How to increase your creative awareness: listening to your personal needs in the present to get into your creative work mode
by Sanne Clifford
As mentioned in the previous blog post, awareness and some slight tweaking on your habits and creative structure can have a big effect on your state of mind when starting to do your creative work. We received lovely comments asking how to get deeper into that ‘clean empty page’ state. So let’s dive into a next level: how to increase your creative awareness.
Let’s tackle first one of the biggest blockers that get in between you and your ready-to work-creatively state of being: distraction. If you decided to start working at a specific time and all kind of ‘important’ matters come in between; before you know it’s half an hour or even a full hour later and nothing really happened yet. You might have the feeling there is not enough time to do everything you want but actually you got distracted and you did not respect your time to do your creative work. And what are those little things that keep you away from what you want to do most? Is it checking your friends’ comments on social media, or e-mailing that person because otherwise you might forget? Or do you blame others for interrupting; someone called you or asked you a question? Take control of your creative work time. Set a time when you want to start and how long you will be working non-stop. Then, 8 minutes before you start you ask yourself two questions:
‘What do I need to be able to work in a nice and healthy way?’ You might want a tea next to you, or a quiet surrounding. So you have those minutes to make that tea, get a headphone or take your notebooks/laptop/yoga mat/what it is you need, into another room. Make sure you have enough space. Keep it realistic to what you can do in that moment, space and time.
‘What is it I do not need, to be able to work in the coming time slot?’ is the next question to ask. You probably don’t need your phone; so put flight mode on or even better: get it out of sight. You probably don’t need all these tabs open in your browser (oops, guilty. To not get distracted I open a new window instead of tab if I need the Internet). And the list can go on depending on your personal habits and type of work.
So you managed in just 8 minutes to get yourself ready to be in the right place with and without the right situation and props. But your mind can be still pretty full or busy with other topics that are not helpful for your current work in this specific time slot. So make a list of all the things that you have in your head (to do’s, don’t forgets, other great ideas but for another time, etc.). This way you give them a place and let them be for now. Try to create this list in just 1, max. 2 minutes. If you need more time to think about it is probably not that important right now.
You spend 10 minutes on your preparation and now it’s time to start: with an exercise. Before I start explaining, remember: this is part of your creative work. This is the part where you will spend more time on being aware on what you feel and experience in the present moment and gets you in that blank page mode, ready to get filled.
Get into a neutral position that relates to your type of work: can be standing, sitting or lying down on a mat. Make sure you lengthen you spine and you have relaxed shoulders, connect with your feet to the floor and choose if you want to close your eyes or have a focus point in front of you where you softly keep looking at. Breath towards your belly and do a body scan from top to toes, slowly, so you can feel and listen to your body. Be aware of possible differences: your shoulders might tell you something else than your fingertips. You don’t have to change these feelings or states, just recognize them. Then imagine your body is like a two-way street, where energy goes up and down: into the floor and up to the sky, both directions at the same time. Feel where the body wants to be moved, which can be small and gentle or increase it to bigger movement. Keep it relaxed and soft. When you come to the point that you feel is the biggest way of moving for that moment, to how you feel, fade it back down to that neutral position.
Now you have connected to your body, to how you feel in that moment, calming your state of being. Start the work that you planned to do and let us know what your experience is after doing the exercise! Drop a comment below, find us on facebook or send an e-mail, so we can respond with more tips and ideas in the next post.