Week 3: Building your Tool box,
In this week I will be introducing the main tools that you will be using for the duration of this course. I am a big believer in building a strong foundation and rituals in the creative process because it allows a place to come home to when we get stuck or blocked along the journey.
If you still haven’t quite got to the point of knowing what your WHY, this is a good place to try and flush some of your ideas out. The tools we are going to learn in next few weeks will hopefully give you some great ideas!
Also a great place to get some feedback is to reach out in the facebook group or slack (not sure which is better.) There will be plenty of exercises to hopefully help you refine your idea down that down.
This week will be all about creating a practice and developing a daily ritual habit you can create around the creative process to keep your momentum going forward and also find a place to rest when inspiration isn’t knocking down your door.
This is also the week we will decide on our Sparks Project, gearing up to start at the beginning of next week.
The main players:
Creative Habit Ritual:
Establishing some sort of habit and ritual that is in alignment with your goals and WHY helps build momentum while also declaring to yourself and the universe that this is important, and you are showing up for the party.
This course is hopefully a jumping off point for you to develop a personalized ritual and creative habit that works for you. But its important to find a way to commit and recommit to the creative journey, because true transformation is not sexy, to ruin the ending its about putting in little effort over time that makes big changes.
Hindsight the ego wants to think that we did something miraculous to create our success but really while we are in a process its really about showing up to the work on a consistent basis over time.
I know, so not sexy. But this is why we are doing this together! This is why we are going to make this showing up to the work part, LOTS of FUN! And REWARDS ourselves with something each time we do.
The author of HABITS said that in the beginning of trying to create a new habit we need some way to reward ourselves every time we set out to accomplish something and then do it.
His example was that maybe you want to lose weight, so you decide to run every day, but in order to keep up with the running you reward yourself with a piece of chocolate at the end of the run for a period of time. Pretty soon after 21 days, you don't need that chocolate to keep you motivated, because you have already signaled your brain to associate running with pleasure.
This is not a new concept, its behavior psychology and you can do this too, where you associate pleasure with creating this new creative habit.
For me, I love coffee. I love the ritual of drinking my coffee and writing my morning pages. I will get up at the crack of dawn if it means that I get to have a cup of coffee and be alone with my creative process. I've been doing this now for over a decade off and on, and its still one of the best tools in my tool box to date.
I've also done this for trying to create a workout habit. After having a baby I wanted to get back into running shape so I gave myself a reward for every week I ran 5 out of 7 days. My rewards were things like a new audio book, a new pair of socks or shirt, I also created a big reward of a lululemon sweatshirt if I completed the 8 weeks running 5 days a week.
And after a about a month in, I had a created a routine and habit out of going to the gym and 2 years later that is still what I am doing.
Finding ways to bring positive reinforcement into building your habits can be a game changer.
Let's find out what makes you tick?
What do you love so much but feel guilty about purchasing?
Think of something hard you had to do, moving and packing up bags, taking a long road trip, exercising for a long time, being pregnant, what was one think you looked forward to at the end of enduring that thing?
Morning Pages: this is a tool directly from Julia Cameron from The Artist Way that I have used for years and years. This is a stream of consciousness writing tool where you do not filter or edit. You can think of it like a brain dump, letting all the feelings and thoughts flow out of you unfiltered. This writing is for you only, no one will read these words so try and be as free as possible in this process.
There is much magic to be found in writing stream of consciousness. Even on the days I felt I had nothing to say and wrote um, um, um bla bla bla, I would usually end up with some sort of insight after the writing was done or at the very least I would feel a little more clear minded.
You can think of this ritual as flushing out our creative ducts. Getting all the gunk out so that creative energy can flow more efficiently and also to make room for newer insights.