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The Awaken Your Creativity Challenge is two weeks of simple daily practices to fan the flames of your inner wisdom and innate creative soul. They’re simple, but add up to big impact.

 

Your daily practices are laid out below!

 

Day 1: Honor Your Tools

 

Part of the secret sauce for re-igniting your creative fire is recognizing what you have on hand that aids you in your own creative inspiration.

Take a moment to think about all the various tools you have in your home or workspace.

Which one is the one that you absolutely love or are so glad to have? Has it helped make cooking easier or more exciting? Does it assist you in being more efficient in your work? Does it help you call in the energy you need to access your creative wisdom? Has it opened up new possibilities for the way you do your creative thing?

My current favorite tools are giant pieces of paper and my teapot.

As a recovering perfectionist, there’s something about a large piece of blank paper that feels so expansive to me. It helps to bust me out of a 8.5 x 11 mindset and really helps me to get the juices flowing in any creative setting.

I have also come to appreciate the ritual of making a pot of tea. Going through the process of heating the water, choosing the tea, pouring the water over the herbs, and watching it steep before gently pouring it into a cup for me to savor helps my mind to slow down and become more present to the magic of the moment. And, 9 times out of 10, when I am more present I am able to much more clearly access the creative wisdom flowing through me.

Day 2: Imperfect Beauty

 

One of the ways I notice myself hiding from a consistent creative practice and working with my hands is looking through the lens of my recovering people pleasing perfectionist.

This part of me feels like the world is ending when I don’t get something just right. Messing something up or failing altogether is so terrifying to her, that often times she’ll convince me it’s not worth even trying.

The most powerful way to shake that perfectionist mindset is to dabble – to engage with reckless abandon in a project with your hands. Because once you are in that sacred moment of creating, all that noise about getting things wrong falls away, and you can appreciate that utter beauty of the imperfect.

The Japanese have a phrase for this appreciation of the imperfect called wabi sabi.

Just because the world around us is full of scars and mistakes and mishaps doesn’t make it any less exquisite. The wabi sabi mindset sees all aspects of life as forever unfinished. I love that approach to life, and it gently guides me back to a more present and appreciative mindset.

Day 3: Fill Your Cup

 

A lesson that I am constantly learning is that if I am not showing up in the world as a fully resourced being, than the quality of my work, my relationships, and my health suffers.

When I talk about being resourced, I am referring to what you need to feel nourished and balanced in the world.

This means: nurturing your introverted and extroverted sides, taking hot baths, getting a massage, setting aside time for you to be creative, going out on date nights with your partner, drinking enough water, eating nourishing foods, moving your body, getting enough sleep, etc.

When you quiet your busy mind and tune into your body, you know what she needs.

I love the metaphor that talks about filling your cup. Because if our bodies and lives are a cup of herbal tea, we cannot give and serve others if it is empty. We can truly only give when our cup is full and overflowing.

Day 4: Listen

 

Let’s be honest – how often do you allow yourself to stop whatever you are doing and truly listen to what’s being given to you – whether it’s in conversation or when you are by yourself? To listen is to be in a receptive state – being open to receiving the wisdom that is coming your way.

When we are more receptive, we become a channel for the creative muse – like an empty chalice being filled with a magic elixir of inspiration, curiosity, and wonder. It’s a beautiful feeling, but can so easily be blocked by our own inability to simply pause and listen for what the muse has to say.

When my life gets busy and I find myself feeling contracted and unwilling to give myself space for anything beyond my to-do list, I sing myself a song I learned last summer around a campfire under the stars with 300 other women.

Here’s a recording of me singing it. ← totally vulnerable for me, and such a powerful practice of expressing my creatively inspired self. 🙂

Here are the lyrics:

I hear the voice of my grandmothers calling me

I hear the voice of my grandmother’s song

Saying wake up wake up, child, wake up wake up

(Give birth, give life, mothers, give birth, give life)

((Stand in your power, women, stand in your power))

Listen listen…..listen listen

Day 5: Remember

 

I often say that, when I’m at my most creative, I feel like I’m accessing my inner wise woman.

