Have you ever been so in tune with what you’re doing that time melts and evrything falls into place and you feel one with the world. Maybe it’s during a long run, while playing piano, or even cooking your favorite recipe. Artists and athletes describe peak performance in this way. Renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly has named it “flow.”
I find myself in flow when I’m painting, gardening and skiing when my focus is fixed and time is irrelevant. The flow can be short or sustained for a long period, but it is an unmatched experience.
Is flow necessary for creativity? Or is it a byproduct of being creative and in the moment?
According to Csikszentmihaly, there are key attributes to achieving and knowing when you are in flow. Discover your flow by reading about Csikszentmihaly theory of Flow
Let’s face it, daily life is a challenge. There are so many demands and distractions it can be difficult to focus on the moment, let alone feel creative. I know that when I feel overwhelmed, my creativity goes into hiding. So here are my five favorite ways to unclog my mind and free up some space for my imagination to take flight.
Take a walk 👟 Preferably in a garden, woods, or along a waterway. In short, get out in nature to awaken your senses and clear your mind. My go-to is along the Connecticut River near my home.
Read a book 📖 And yes, I mean a real book with paper pages and a bound spine. Feel it, smell it, linger over passages without distracting hyperlinks, doodle in the margins. Yeah, slow down and open your mind to new ideas.
Arrange flowers 🌸 🌻 Flower arranging is an art form and the simple act of selecting flowers and arranging them in containers is creative and calming. If possible, incorporate herbs like basil, flowering oregano, sage, lavender, and lemon verbena for a scent-sational boost.
Meditate on a work of art 🖼 Look closely and slowly at a favorite painting or photograph. It can be a print from a book, something on your wall or even online. Slow looking at a painting promotes mindfulness and calm. Connect with your favorite artwork and find inner calm. Here’s a meditation I recorded to help get you started: https://youtu.be/pzs-pqLGxHk
Take a nap 😴 Yes, like in the middle of the day. Pretend you’re on a 30 minute vacation. Find a comfy spot, close your eyes and drift away. Recharge your body and refresh your brain.
Make holiday decorations and gifts with your children and friends. We like these projects because materials are easy to find, affordable and low-mess. So gather around the table, sip some cocoa and celebrate the season. Experiment, be creative and have fun!
Use magic markers and glue to make popsicle stick trees, stars and animals and decorate them with pom-poms, googley eyes bling and hang in a window or in a tree with a ribbon.
Make a festive garland bracelet by threading favorite color pom-poms onto the memory wire. Vary the sizes and colors.
Create your own photo prop by decorating the headband with colorful pipe cleaners.
Color the outside or inside of globe ornament with a design then fill with pom-poms, snow or sparkles. Add a ribbon.