I was one of those creative, artsy, drama-club types in school.
I sang in the school choir. I was in all the school plays. I loved art class and English where I could write stories all afternoon. Yet I was never the best at harmonising, never the lead in the play, and wouldn’t subject myself to the critique of an art teacher in my later school years.
Some of my favourite memories from school are making a soft toy in sewing class, folding dozens of origami cranes to contribute to the lucky 1000, making gravity-defying food in space themed cooking class, and crafting a marble maze game in woodwork.
Even outside of school I would take paints and pastels on holidays to the beach, I would always be writing a story, and I even formed a craft club with my friends.
And then, of course, I grew up.
I no longer had time for play. I only made time for ambition, projects and goals. In that transition I stopped expressing a part of myself. I blocked off a path to my own inner guidance and made it harder to come from a place of my own unique inspiration.
Creative play keeps our conscious mind distracted so we can connect with our subconscious mind.
It is a way of setting aside our prejudices, our blocks, and our objections. It is a way to practice creative thinking that will inevitably begin to influence other areas of our life.
“Creativity is … the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” – Dictionary.com
With the simple goal of expressing yourself, here are ten ways to re-introduce creative play into your day:
1. Browse pinterest to discover what creative ideas spark that deep interest in you.
2. Decorate a cake or experiment with a foundation recipe like soup or muffins.
3. Start knitting, cross-stitch, or crochet by creating your own sampler.
4. Look out your window or around your house and sketch, draw, paint what you see.
5. Write a letter to yourself, make up a story to tell to your children, write the ending the way you wished it had happened in our favourite TV show or movie.
6. Create a mandala wherever you are with whatever materials you have to hand like this.
7. Take abstract photos of ordinary objects and common things you see in your environment.
8. Bake some play-doh in a favourite colour (here’s a simple salty recipe) and sculpt.
9. Put together a playlist and turn it into a set list by singing along in concert to an imaginary audience.
10. Build a diorama that may be of a stage for a play, your own dream location, or simply a place to assemble your play-doh sculptures or origami creatures.
And remember … the fun, the play and the insights will come from immersing yourself in the experience.
Let yourself be ‘unproductive’, ‘waste time’, ‘frivolous’ and discover exactly the opposite.
Kerryn Hewson is a Positivity Coach at Colour Your Life. She provides a shit ton of perspective, inspiration and action to help ambitious, creative and passionate people living their life on auto-pilot change their world by leading a positive life.