I just came back from a workshop at Esalen. It was a great way to start the new year inspired and ready for action, and wanting to bring more creativity and joy into my life. One morning, I took a yoga class and the teacher had this great greeting “welcome to the best day of your life” because that is the only day you have anyway. This made me think about how we often create new year resolutions only to feel by the end of January that we are not achieving them or that they are not sustainable. What if we just try to take each day as it come, forget resolutions but take actions that can make a difference in our life and the lives of others, whether the impact is that one day or the rest of our lives?
I am not one to make new year’s resolutions, but I am trying to make transformative actions that will make my life more creative and exciting.
Here are 5 ways that can help you do it too:
Doing something new outside of your comfort zone
It could be a new class, workshop, restaurant or attending a conference where you know little about the topic. So far I have bought 2 tickets for a show with no specific companion to join me, joined a group of people who want to deepen the learnings around the workshop I just took, have had dinner with my girlfriends in a new restaurant, tried a dry bar (yes that is not an oxymoron and that was really fun) and registered for a conference about merging ancient wisdom and technology, a topic that I know nothing about.
Find a creative venue in your life.
Whether it is music, art, dance or something else, using the creative part of your brain just for enjoyment is powerful and nourishing. For the past two years, I have been focusing on improv and that has brought me a lot of joy, forced me to stay in the present (since you never know what may happen next) and even has been something I am bringing to my professional focus through improv exercises and games that helps the groups I work with access their creativity.
Meet new people
It is easy to get into a routine and see the same group of friends, but sometimes reaching out to people you knew previously or people you barely know but found interesting, can take you on a creative journey of discovery. May be, it will inspire you to learn about new topics, generate new ideas, new discoveries about yourself and open new possibilities for collaboration, friendships and adventures.
That is how I ended up going back to school and get my M.S in Creativity and Change Leadership, a path that transformed my life deeply. I just started with a conversation at a creativity conference where I learned there is actually a master program where you can study creativity. I was intrigued, looked into the program and that Fall I was enrolled (while pregnant with my third child).
Listen to podcasts
After attending a women’s retreat and meeting podcasters last year, I finally understood the value of podcasting and have started listening to podcasts, attended a podcasting conference and was invited to be a guest on two podcasts (so far).
I really appreciate how much you can learn on a topic of interest and the relaxed tone of the conversations and diversity of perspectives. I find the right podcast to fit my mood and they make my driving experience so much more pleasant.
Here are my top 3 podcasts:
- Allowed by Caneel Joyce, a coaching session with a lot of depth and integrity
- Against the Rules by writer Michael Lewis focusing on what happened to fairness
- Monster Baby by Ted DesMaisons and Lisa Rowland who explore the intersection of improv and mindfulness, two areas that are part of my life
Nourish the relationship between mind and body
I believe that moving your body has a huge impact on your creativity. Whether it is exercise, dance, martial arts or stillness in meditation, these activities affect your body and brain and the way you see the world and opportunities. For the past two years, I have start using more somatic psychology in my life and moving the energy has been transformative, helping me support some key life transitions. This year, I am looking at bringing more opportunities to dance in my life (check Ecstatic dancing http://ecstaticdance.org/ or Five rhythms https://www.5rhythms.com/) and I have added more intense exercises through circuit training in addition to my long term Pilates practice.
It is still January. What if instead of already feeling discouraged about not being able to stick to your new year resolutions, we could simply find new ways to bring creativity and change by starting with one action? And whatever ways you find to make your life more creative, don’t be afraid to explore new opportunities. I know you can make 2020 your best year ever and seek a joyful path of growth, discovery and connections.