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Creative Mojo: 10 Tips for Unleashing Your Creativity

Lissa Rankin's picture



The PERFECT cartoon created by my Twitter buddy @junson, John Junson

The PERFECT cartoon created by my Twitter buddy @junson, John Junson

Do you have those days (or weeks, or months, or even years) when it feels like your creative spark has been extinguished by Hurricane Katrina? I know I do, and since my own personal definition of mojo is tied to my creativity, those are bad days. Don’t think you have a creative bone in your body? You don’t have to be an artist, musician, or writer to benefit from unleashing your creativity. Your creative expression might manifest in your cooking, your gardening, the way you set the table, the cupcakes you decorate for your kid’s birthday party, the handmade cards you craft, the flowers you arrange, the scrapbooks you put together, or the way you dress.

These are tough times, and even in the stodgiest of businesses, a creative mind leads to vitality, fun, and even monetary gain. So how can you shake it up a bit? Here are some tips:

  1. Change your venue. When I’m writing or painting, I’m usually cooped up at home, surrounded by the same ol’, same ol’ (which, while lovely, doesn’t exactly ignite my creative flame). But getting out in the world rewires me. Going to Esalen in Big Sur, driving up Highway One to a place I’ve never been, or even just going into the city to people-watch gets me out of my rut and opens up blocked pathways.
  2. Engage in childlike play. Try hopscotch, Twister, scribbling on the sidewalk with chalk, jumping on a pogo stick, or swishing your hips with a hula hoop. You never know what ideas will come bubbling up.
  3. Do something wacky. I once spent one whole day turning left. Just got in my car and, whenever the mood struck, turned left. I ended up at a Little League game, eating popcorn and coming up with all sorts of new ideas.
  4. Be in nature. The redwoods in Muir Woods, the ocean cliffs of Big Sur, and Mount Tamalpais all do wonders for me. There’s something about nature that makes me feel part of something much bigger than me. That sense of wonder always stirs thing up.
  5. Send your inner critic for a time out. Give yourself some love instead. Get a massage, paint your toenails pink, or take a long soak in a warm bath. If your muse is always battling your demons, it leaves no energy for YOU, and your spark will flicker out.
  6. Shake your booty! Movement opens things up and brings a fire into your belly and into your creative life. Go dancing, take a yoga class, climb rocks, hike, stand on your head, or just wiggle around your living room. You might be surprised at how sparky it makes you feel.
  7. Try something new. Never been hang gliding? Always wanted to sing in a Norwegian shouting chorus? Curious about sweat lodges or juggling or bungee jumping? Quit talking about it and just do it!
  8. Create a ritual. Invoke your muses in a ritualistic way that feels right to you. I have this beautiful moose-skin drum I bought from a Native American artist, and when I need a creative boost, I sit outside by myself with my drum, close my eyes, say a prayer, and bang the hell out of my drum. Makes me feel like a bit of a crazy person, but it works every time.
  9. Take a nap. Sometimes your spark has dwindled because of fatigue. Light some incense, find a quiet spot, and curl up with a blanket. Before you nod off, invite creative inspiration to visit you in your dreams. Not only will a nap rejuvenate you, you just might find your muse in your sleep.
  10. Pay attention to everyday magic. You don’t have to change your environment or your circumstances to experience life with fresh senses. Get on your knees and look around. Close your eyes and smell your surroundings. Stand outside your front door and just listen. Walk around the house with your eyes closed and feel your way around. Magic is everywhere, and where there is magic, there is creative flow.

Not sure how to express your creativity? Read more about Finding Your Slash and see if anything resonates with you.

What works for you, Pinkies? Please share your wisdom with you fellow Pinkies and post your comment below.

Spark on!




Lissa Rankin's picture

You've got it, Michelle &

You've got it, Michelle & Marisa- it's all about changing your perspective and opening your eyes to see the ordinary in an extraordinary ways. Doing so opens channels to permit us to really SEE.

Marisa Herrera's picture

Great tips! Being in Nature

Great tips! Being in Nature or my garden clear my mind and allow me to retap the spirit and open myself to clarity and creativity. Being in the moment, appreciating my surroundings (the birds, critters, air, trees, vegetation, sky...)ground me to a fundamental level.

Michelle's picture

Sometimes it is a simple

Sometimes it is a simple shift in space, perspective or scent that makes all the difference...how easy it is to forget to move about and really SEE and smell them roses!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Yes, Danielle. I agree. The

Yes, Danielle. I agree. The backgrounds for my paintings are that way. Repetitive handiwork- very good idea time for me- almost a sort of meditation. By busying the hands, you free the mind. And as you say, the clean house is a nice plus! Thanks for sharing.

Danielle Raine's picture

I got the idea for my latest

I got the idea for my latest project whilst scrubbing the kitchen floor. I find any repetitive, unchallenging chore (housework, decorating, gardening) is good for lulling you into a thoughtful trance. These usually produce my best ideas. An added bonus is my house looks nicer!

Leslee Horner's picture

Thank you so much Lissa!!

Thank you so much Lissa!!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Now if only I had a lawn to

Now if only I had a lawn to mow... Thanks for sharing. And I checked out your blog- fabulous! You're Owning it, girlfriend.

Leslee Horner's picture

I love the advice in this

I love the advice in this article. I've found that I get some great creative ideas when I am mowing the grass. I wrote one of my favorite blog entries the other day about how my facebook friends list is like a road map of my life. The idea came to me when I was mowing!


Lissa Rankin's picture

Oooh- you are so right about

Oooh- you are so right about this John! I love that sleep-wake state of semi-dreamland too. Good tip! And yes, Lorraine, being open is HUGE!

Junson's picture

I've found that giving

I've found that giving yourself a chance to linger between the sleeping state and the waking-up state first thing in the morning is a place where an incredible amount of creative ideas can flourish.... and yes I realize this isn't very practical advice for those of you getting woken up every morning by a three year old smacking you in the face with an inflatable plastic baseball bat.

Lorraine's picture

If you open yourself to new

If you open yourself to new experiences, step out of your comfort zone now and again you would be amazed at how invigorating it is. Seems to sharper something, whether it is your mind or just your way of viewing things. Say hello or good morning to a stranger. Smile. Be open and the world will inspire you ;D

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