This year I am bringing a sense of spirituality and sacredness to my artistic process through the use of creative rituals.
Engaging in and maintaining a consistent creative practice is always a struggle for me. I always start projects with the best of intentions and enthusiasm: I dive in head-first armed with nothing but a brave heart and toothy grin. However, it doesn’t take long before the wheels of motivation start to get the wobbles.
It is easy to feel filled with passion and excitement for a new creative project, but once the honeymoon period has passed we can lose sight of why we started it in the first place. We can get distracted by other more illustrious occupations, or we can feel disconnected from a source of much needed inspiration. As each day passes, we drift further and further away from our original goals. We start to make excuses to justify why we don’t need to journal today – or write, or paint, or whatever your thing may be. Nek-minute: you find yourself resident in a creative ghost-town.
So how do we keep ourselves functioning in Creation City and not end up emotionally and artistically destitute?
Try incorporating some (if not all!) of these creative rituals into your everyday routine to provide yourself with daily inspiration:
#1 – Journal daily
Writing down your thoughts in any form is the number one ritual that can provide you with endless creative inspiration. You could choose to write Morning Pages when you wake up – 3 pages of written long-hand stream-of-consciousness. If that doesn’t suit your style, try keeping a daily gratitude journal: make a list of at 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday. You’ll soon start to live with a strong sense of gratitude that will nourish your creative process.
#2 – Create a sacred space in your home AND in your journal
Make your own ‘creative altar’
I’m not a religious person, but I have always considered myself to be someone with a spiritual curiosity so it feels good to have some items on my desk that evoke this part of myself. I have gathered a small collection of items that represent certain ideas such as:
- the Big Buddha ornament (bought from a monastery in Hong Kong earlier this year) which represents peace, calm and independent mindfulness.
- a baby angel candle holder which represents youth and creative curiosity
- a small range of healing stones that remind me of the importance to live with gratitude and maintain a sense of hopefulness.
When I sit down at my desk, I immediately feel a sense of calm when I look at these items and sometimes I light the candle when I am journaling.
You could also create a paper altar in your journal!
Whenever I start a new journal, or a new journaling project, I LOVE to ‘christian’ the journal by creating a paper altar on the inside cover. If you haven’t heard of this idea before, creating a paper altar is a simple way to bring a sense of the spiritual to your journaling practice and also helps you to define and visualise your focus for the life of that journal. It is a sacred space at the beginning of your journal that is made up of a combination of images and/or words and quotes that really speak to your soul – they may guide and inspire you. When you are feeling lost, you can open up your journal and remind yourself of the big picture. Meditate for 5 minutes before you engage in creative play
#3 – Reflect regularly on your creative practice
When you finish a creative project, take some time to reflect on your process. This does not have to be a lengthy process. Simply think about and write down your answers to the following questions:
- What do you like about your creation?
- What could you improve next time?
- How will you reach your goals for improvement – what will you have to learn/do?
By allowing ourselves to take a reflective approach, we can really nurture our creativity as we are less likely to focus on the negatives that can often consume our brains!
#4 – Take yourself on an Artist Date every week
In addition to the Morning Pages, Julia Cameron suggests (in her book The Artist’s Way) that it is extremely important for us creative beings to take ourselves out on an Artist Date every week. In order to refill your creative well, do something each week that will leave your artsy juices frothing at the mouth. Remember you are taking your inner artist on a special date, so no other peeps allowed!
#5 – Try to create at the same time everyday
It sounds a bit boring, but having a timely routine can really strengthen your creative process. Try to choose a time that really works with your natural rhythm. Whether you are a morning or evening person, make the effort to carve out a specific time each day where you can sit down with your creative self.
#6 – Pull a tarot/oracle card to help you mull over ideas and decisions
I have recently discovered the amazing world of tarot and oracle cards and I can really see the value with incorporating these cards in your creative process. You could use the cards as journal prompts when you are feeling stuck, and they can be a useful tool for helping you explore a difficult topic or decision creatively. Let yourself be guided!
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.” – Alan Alda
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