There’s a million reasons why our creativity can get stifled, stuck, or simply forgotten on our journeys. Maybe you were a highly creative child, but lost sight of this. Parenthood, or a career focus could have done it. Or maybe you actually have full-time creative work, which has led to your out-of-work creative flow dissipating…
Creativity as a wellness practice
Regardless of the reasons, feeling void of our creative force isn’t great. Picasso once reminded us that ‘art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ Being creative isn’t something that we should reserve for rare moments of absolute spaciousness, but rather something that we can use consistently to enhance our lives.
Whether you’re seeking to reduce stress, exercise mindfulness or process emotion –exercising creativity will help nurture your mind, body and soul. Indeed, studies have proved that creativity encourages the release of dopamine – helping boost your mood, while alleviating stress and anxiety. Every cheerful brush stroke, splash, or squeeze can offer countless therapeutic benefits.
Plus the great news is – as asserted by Maya Fiennes – ‘we are all creative beings.’ So don’t let anyone (including yourself) convince you otherwise! Rather than asking am I creative, let’s go a step further and ask: how can I express my innate creativity? What does it look like, and how can I let it flow?
If you’re feeling a little stuck, below are some great activities to get those creative juices moving.
I discovered acrylic pouring whilst going down a YouTube rabbit hole one day, and insisted on trying it immediately.
This liberating technique involves mixing acrylic paint with a pouring medium, before pouring colours onto a canvas in a variety of ways. You can use individual cups, or multiple colours combined in one cup.
Next, the surface you’ll tilt to let the paint flow, with unpredictable and beautiful results. When you get comfortable with it, you can even heat the canvas using a blowtorch to evoke aesthetic bubbles or ‘cells.’ The cool thing about acrylic pouring is by its nature: it’s a total creative surrender. There’s no way to get caught up with the goals of perfectionism that can render art as daunting. If you don’t consider yourself an artist, this one’s for you – and great for kids too. Check out some examples, here.
You may have noticed macrame making a fierce comeback in boho homeware stores. These knotted creations bring a natural look, plus warmth and texture into spaces. They make perfect plant holders, placemats, wall hangings – or if you feel ambitious… even chairs! Making your own macrame pieces is the perfect creative, rainy day activity. Plus, another great one for the kids. Find a thorough tutorial here.
Paint by numbers
This creative endeavour is highly relaxing, rewarding and in fact often recommended by art therapists in Australia.
Paint by numbers involves a canvas whereupon a picture is divided into areas, indicating spaces to paint. Each area is assigned a number, with a corresponding paint to use. Upon finishing the piece, a beautiful work of art will emerge.
This activity always makes for a fun time, and a perfect school holiday project. It’s designed for beginners to feel proud of their own miraculous work – how good! I’ve found it to be soothing, somewhat addictive, and a lovely process to share with another. Plus at the end of the day, you have a stunning painting which you can technically say was all you! There are plenty of options on the market, including non-toxic and child friendly kits.
Creativity and nature make wonderful additions to any wellbeing practice. Put them together – and you get stone balancing. Here, we mean visiting nature and mindfully placing one or more stones in a state of equilibrium. Their point of contact should be kept as minimal as possible. The result is a natural sculpture which appears to defy gravity.
This profoundly simple activity can become playful, meditative or collaborative. It’s one that brings out the inner child, and where you can feel immersed for hours. As well as improving general coordination and balance, stone balancing becomes a metaphor for life. You’re learning how to be patient, a witness, and how to let go. For inspiration you can watch this stunning video.
Tie dye kits are another excellent way to express your creativity, get your hands dirty and have fun. This involves pre-soaking your chosen fabric, adding water to the dye bottles – shaking and applying. There are plenty of non-toxic options available, and the perk here is that your (new and improved) creations will be a reminder of these good times! It’s another great way to involve the kids, and to spruce up some old clothes.
If you want to unleash your inner artist while normalising (and celebrating) the human body in all its glory, this could be the option for you. During a life drawing class, there will be nude or clothed model. They will pose for different durations of time, generally from shortest to longest. Poses tend to vary from 2 minutes to 10 minutes, before being followed by a longer pose. Life drawing classes are extremely meditative, connective and special. Naturally, there’s a spaciousness, authentic and supportive environment that arises. These classes are an excellent way to build drawing skills like hand-eye coordination, shadow and perspective, and fine detail work. Plus, because of the short amount of time, there’s a strong problem solving element to them. There are plenty of wonderful options across the country, including this one, right near us.
Here at Happy Buddha we believe in the power of creativity. From vision boarding to music games, you’ll feel your creativity flow with us on retreat. Sounds good? See you soon!
Nisha is a freelance writer and Vedic astrologer, based in the magical Byron Hinterlands. As well as running her candle business, her life and loves involve: yoga, gardening and all things esoteric. You’ll find her out in nature, or curled up at home with a good book. Happy Buddha is one of her most treasured places on earth (and indeed where she met her fiancé!).