I expected the constraints, what I would not be allowed to do, what would stop or cease to be possible. What I didn’t expect was what that change would make possible, that when we remove or shift elements of our lives, there is necessarily new space.
When I walk outside or talk with friends, there is grief and loss, but there is also a swell of new life and experiences. In all its limits, quarantine can be a deeply generative space. Confined to our own homes, we have the freedom to imagine what is possible, to experiment, and create. Creativity isn’t about making you happier, fitter, or more productive, it’s about reminding yourself of what is possible. It doesn’t need to look any specific way or like anything at all.
Here are a few of my favorite practices for cultivating creativity:
1. Journaling - This is a space where I can express myself without the pressure of having my writing be for or about anything but me. Journaling gets the creative juices flowing, and helps us process our subconscious and conscious thoughts. I follow the Artist's Way practice of free-writing 3 pages first thing in the morning, but If a blank page feels intimidating, I love Ev'Yan Whitney's sensuality workbooks and Alex Elle's journals with focuses like meditation, gratitude, and self-care.
2. Make a wildflower bouquet - Foraging flowers reconnects me to nature, my senses, and the abundance of the world around me. There is no wrong way, just an instinctual pull to the colors, smells, and textures that move me. See our Instagram for ample evidence.
3. Make a playlist - Sometimes I pick a place, feeling, or memory to evoke. Other times I approach playlists as a gift I can send to someone I love or just as a collection of rhythms that make me want to move my body. Here’s one I made for my breath work class last year that I’ve been revisiting lately.
4. Read some poetry - Poetry always reconnects me to a more imaginative, sometimes more powerful way of sensing the world around me. As a shorter form, it’s also a great way to remind myself of the pleasures of reading without worrying if I can commit to a whole book right now. Try anything by Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver, or Rupi Kaur.
5. Start a project that feels a little silly - Follow through with a wild and fleeting idea to make something that doesn’t serve a specific purpose. Write a song, bake cookies, recreate a craft you loved making as a child. I've been reflecting on practices my younger self enjoyed, and giving into those. Even listening to influential albums from my past has helped to jostle my creativity in new ways!