it has allowed me to make the necessary changes to allow me to move from teacher and frustrated writer to full time writer who teaches occasionally and runs a retreat for creatives. How has this happened? Well my journal always makes me think proactively about my life. I question my decisions and thoughts and analyse what is going on. It is my compass, my true north and I know immediately when I am drifting away from my purpose. It makes me analyse any dominant thoughts and encourages me to make a note of the great things that happen and the progress made. How can you say you are unhappy when this, this and this good thing happened today? It heightens my awareness and for anyone involved with exploring their creativity this is vital. So begin keeping a daily journal today!
- Being proactive is another really important change we can all make in our lives. We are really adept at making excuses for not pursuing our passions, taking more exercise, looking after our diets or doing the things which are really important to our mental, physical or spiritual growth. When did you last take yourself to something that matters to you? ‘Yes, I would like to’ you whine, but I just don’t have time.’ Oh really? Tell me, how long did you spend half dozing on the sofa watching some awful programme on tv last night? How long did you stay in bed because you felt too miserable to get up? Or even, spending time with people who don’t add anything to your life but just sap strength. See what I mean? So plans and lists, journal writing and conscious effort will raise your game. You will start noticing synchronicity everywhere which will prompt you to move towards your goal. When you are truly awake to possibilities they crop up everywhere and it’s up to us to make the step change. So what are you waiting for?
- We all lack confidence at times and in fact over confidence can be deeply unattractive too but we all need to re-assess our own worth. We know ourselves better than anyone and self -assessment is often very accurate. So, list strengths, skills, attributes and see how you can create your own opportunities in the field you love. Don’t wait for recognition. No one is going to come knocking on your door offering a commission – unless you are very blessed! So find your own opportunities. Join a creative writing workshop, go on a writing retreat, write an article and offer it to someone, set up your own blog, take a dance class. But do something! Each activity will add richness to your life, will augment creativity and allow progress to be made every day, progress towards our own fulfillment It is our responsibility so we should take it into our own hands and shape our futures. This will elicit a sense of power. After all the greatest stress trigger is being in situations where one feels powerless.
- Creativity is actually a significant part of any country’s GDP (gross domestic product) and can be a very serious business. The Beatles, for example, were given OBE’s many years ago for the sheer economic benefits their music brought to the UK in terms of revenue. Their creativity had a knock on effect in all kinds of economic ways. But we don’t have to make every aspect of our creativity hard work. Sitting at a desk every day and squeezing out drops of creativity like blood is no way to feel fulfilled. It is important to maintain an element of fun, adventure, play, exploration, silliness too. Remember we learned big life lessons through play when we were young and there is no reason not to hang on to that as adults. Experimentation allows us to grow, to stretch our thinking capacities to look at things from a different perspective and that is always useful and advantageous if we are to continue to develop healthily. So go and have some fun and see just what an impact it has on mood, positive thinking and creativity. Go on, try it!
- Don’t become too self-obsessed and go with the flow. Start being more active in every way. Become immersed in all the creative things that are going on around you. Maybe that’s walking out with a highly magnifying hand lens and looking at flowers and leaves; that will certainly give you literally and metaphorically a different perspective and it’s fascinating. Go and read something you know nothing about or think is boring. Yesterday I researched nuclear reactors and found it riveting. I spent all day on this subject as background work for a children’s book I am writing and it has completely changed my outlook (and the story too!) Go and visit an exhibition, however small, go and see your local museum who knows what might inspiring objects are tucked in some corner? Comment on a forum, you might strike up a useful conversation or friendship. Most of all be active and fill your days with things that give pleasure or pique interest or hold attention. If you are stimulated you change, you become curious, more energetic and if the conditions are right you can’t help but grow.
Have a great day and I hope some of these ideas help you develop your creativity. I’m off to work on my children’s novel now.
Vivienne Neale is the director of a writing retreat which provides retreats, courses and Skype tutorials. Read her blog at www.awritingretreatportugal.com/blog
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