I caught myself doing it, again.
Just last week, I caught myself doing those disorganized habits I used to do so frequently in the morning.
Maybe you can relate to this...
Getting my day started by scrolling through my email and social media, with a podcast on in the background, the kettle boiling, and my lap top open beside my half eaten/abandoned breakfast, while pacing around the room and thinking about all the things I need to get done in the day and all the things I dream of doing.
When I first met my hubby, Gill, I thought it was so praiseworthy of him to execute an entire morning ritual without being distracted. I have to admit, I also thought it was slightly unrealistic and just too mundane for my creative mind.
It took me some time to realize that what we do in the privacy of our home drives our behaviour, and ultimately drives our life. While we may not even notice the impact of rituals, they undoubtedly have a cumulative effect on our mind and body, in a really big way.
Today, I want to share with you a few things I've learned about the power of rituals and why I now make a conscious effort to follow mine.
So here's the deal.
You are a creative person, we all are. That means we are prone to having thousands of ideas streaming through our minds on any given day. When our mind is cluttered, it's impossible to respond consciously and creatively. We cut ourselves off from our creative possibilities and we buzz around like a lost bee.
As creatives, we need to tether our creative lines by dropping more anchors into our lives. Rituals are those anchors we need to help calm the anxiousness of “creating“ and to help us find a way down from the clouds. They make us feel more relaxed, productive, and free of clutter.
I did some reading into history's most creative minds and here are 4 things highly creative people do differently.
Rise and shine. An early start to the day is common among the majority of creative thinkers. Why? We sit down to our creative work feeling fresh. Our nervous system is perfectly primed for creativity after a night of sleep. There is no one to disturb us and there is a stillness that can be felt in our environment.
Some renowned creative early risers range from Mozart, to Benjamin franklin, Howard Shultz and Ernest Hemmingway.
If you're a late sleeper and therefore late to rise, try easing into some early nights and join the long line of early morning creative minds.
There is ample evidence for the benefits of exercise not only for the physical body but also for the brain. When we feel good physically and mentally, we are better able to focus and be productive. In one Stanford study, the majority of people were more creative after exercising. (1)
If you're passing up your exercise routine to get more work done, just remember that your creativity can be enhanced by a good sweat first.
The majority of creative thinkers habitually schedule their time. By scheduling tasks, appointments, and even creative work, we free up some head space, knowing that everything important has it's time and space to get done. Unscheduled time is more time to waste.
Want more creative time? Schedule it.
Keep space for spontaneity
This was probably the biggest block I had in my mind towards rituals. I used to think that those who followed rituals lived a conventional and creative-free life. Having rituals doesn't mean we can't be spontaneous and experiment with novel ways of thinking.
Rituals help us flourish in a creative world that feels groundless by adding more structure and stability. We can have rituals while still engaging in unfamiliar territories.
Keep some space for spontaneity by trying new creative outlets. If you paint, play an instrument. If you dance, put your pen to the pad and write. Take an unfamiliar route home or hang out with a different group of people. Novelty gives birth to new ideas and helps us reap more creativity.
Lastly, rituals don't have to be complicated. They just have to work for you.
Did you know that "Steve Jobs routinely sat on toilets, dangling his bare feet in the water while he came up with new ideas. Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disc) dove deep under water until his brain was deprived of oxygen, and then wrote his ideas on an underwater sticky pad." (2)
Do you have any weird rituals that keep you grounded? I'd love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below.
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With love and lady flow care,
Elaine Clark, nutritionist, writer, women's health pioneer, and founder of Lady Flow Essentials. Elaine is creating a movement of women living in sync with their hormonal wisdom and creativity. Elaine works with health conscious women to feel at home in their body and awaken to their creative and feminine potential. She offers a variety of tools to help women balance their hormones through her workshop offerings, online programs, and health products.