How to reignite your spirit.
YOU HAVE SO MUCH creative potential simmering within you. We all have innate imaginative brilliance in some form, but we are raised to depend on our more logical left brain to the point that we lose touch with our more creative right brain. Each of us is born with a tendency to be left- or right-brained. It is believed that the left hemisphere of the brain is in charge of our abilities to be analytical and objective, while the right hemisphere is responsible for our abilities to be creative, intuitive, and feeling.
Have you ever known a child who hates to paint or draw? While we might be born with a tendency to be more right- or left-brained, I believe that we all have the ability to learn to be more balanced with regard to use of the hemispheres of the brain. Society often focuses on nurturing the left brain through math, science, and being analytical. These skills are valued because they tend to help you make more money as an adult; however, it is usually more enjoyable to live with greater balance between the left and right brain hemispheres.
As a child, I was considered creative. I loved to write stories and use my imagination. As I grew up, I focused on becoming an engineer and a scientist, because I believed I could be more “successful” in life by utilizing the related skills. Although applying math skills was not nearly as fun to me as being creative, I was able to train myself to become left-brain dominant. I actually started to believe that I was not creative at all.
Motherhood made me want to reclaim my right brain. I have seen this occur for many women. All of a sudden, we feel the spark of creativity that has been stifled – and we realize we might actually have a little more time at home to hone our creative skills. I used to think that my right-brained, creative friends were just the ones who were artists or fantastic decorators. I sold myself short. One day I realized that I have been a writer my entire life – and I had discounted writing as a creative endeavor.
Do you consider yourself right-brain dominant or left-brain dominant? If you have been staying home doing nothing but crafts and kid things, is there a part of you craving some intellectual stimulation? If you have been working in a high-powered, male-dominated, analytical type of career, is there some part of you that wants to be more expressive? Just consider balance. We often let ourselves get taken through life without a lot of our input until we become aware one day that we are completely out of alignment with who we truly are.
Here are a few ideas to help you reignite your creative spirit:
- Start writing in a journal. I have written in a journal on and off since the first grade, and no other act has helped me understand myself more. Sometimes when I am upset with my husband, I write in my journal to sort through my thoughts. I often realize that I am not actually mad about the matter at hand. Rather, I discover that I have been harboring anger about an unresolved conflict that occurred days prior. Without journaling, I might not have understood these feelings and figured myself out.
- Get some special paper and paints, and see what happens. Being left-brained for so long, when I tried this, I had to follow the steps in a book on how to watercolor. The final product was actually pretty, and it empowered me to try something on my own. I have learned that I have little painting skill, but it was really fun!
- Do a craft. I have never considered myself crafty, and I grew up to believe that it wasn’t my “thing” because I was a career woman. While I can’t claim to have a lot of talent in this area, I really enjoy doing little projects on my own and with my children when I have extra time.
- Cook creatively. Get out of your comfort zone in the kitchen, and try something new. Challenge yourself by trying a recipe out of Gourmet magazine or an ethnic recipe.
- Peruse creative blogs or Pinterest for inspiration. I may not always have creative ideas myself, but I have learned that all of my most creative friends seek inspiration from others for many of their projects. There is nothing wrong with getting ideas from others! There are amazing and talented people out there who blog about their projects related to sewing, decorating, writing, cooking, gift wrapping, inspiration, etc.
- Get a new magazine. The next time you walk through the grocery store checkout, pick up a Martha Stewart magazine or something else that attracts you. Even better, large bookstores like Barnes & Noble have amazing magazine sections where you can find a publication on virtually any topic or hobby.
- Take a class. Take a painting, writing, or dance class! Stretch and challenge yourself to do something new and fun. Gather a group of girlfriends and try something together. You might even take a sewing or acting class. Dang, I am inspiring myself to try something crazy and new! Knitting classes, anybody?
- Start a blog. If you enjoy writing or photography, blogging can be an incredible outlet. There are numerous free or inexpensive templates that make it very easy. You could consider blogging a challenge to sharpen your skills and share yourself with the world! I really enjoy cooking and craft blogs featuring beautiful photographs. While it may seem as though there is already a blog for everything, there is no blog with your unique viewpoint and spin on the world. Maybe there should be!
The right brain way to health and healing.
Erin Cox is on a mission to revolutionize motherhood into a hotter, healthier, and more joyful experience, as outlined in her new book, One Hot Mama: The Guide to Getting Your Mind and Body Back After Baby.