Creativity Articles

The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic Writing

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic WritingSome of us think that writing is only for writers. But writing is for all of us. As Julia Cameron notes in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, “I believe we all come into life as writers.”

Writing can be beneficial for all of us, because it can be therapeutic. One of the most powerful parts of therapy is cultivating the ability to observe our thoughts and feelings, said Elizabeth Sullivan, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Francisco. And that’s what writing helps us do.

“Most of us do not think in complete sentences but in self-interrupted, looping, impressionistic cacophony,” she said. Writing helps us track our spinning thoughts and feelings, which can lead to key insights (e.g., I don’t want to go to that party; I think I’m falling for this person; I’m no longer passionate about my job; I realize how I can solve that problem; I’m really scared about that situation.)

Working Out of a Creative Slump, Literally

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Working Out of a Creative Slump, LiterallyMore often than not the advice I’m given when I hit a creative slump is to do more creative things. Make a collage. Write in my journal. Draw or doodle. Read a book or watch a movie. Find a new way to reorganize or rearrange my workspace.

But when I’m not feeling creative, creative fixes don’t sound appealing. The more things fail to sound appealing, the less I do and the bigger the slump. It seems like it will never end, and I start to wonder if maybe I’ve already had all my best ideas.

Hitting a creative block leaves us lost and bored. It can make us doubt our abilities, our choices and our livelihood. You just don’t feel like yourself.

9 Ideas for Creating Serene and Satisfying Days

Friday, January 9th, 2015

9 Ideas for Creating Serene and Satisfying DaysOur circumstances don’t necessarily have to change in order for us to experience serenity and satisfaction. Because sometimes we can’t change a situation. Most things are not within our control.

This is a hard realization but tends to feel liberating when you can accept it. And it certainly takes practice to keep accepting it. But we can always look within ourselves. We can change our beliefs, thoughts and actions.*

In her book The Wholehearted Life: Big Changes and Greater Happiness Week by Week author Susyn Reeve shares a slew of exercises for contentment and community. Below are nine ideas and activities to help you cultivate calm, kindness and connection throughout your days.

30 Prompts to Reflect on In the New Year

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Power of the Written WordIn 2014 I shared 60 prompts we can respond to in order to get to know ourselves. (See here and here.)

Here’s another list of 30 prompts to help you delve deeper, take kinder care of yourself and connect to the core that is you. Prompts include everything from reflecting on 2014 to exploring your favorites to lessons you’ve learned about yourself.

Questions for Writing Down Your Soul

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Questions for Writing Down Your SoulIn the last few months I’ve been sharing lists of prompts to help us discover ourselves and our needs, because self-reflection is key for taking compassionate care of ourselves and crafting a meaningful life. (Here’s one list of 30 prompts; and the second list.)

As Margaret Atwood wrote in her poem “Spelling,” “A word after a word after a word is power.” The more words we write about ourselves, the more we explore and discover, and the more good information we have to make conscious, nourishing decisions — and ultimately the more we use our voice, which deserves to speak and be heard.

Leaving a Written Legacy

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Leaving a Written Legacy There are photos and videos that capture certain moments. Birthdays. Anniversaries. The everyday. There are stories that get retold to every generation. But largely when a family member dies, their stories die with them.

This holiday season a beautiful gift you can give to a loved one is a glimpse into your personal history. Because that history also is a history of them. Because photos rarely capture the thoughts we were thinking, the emotions we were feeling.

5 Playful Prompts for Creating a Meaningful Life

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

5 Playful Prompts for Creating a Meaningful LifePlay is powerful. I’ve written before about the importance of play for adults. Many of us dismiss play because we assume that once we become adults, it’s time to get serious, get to work and chip away at our to-do lists.

But play actually makes us more productive (in addition to providing us with more joy). That’s because play moves us.

According to Marney K. Makridakis in her excellent book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life, “When it comes to the intersection of play and productivity, the secret is quite simple: what moves us is what moves us, which simply means what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action.”

Play is never “still, stuck or stagnant; it somehow always moves. So when it comes to manifesting a meaningful life, play works.”

Play is a creative and fun way to discover what a meaningful life looks for us. What does a meaningful life encompass? How can we create it?

Introducing Unleash Your Creativity

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Introducing Unleash Your Creativity

Artists and creative people have unique emotional and psychological struggles as they grapple with creativity. There’s …

Powers of Two: The Creative and Healing Energy of a Pair

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

powers of twoOne autumn morning in 2005, I dropped my kids off at preschool and immediately broke down in tears.

Pushing an empty double stroller down a few houses to avoid the other preschool moms, I dialed up the number of my writing (and life) mentor and dear friend, Mike Leach.

I stayed there, on the sidewalk, as he talked me through this panic attack as he had so many others.

What Habits Are Best for Creativity?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

What Habits Are Best for Creativity?When I tell people that I’ve been working on Better Than Before, my book about habit change, many people ask, “What habits are best for creativity? What habits help people think creatively — and also, actually produce?“

Often, people make the case for adopting a particular habit by pointing to a renowned figure who practiced that habit, with great success.

30 More Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery

Friday, November 21st, 2014

30 More Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery	In September I shared 30 prompts, questions and ideas to help you get to know yourself better.

This month I’m sharing 30 more.

When we get to know ourselves better, we know what we need. That means we can respond to those needs and make better, kinder decisions.

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s CreativityLast month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.

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