January 02, 2021
The ability to relate and to connect, sometimes in odd and yet striking fashion, lies at the very heart of any creative use of the mind, no matter in what field or discipline.
-George J Seidel
What does creativity mean to you? I don't mean the dictionary approved definition, but more the personal feeling and embodiment of the word. I have found that my definition of creativity has changed over the years. I used to think it was something reserved only for fine artists. I never identified as creative, until recently, when I redefined what the word meant to me and how I perceive it. Now I assign feelings to the word creativity instead of just thinking of what it is. Creativity is more than the act of turning ideas into reality.
Creativity is practicing the cycle of thinking, producing, sharing, and reflecting...over and over again. Because of this, creativity is something that can be nurtured and improved over time. It knows no limits besides the ones we place on it. Please feel welcome to share your questions, comments, ideas, challenges, and creativity with me privately or in the comments below, on social media, or in my Facebook Group: Susan Harbourt's Creative Space focused on cultivating creativity and nurturing joy.
To begin this challenge, simply sit down. You can do this exercise anywhere you are that is a safe place to just sit and exist for a few moments.
Are you Comfortable?
Take a moment to observe your surroundings.
What do you see?
Is the room bright or dark, are you alone, what is right in front of you, what is further away, look up, look down, take a moment to notice your environment...don't criticize just notice.
What do you hear?
Are you alone or are others around somewhere near or far, can you hear your own breaths, do you hear other sounds, are they outside or inside, are they from nature or mechanical.
What do you smell?
Breathe in deep through your nose, where are you and what smells are associated with this location, take the time to really breath in your surrounding and notice it.
What do you taste?
Breath in deep through your mouth this time, does the air have a flavor?
What do you feel?
What does your seat feel like beneath you, are you comfortable, is the air around you warm or cold, do you have any noticeable pains in your body, what is your emotional state right now (anxious, tired, relaxed,,,). Don't try to change it, just feel it as you sit here.
Now close your eyes and we will count to 10. But with each number we will stop to consider a part of your body. Check in with how it feels at this moment. Some places will be tense, others relaxed some will feel good others will have pain. Take the time to actually pause and consider every spot and receive its answer before moving on.
1: Start with your head.
2: Move to your shoulders.
3: Travel down your arms.
4: Move further down to your hands and fingers.
5: Travel back up your arms and shoulders and move down your spine and core.
6: Continue to your hips and bottom.
7: Travel down your thighs
8: Circle around you knees.
9: Move down to your calves.
10: Feel you feet and toes.
Open your eyes. After that scan, did anything stand out or surprise you; good and bad?
Close your eyes once again and imagine the most peaceful and relaxing place you can think of, real or imaginary. Is it laying on a beach, in your bed, in a hammock under a tree, on a edge of a mountain with views for days...there are no wrong answers, the choice is very personal and all your own. Take a moment and really consider what you would see, hear, smell, and feel in that spot. Imagine how all of the 10 stops on your body scan would feel if you were right there right now. Hold onto that feeling, file it is a special place so that you can revisit it anytime you need to.
We spend so much of our day connecting with others that we forget we need to slow down and connect with ourselves. And often when we do stop to check in with ourselves until our body is loudly crying out for help or attention in some profound way.
Why not make a practice of checking in and connecting with yourself everyday by doing a sensory scan. The relationship with yourself is the most important one you will ever have, nourish it.
When you feel like things are too unbalanced around you, take yourself back to the special spot you just visualized and walk yourself through a sensory scan of your virtual surroundings and self. Hopefully that mini self check in will give you the balance you need to move forward.
If you choose to share your daily challenge, please tag me (@SusanHarbourt) in your post or story. I’d love to see what you did and hear what you thought of this challenge!
Please join my private Facebook Group: Susan Harbourt's Creative Spaces for more conversation.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
January 04, 2021
When you complete a big accomplishment, and you are asked how you did, do you normally focus on what you did wrong...or do you celebrate what you did well?
I admit that I have a habit of dwelling on what I didn't do as well as I had wanted. Sometimes I even get on a fixation loop of replaying my mistakes in my head. But what I have learned is that this is not a productive behavior and can lead to anxiety and depression.
What I have started to do is focus on what I did well and acknowledge that first. Then instead of looking at my errors as mistakes, I view them as areas of improvement instead of calling them failures. For every area of improvement that I identify, I assign a new action or make a plan to improve so that maybe I don't repeat that behavior or pattern in the future.
Today I want you to reflect on 2020. Push those negative thoughts aside.
January 03, 2021
Every great movie has a great soundtrack that accompanies it. The music sets the stage for the emotions of every scene. It pulls you in, your heart syncs with the rhythm of the beat, and you will connect with the moment and really feel the emotion more deeply than if there was no music.
Visualize this: If you could write your movie, the way you would want it to look, what would the story be?
January 01, 2021