Letting Your Creativity Breathe

Letting Your Creativity Breathe

Last Saturday morning, I disconnected. I didn’t check my phone; I didn’t turn on Netflix. No social media, no texts, no emails all morning. I made a cup of hazelnut coffee and I sat down to my desk—just me and coffee and a notebook in the office of my writing dreams, the one I still can’t believe I get to call my own. I lit a candle and put on my Bon Iver vinyl, letting one of my favorite album spin sounds into the space. And I wrote.

I’ve been trying to exercise lately (groundbreaking, I know), dragging myself to weekly Pilates or yoga classes. In yoga, it’s all about connecting to your breath—to the inhales, to the exhales. When a pose becomes too difficult, when your arms start to shake because OH MY GOSH WE’VE HELD THIS POSE FOR LIKE 8 MINUTES, you are encouraged to reconnect with your breath, to take the strengthening inhales and cleansing exhales. Because how often do we remember our breath? Rarely. But when we do this, when we reconnect to our inhales and exhales, when we allow ourselves to breathe, we can push our bodies, stretching further, deeper.

The same is true of our creativity.

Some of us create because it is what we want to do with our lives. Others create because it makes life a lot more interesting. Regardless, we are all creative creatures, whether that’s creating on a canvas, creating in the kitchen, or creating with a camera.

Have you ever seen a dog romp in an open field or sprint down a rocky beach? And have you ever noticed how dadgum HAPPY that dog is, because he is unrestrained, because he is free?

That’s the sort of freedom our creativity needs—this room to breathe, the space to reconnect with the inhales and exhales. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron likens our creativity to a child— we must allow it to play, she tells us. And to many, the adult in us wants to scoff and say, “My creativity as a kid? Okay, Miss Hippie Dippie.” And that’s when we know that we are too grown up for our own good, that we have forgotten how to breathe, how to be creative. And that’s a shame.

On that Saturday, the day I disconnected and traded in a keyboard for a pen and notebook, I wrote more and I wrote more freely than I had in a very, very long time. By disconnecting, I allowed my creativity to breathe, to run wildly down the beach like a happy pup, to imagine like a child. I would encourage everyone to create space free of distraction for your creativity this week, to allow it to breathe, and to see what magic will come from it.

[Photo by Megan Weaver.]

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