Something about creating and working with my hands feels ancient – like I’m channeling my great great grandmothers. The ones that used to sit around a table or fire together to sew, cook, and heal. There was sacredness to their collective craftsmanship that feels so potent whenever I access my creativity. I am honoring the generations of women that came before me – that paved the way for this moment when I can sit down with a pen or a knitting needle or a paintbrush or a laptop and create something from nothing.

 

Day 6: Your Sacred Space

 

If you’re like me {and I think you are!}, then you are inspired by your environment.

I am a far better problem solver and can dream bigger when I am surrounded by beauty than when I am in a cluttered or drab space that doesn’t inspire me in the least. You do your best work when your space feeds your creativity, rather than killing it.

 

Day 7: Honor Your Hands

 

Take a moment to really look at your hands.

Hold them out in front of you and fold them over, admiring every line, every callous, every nail that adorns them.

Your hands are powerful tools. They enable you to communicate with others, cook food that nourishes you, express emotion, type on your computer so we are connected at this very moment, and create the great masterpieces of your life.

It is my long-held belief that, when we take time to work with our hands, we tap into an ancient feminine wisdom that lives within us.  Using our hands to take raw ingredients and turn them into something beautiful gives us direct access to our inner power, magic and intuition. Making a project, mixing up a potion or cooking a meal is like stirring the pot of our natural gifts and letting new and amazing things come to the surface that have been dormant for a while.

 

Day 8: Sacred Adornment

 

When you can transition your mindset around what you wear from frivolous to an authentic expression of your magic, your inner creative muse comes alive in such beautiful ways.

I decorate my temple body with beautiful things that make me feel amazing – like a walking work of art. I like to wear colors, textures, shapes, and accessories that brighten me up and don’t have me shrinking behind them. It’s a form of self-expression that has the ability to change the way I feel about myself in a matter of minutes.

Creating and expressing beauty with the human body is an age-old tradition in cultures all of the world, as a way of expressing prayer, reverence, and tribute. Ceremonial beauty rituals involve(d) days-long bathing traditions, massaging oneself with aromatic oils, painting the face (or entire body!), and ornamenting the air with shells and gems of the earth.

 

Day 9: Sisterhood

 

When women come together, the mysteries of life and feminine flow can be unlocked. I have seen this time and time again, in my own life and with other women I know.

The women in our lineage cooked together, helped birth and raise each other’s children, healed each other’s wounds, nursed illnesses, and held each other up through life’s struggles and celebrations. They would commune together during their moon time as a sacred act of sisterhood.

As years have passed, many of us have found ourselves in the unnatural state of being isolated from one another.

We live in our own individual homes, feeling responsible for cooking our own meals and raising our children by ourselves. What was once a safe place to share our full expression of ourselves has morphed into silent suffering and feelings of isolation for so many (who often don’t feel like they can admit it for fear of being judged for not being able to handle it).

We fear not “doing it right” so we find ourselves judging each other. Judging the way we parent, what foods we eat, how we dress, the way our bodies look, and how much money we make. So much of our own fears, anxieties, and bouts with depression come from a feeling of disconnection with our own hearts and the greater collective of women everywhere.

We have lost the art of communing as women – a vital component of living.

 

Day 10: Creative Courage

 

In today’s uber connected world of never-ending pinterest and instagram feeds filled with people’s ideas and work, it can feel pretty dang terrifying to create something of your own. We compare our work to others, feeling like we’re risking being mocked or judged, and deal with the voice of the inner critic telling us “you aren’t good enough to express yourself

Which is why I bring up courage. It takes courage to press mute on the fearful chatter in your head and proceed with doing your creative work.

I love the word courage, because it’s root is the latin word cor, meaning heart.

When you cultivate courage, you are expressing and acting upon your whole heart. You are opening it up to all the possibilities for your own growth. You are claiming your birthright as a creative being. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic, “You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.

For today’s final creative challenge, I want you to courageously commit to creating something.

It can be as big as that manuscript that’s been swimming around in your head for years or as small as making a flower arrangement with wildflowers from your neighborhood. What matters to me is that you are saying yes to yourself and your innate creative soul.

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