Cultivating Your Creative Instinct

Everyone has a creative instinct.  This instinct is our natural desire to create, express, innovate, and imagine something new.  We are all creative as human beings but oftentimes we suppress our creativity based on the roles we play in the workplace, a belief we are not creative, or not giving ourselves the time.

As businesses get more data-centric, we start to heavily rely upon data and analytics as the solution to unlock business growth.  As analytics and operations become more valued in the workplace, there is little time and emphasis on creativity.  When we don’t value our own creativity, nothing new can ever really be created. We need creativity to progress and evolve.

As a former CFO of large-size apparel retail brands, I understand the value that data and analytics bring to the business.  However, not everything is always black and white.  True break-throughs come from our creative selves, our inspired ideas, and our ability to see beyond what others may see.

Cultivating creative instinct starts with a commitment to yourself and your creative process.  This requires taking the time to slow down and become still in order to connect to the realm where all ideas originate from. Whether you are a financial analyst or the head of design, we all have a creative instinct within us, it’s just a matter of accessing it.

Through mindfulness meditation, you are able to access your most creative self.  Studies have been conducted that show increased creative brainstorming from groups who meditate beforehand compared to groups that did not. Research has found that people who meditate for at least 30 minutes a day experienced increased focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility.  By quieting the mind and relaxing your body, you open yourself up to new ideas, inspiration, and intuition.   The benefits of meditation are becoming more well known in the workplace, and companies such as Google, Apple, Nike, and General Mills have adopted meditation as a tool to increase creativity and well-being.

I personally have experienced the enhanced creative benefits of meditation including focused decision making, creative problem solving, and idea generation.  By tuning within, I surprisingly discovered I had a book in me, which has since been written and published because I followed my creative instinct.  Having spent my career in finance, I never expected I would write a book.  You never know what’s inside of you until you make the time to go within.

Develop a morning mindfulness practice

Make a 30-day commitment (I know it sounds difficult, but once you experience the benefits you can’t image starting your day without your practice again)

  • Before you start your day, take the time to create space in your head and tap into the source of your creativity. Before you read your e-mails or jump into all the things you have to do, quiet and focus your mind.
  • Set an intention for your day. For example, “I intend to have a productive day”, “I intend to move through this challenge”, “I will easily find a solution to this problem”, etc. Make sure you believe what you are intending is possible for you. Then clear your mind.
  • Meditate. Carve out at least 10 minutes to meditate. Get in a comfortable seated position. Relax your mind and body by taking three deep breaths. Focus on your breathing or the quiet space in your mind.
  • Start your day from this relaxed and clear space. From this place is where your intentions are manifested and ideas are generated to move you towards solving your problem.
  • Be sure to recap how your day went.
  • Having a walking/running ritual with the same intent can also be effective. The key is to commit to a daily practice of connecting to your inner self.

Problem Solve While You Sleep

Use as Needed

  • Let your subconscious mind solve your problems while you sleep.
  • Before you go to bed, relax your mind and body.
  • Consciously ask yourself to give you the solution to your problem or guidance on how to solve your problem, and then let it go.
  • The key is to not think into the solution anymore. Forget about your problem and relax. Let is all go from your conscious mind and go to sleep.
  • When you wake up, pay attention to what comes as inspiration. What ideas come to mind? Follow your inner guidance.

By consciously creating space and silence for yourself, you will discover your creative instinct as ideas begin to flow and you come alive. You will discover your real power hidden in the silence within.

Originally published on ThriveGlobal on November 19, 2018.

 

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