Any artist knows that being creative isn’t always available on demand. But how do you unleash your creativity when you need it?
We live in a “doing” culture. We are always worried about what we have to do, what we have gotten done, and what we didn’t get done.
We often feel good about ourselves only when we’ve accomplished something.
Think about it. One of the first questions we ask people we meet is “What do you do?” As if that defines them.
The expression of creativity is an act of doing, no doubt about that. An artist paints, writes, dances, acts, or sings. Without doing, creativity lives only in our hearts and minds, and consciousness.
But that’s just it, creativity originates from our “being”.
And we can’t be creative—even in things like engineering or architecture or software design—unless we learn to “be” first.
What do I mean by that?
I’ve told the story before about how my novel “Discovering Power” came into existence. It happened when I went for a walk. I was enjoying the day, listening to music, and just being. That’s when I got the idea for the story.
Studies have shown that quiet time and solitude without interruption is the best way to be creative and generate ideas. We are most creative when we are just “being”, not doing.
But how often do we make time for that? For ourselves? For others?
Interestingly enough, I’ve found that it’s hard for me to write my fiction during the week (even though I’m an entrepreneur and can define my own work time). Even when I block time out in my schedule on days when I’m doing other business activities, I find it hard to switch gears and truly get into a state that allows my creativity to flow. I need to be far enough away from doing—both in time and space—to hear the characters and the story.
As women leaders, it’s important for us to be able to tap into our creativity, to learn the power of just “being”. It’s also important for us to help others create space to do that too.
So, here are some strategies for “just being” that work for me:
- Long walks in nature (with or without music)
- Time near or in water (sometimes the shower works just fine)
- Quiet time in the morning or just before bed to daydream
- Journaling in a stream-of-consciousness manner, just writing down whatever pops into my head
I found that when I start with “just being”, something fundamentally shifts in me. My mind is clearer. I have more and better ideas about my fiction as well as my business and my life.
“Doing” is important. Creativity needs to be brought into existence through action.
But we have “to be” first. When doing flows from being, it’s most powerful, potent, effective, and efficient.
Shakespeare asked the question “To be or not to be?” (Hamlet).
To unleash your creativity, the only right answer is “to be”.
How do you practice “being” vs. “doing”?