I received a message from a Feng Shui colleague who was preparing a talk on “Making a Place for Creativity.” She contacted several of her Feng Shui friends for suggestions on how each of us makes a place for creativity in our lives and in our work. It is an interesting and thought-provoking question.
Creativity is regarded as our ability to view things in new ways to allow for the formation of new possibilities. And, while the responses to her question varied, several themes emerged.
Meditation was an important component to several responders, one of whom stated, “Meditation is
a way to find my place and access my creativity.” She is definitely on to something. Research suggests by engaging in a particular meditation practice we are able to cultivate new and more positive ways of thinking.
One person finds that being in large groups of like-minded people stimulates her creativity. It suggests a form of brainstorming that encourages an informal approach to thinking outside the box.
Dancing is another person’s way to make a space for creativity. Dance is a therapeutic outlet that releases endorphins in the brain, causing the dancer to experience happiness. Dancing has been found to help improve problem-solving skills and Improvisational dance can help with divergent & creative thinking. So if you want to access your creativity, dance as if no one is watching!
“Learning something new raises my vibration” was another response. It appears new learning allows for exploration of new ways of thinking.
It’s no surprise that several responses mentioned the importance of simplifying and decluttering to access a place for creativity. Addressing the presence of clutter is a critical aspect of the practice of Feng Shui. This practice evaluates and provides recommendations for arranging home and work environments to enhance the quality of life of all the inhabitants. Feng Shui is based on the understanding we are profoundly affected by our surroundings, whether we are aware of it or not. And one of the more negative affects on our overall well-being is clutter.
Clutter is considered a crowded, untidy collection of things. According to Karen Kingston, those “things” generally include four main categories: things we do not use or love; things that are untidy or disorganized; too many things in too small a space and/or anything unfinished. Resonate to any of these? Yes, me too. Clutter anywhere in your home and/or work area can overwhelm, sap energy and block creativity. A cluttered horizontal surface (think desk or dresser or kitchen counter top), hampers clear vision and innovation.
The Bagua is the Feng Shui energy map that identifies our nine life areas: Career, Knowledge, Family, Wealth, Fame/Reputation, Partnership, Children/Creativity, Helpful People/Travel and, in the very center of your home or office, Health. Clutter in any of these areas can block that sector of your life, however, two sectors particularly support creativity – the Creativity and Health areas.
If the Creativity sector is cluttered, you are likely to experience blocks in your inspiration and struggle in bringing projects to fruition. Clutter in the Health or center of your space can have damaging health consequences and your life can lack a meaningful focus.
While the process of creativity often leads to messiness, it is important to try and devise a supportive balance that allows for originality but doesn’t stymie it.
Gardening was my response to making a place for creativity. For me, it is an immersion in inspiration and incorporates all the above-mentioned themes.
It is my place for meditation. When I work in the garden, my mind is free from any distraction other than the sounds of nature and the feel of the soil on my hands and beneath my feet. The creativity that comes from discussing gardening with other gardeners is unlike any other group I’ve experienced. Of course there is always something new to learn as I play with color, texture shape and scent. Keeping weeds and over-growth from cluttering the garden is an ongoing activity. And the dance is ever present, both as I physically move back and forth within the garden, and from the gentle movement of the dancing flowers and leaves in a gentle wind.
Planning my garden, working in it and just enjoying looking at it, helps me access my creativity and that inspiration spills over into all I do. It definitely makes me happy! And happy chi produces creative chi!