Creativity is the life sustaining energy that drives us to betterment. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You are a creative being whether you know it or not. Some suggest creativity has been one the discriminating elements that allowed our species such an enormous progress over the millennia. Tap into it and you will discover a greater potential in all aspects of life.
As babies and children we resort to creativity every single moment of our waking hours. This is how we learn so much in such a short span of time. As adults, we rely more and more on habits. Intellectual, behavioural, motor habits enable us to be time and energy efficient. In theory! In fact, often we accumulate habits that over time cease to serve us that well… Habits take little notice of changes and life is about constant change. This hinders our ability to achieve results and stay ahead of the game.
When it comes to movement the body adapts quickly and efficiently to what one does most frequently and then remembers it and turns it into habits. This means that your general muscle tone, recovery time after effort and resilience to novel events all become habitual responses. Movement habits can be a real hidden trouble – they are difficult to spot because most of the time they settle in a way that we are not aware of.
Allowing time and space to nurture creativity is the most natural way to keep your body open and resilient. Here are some simple tips.
Brush up your curiosity
Look at what kind of movement related activities you do on a regular basis, then try something completely different. You do not have to do this on a regular basis but once in a while try something that you would not habitually do. Try something a little scary – you don’t need to learn free climbing or free diving, perhaps just have a go at trying a handstand against a wall? Or do something really funny – how about a circus skills workshop? Believe me you’ll get a proper work-out and a brush up of refined motor skills!!!
Or as I call it: the “no list time”.
I’m quite obsessed with lists and structuring time, this is the way that I get stuff done – otherwise I turn into the greatest procrastinator! I like sets and reps because I can measure progress, however, it is important to set aside a chunk of time where there is absolutely no agenda! Simply a space where one can sit down and listen to what is most needed: try moving, resting, engaging with an unusual activity or just giving yourself permission to be cruisey. When it comes to moving one of my fave things to do is just go for a run in the park. No watch, no mobile with me and let my imagination roam free. I might decide to jump on and off a bench, no sets or reps… just do it until I get bored and then find something else to do. Maybe some stretching over a fallen tree or sprinting until I get tired again and so on.
Try something unusual, possibly something out of your comfort zone. Even better – something really wacky! Whatever that means to you! How about crawling up and down a flight of stairs (maybe try this at home rather than in the office )? This will certainly make you use and experience your body in a completely different way to how you normally do.
You need not enrol to a new and different movement class every month to be creative. Simply learn to tune into your body and listen to what it needs on a daily basis. Set some time to just move. Listen to what feels good in your body right now. That might be going for a run or a really fast walk around the block, playing your favourite track and dancing with all your heart to it, spending half an hour gently stretching or breathing or running to the gym for a burst of your fave interval training… anything will do really as long as you mean it. As long as you really love it and find pleasure in it. As long as you are really curious about what you are doing!
Playfulness is key to developing problem solving abilities. From an evolutionary point of view, play is a way to support neuroplasticity. It provides a safe environment to plan escape routes, avoid dangers, defeat bigger animals… As children we learn most of what we learn through play and exploration. So find a way to be playful. Play games, play with people you like, play with kids, play with people you don’t know…. Whatever your favourite physical training is – it should be fun! Even when is hard work.
Learn to create variety around yourself, challenge yourself out of your comfort zone, take risks, have fun, do things that you never do…just give it a try!!
What can you try that might be out of the usual for your body? Leave a comment below with your ideas and be sure to come back and tell me how it felt when you tried it!