I am inspired to post a blog about creativity today, as a young artist, Greta, has been creating some photos with quotes for my facebook page (check out her facebook page Greta Alice and her Etsy store). I love tapping into my creativity – at work with problem-solving, in my writing and for leisure and enjoyment. In fact, I wrote about creativity in Intuition Unlock the Power, and this blog will be based on what I wrote.

“In the 1970s I trained in Occupational Therapy (OT). OT developed out of the world wars and the need to offer rehabilitation to the returnedsoldiers. Originally it involved the use of many and varied activities, such as crafts, workshop-based activities or expressive techniques such as art. The activities were used with therapeutic intent, matching theindividual’s particular needs. I remember several clients in particular whose lives were turned around by the therapeutic relationship and meaningful activity. When working at a major city hospital, I was asked to see an elderly man from central Australia who had had a heart attack. As I spoke with him, I discovered that he was descended from Afghan camel traders and, as a young boy, he had learnt to create leather whipsand saddles for the camels. Now he was elderly and feeling depressed after a heart attack. What would help him to recover?

At the same time I was asked to see two young men in the hospital’s burns unit, both of whom had burns to their arms. I chose to get the three men together, and I asked the elderly man to help by teaching the young men some leather work — this activity would assist function to return to their upper limbs. The elderly man obliged over several weeks, and the change in both him and the young men was remarkable. He was doing something of value, while also tapping into his childhood play and creative skills again. The depression lifted and he returned home, often visiting me when he returned to the city. I later said to the two young men that table tennis would be a good activity to further improve their upper limb function. They arrived in the OT department one day to find a large piece of timber and paint. What I hadn’t said was that we’d need to build the table first! Humour is an important ingredient in creativity.”

One of the main barriers to tapping into our creativity is our conscious mind, which often says, ‘I can’t draw’, ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘It has to be perfect.’ It was Picasso who said, ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’ Being aware of our self-critical voice is important, and either challenging the thoughts (‘I don’t have to be an expert or draw perfectly, and I can create some time — this is important’) or (from the ACT model of therapy) saying, ‘Thank you, brain, for this thought. I am having a thought that …’ and letting it pass through the mind, can help. Remember that you are unique and have inherent creativity. I wonder what is your creative self like? Visual, imaginative, artistic, ingenious, original …

Strategies that can assist you to tap into your creativity include:
• Spending quiet time alone or doing quiet activities. Consider doing this routinely.
• Letting go of the need to be right or perfect. Instead, just have fun and go for it!
• Going for a walk in nature and experiencing the world in a new creative way. Notice everything that delights you and bring back something from nature; for example, a flower or piece of bark.
• Making a ‘creativity’ box. Decorate a box however you like and store in it things that arouse your creativity; for example, photos, clippings and pictures from magazines, mementos or quotes.
• Doing one thing at a time (being mindful). If you are being creative, then be in the moment.
• Listening to music.
• Doing some strenuous exercise or having a good laugh.
• Try journalling creatively.
• Meditating. Given that doing things at a relaxing pace is conducive to creativity.

The following list might generate some additional ideas for creative activities.
• Gardening or landscaping
• Reading
• Writing (journal, letters, short stories, poems, books …)
• Arts and crafts (sewing, felting, drawing, painting, mosaic, card-making, scrapbooking)
• Playing with your children or those of friends
• Rearranging furniture, home decorating
• Cooking, cake decorating
• Carpentry
• Tinkering
• Flower arranging
• Doing puzzles
• Telling stories
• Dancing
• Visiting markets and bric-a-brac shops
• Playing a musical instrument or singing
• Meditation and visual imagery
• Walking a labyrinth

Feel free to add your ideas to this list. Tap into your creativity today and enjoy all of the benefits!

Note – if you find you still struggle to believe you can be creative, check out the new e-book on SELF-BELIEF in the shop as it will help you find that sense of belief in your own abilities.

Howell, C. (2013). Intuition Unlock the Power. Exisle, NSW.


4 Responses

  1. Greta

    Thank you for mentioning me Cate. Some activities that inspire my creativity are reading, going to concerts and visiting art galleries. I am happiest and most creative when I take a break from technology (namely my computer and phone) and appreciate the present moment.

    • Robyn Atsidaftis

      Thank you for writing this Cate. This has been the way back for me. I when first off of work decided with my Dr. that I need a project…and a project it has been…lol From making heat packs to jewellery to hand bags to kinitting bags to crocheting flowers to put on the bags to body products and even pin cushions.

      Being an Interior Designer and it being very much my passion, to assist me with getting back on track in many ways I have set up my own website and blog..using a basic template but from scratch. Not only has the put my attention to this and away from my stressors, it has also bought me a lot of fulfillment.

      For me I think you need to do what you enjoy…a lot of people do things that they dislike on a daily basis and we all have to to some degree but you have to have your own time out…do what you are interested in or have passion for… you need ‘ME TIME’ like a lot of us out there and especially mums…we run ourselves dry emotionally because we think we can do it all and try to do it all plus more like in my case….but the reality is that we can’t … and then you get the real reality check when you become unwell.

      Think of yourself as a car…no maintenance no petrol….eventually the car will breakdown and stop…cease up….so…if we don’t want this to happen we have to have time to enjoy the small things in life ourselves and that all add up to one big thing…a relaxed you….This also enhances your self belief that you are able to still do the things you love or start a new something…

      Thanks Cate you have been an immeasurable help…x Robyn

      • catehowell

        Thank you for your great comments Robyn. I know how important creativity is in your life. We get so much from tapping into it! Best wishes, Cate

  2. Gajanand

    1. Start Once upon a time 2. People watch3. Ask someone old about how thgnis used to be4. Make a mad-lib outline, and have friends fill in the blanks5. Try watercolor painting6. Write an Ode to something you love7. Write a nonesense dialogue between two people8. Make a picture from cutout pieces of paper9. Read Poetry10. Write The Book of ___ then cover every aspect of the subject

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