Every moment of every day has the potential to provide endless inspiration – if we allow ourselves to be open to it. As a yogi, I understand the power of a full, meaningful, and compassionate breath that says ‘thank you’ to all around me. This inhale keeps me focused and grounded, regardless of the other factors which surround me. I am continually learning the immense value of concentration and focus. Settling into stillness allows me to truly hear that little voice inside me, the one that gives direction and guides me throughout my work and my life.
A compassionate breath instills calmness that opens our receptivity. Be still – and LISTEN.
I rely on a few tried-and-true methods to stimulate my creative ability, but I also constantly seek new approaches. The practice of intentionally inviting creativity is critical to the artistic process. When you grasp the thoughts which come intuitively, you are not letting your ego mind judge them. Below I list a few of my favorite methods, and I look forward to hearing your preferred practices as well.
- Play music. I was told many years ago that ‘70s disco music is upbeat and enforces positivity, so dance your way to your creative edge!
- Look at color. There are so many ways to do this, from paint charts to fabric swatches. If you can visit a Home Depot or similar store, have fun in the paint section!
- Scan magazines — fashion, architecture, design, home, children’s toys, novelty brochures – anything with a unique quality that can visually speak to your senses.
- Ask questions, like a two-year old trying to understand something. Why? Why? Why? Then, try to answer your own questions and see where this exercise takes you. For example:
I want to design an experience for a company whose logo is blue.
They’re my client and branding is important to them.
Because the color is a subconscious reminder of their product.
Because that’s the way color works. It is a language of the senses and makes a lasting impression. Therefore, it gives us choices on how to design the experience.
Because the company is going to invest in an event, and we want it to make a lasting impact.
Because it will keep them in business, which means more business for me as well.
You get it. Whichever question word or form works best for you, I encourage you to try this exercise. Games like this one can help us to think objectively and focus on innovative solutions.
Listen to everyone working alongside you in order to fully understand the task at hand and the ways in which a creative solution will help. Ask questions before providing the first thought that comes to mind. Often, we instinctively offer solutions without understanding the whole picture. I have a friend who finishes my sentences with quick-fix ideas. More often than not, I find myself saying, “But I haven’t finished yet; there are more details, facts, and objectives we need to consider before determining a creative solution.”
In today’s click and return age, there is more to see and experience if we take a moment to pause before our actions. Our awareness invites wisdom and illuminates invaluable creative opportunities.
Listen, ask, and breathe – the answers always come.