Yesterday, while getting naked in the women’s locker room at my gym, I ran into a colleague. Interesting conversations always unfold in interesting places, yes?
“How’s your book writing going?” she asked me. “It seems so nourishing to be immersed in that.”
“It’s going well,” I answered, just then, at 5:30pm, emerging from the fog of sitting at my computer all day, “for the most part.”
“I read somewhere that women who create on a regular basis have more balanced hormones and easier periods,” she added (knowing that this is part of what my book is about).
Yup. She’s 100% right.
In a world that values productivity over creativity, and completion over process, we women suffer the consequences of this in our bodies. [Tweet this!]
Our creative energy lives in our womb and our ovaries, regardless of how old we are (and even if we’ve had a hysterectomy). As young girls, we are deeply in touch with this creativity. And, as we grow older we often abandon our passions for more “grown-up” pursuits to make a living.
When we don’t use this creative energy (through mothering, cooking, writing, dancing, singing, painting, gardening, caring for your horse or your birds or your dog…or whatever your mode of creating happens to be), interesting things can happen.
We get depressed. Lean into addictions. Our hair falls out. We gain weight. Experience painful periods and infertility. Or develop an autoimmune disease. Our creative energy is the essence of our feminine energy.
Now, I’m not saying that untapped creativity is the sole reason for any of these things. And don’t you dare use this as another way to judge and criticize yourself. But it’s helpful to acknowledge that abandoned creative passions serve as psychospiritual contributors to our increasingly rampant predicament of burnout, unhappiness, addiction, or illness.
I have much more to say about this in my new book, but for now, here are three ways to revive (or strengthen your creativity).
1. Go for walks.
Authors and visionaries whom I admire all advocate regular walks in nature: Henry David Thoreau, Mary Oliver, and Natalie Goldberg, to name a few.
Since I was a little girl, I too, can’t live without my walks. Here in Boulder I lace up my shoes and head out my front door onto a mountain trail at the end of the work day to clear my head. When travelling, I head out without a map or a compass, to explore the new landscape on foot.
In a recent article in BBC online, Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, shares, “There is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the time open to thinking. I do believe once you get the blood flowing through the brain it does start working more creatively.”
The walking I’m speaking of here is not “power walking, while texting.” Leave your phone and headphones at home. Walk mindfully. Engage all of your senses.
2. Have a creative space. Even if it’s digital.
While I’m a huge fan of using my body to be creative–that’s not the only way to go about it. Now that there’s so much richness on the Internet, those of us who live in small spaces don’t have an excuse anymore not to create!
I’m really digging this creative tool to intuitively organize all of my notes, diagrams, research, and growing chapters in one place. I can click and drag things around to visually rearrange my outline, instantly. Much easier and more enjoyable than trying to manage a gazillion Word documents!
3. Infuse your work with creativity.
This is the best of both worlds. Right and left brains. Masculine and Feminine. Jennifer Lee, founder of Artizen Coaching and award winning author, teaches entrepreneurs how to do just this.
Now, a little side note: You know I love Jenn since I came out of my “no interview” book writing mode to meet with her! Jenn has been my own “book big sister” over the years, as she has been a few steps ahead of me in her publishing process. We share the same publisher (New World Library), the same business coach (Andrea J. Lee), and this is also her second book, Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way (her first was The Right-Brain Business Plan).
Her books are beautiful, fun, and very smart. I hope you enjoy the interview. May it fuel some creative inspiration of your own–in business, body, and in life!
What is your relationship to creativity? What are your passions that you feel you don’t have time for since you’ve “grown up”? Are there any health concerns (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical) that might be impacted by your disconnection from your creativity?
Take one baby step this week to reignite your creative passion–whether that’s trying a new recipe, drawing a picture, making a collage, or going to a dance class.
We can do this!