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Lise Richards : Surroundings encouraging or destroying your creativity?

Are your surroundings encouraging or destroying your creativity?

By Lise Richards

Years ago I blamed all of my abandoned creative projects on the stinginess of my muse. Nowadays I'm much more realistic. As easy as it may be to blame a mythological being; I'm the first to realize that when I need to get out of my routine, shake things up, make lasting changes, and get moving artistically, the first place I start is with my surroundings to make sure it is nurturing my creativity.

Why focus on my surroundings? Because I believe your surroundings are a direct reflection of your thoughts. Everything begins with a thought — so if my space is chaotic, cluttered and stagnant — what does that say about my chances for successful creative projects?

We are all connected to our homes in ways that are not always clear to us on the surface. When you are feeling stuck and unable to move forward and all the coaching and creative prompts aren't working; following the next few action & awareness steps may be just what you need to get back on your creative track!

Be present & take notice — Creating an awareness of your surrounds is enough to get you started.

Take Notice — Do a quick scan of your ceilings, walls, windows, floors and furniture. Jot down everything that makes you sigh, pout, or want to close your eyes in disgust. This can be something as small as a pull in your carpet, an old pair of curtains; or something larger like the wall color. This isn't about writing down every detail; instead, it's an intuitive process that gives you a very high-level idea of what you'd like to see change.

Creative Flair — Decide on where you'd like to begin, and then do it artistically. Think outside the box and come up with some creative alternatives to your current issues. When making changes, there are some key areas you really must address. Read on about ways to deal with organization, space, and inspiration in your plans!

Crucial Points about Organization, Space & Inspiration

Organization — Clutter and disorganized living can wreak havoc on the creative process. Having an organized space feels much the same as having a clean canvas to start your next painting project. It gives you the feeling of freedom. You're better equipped to address your new possibilities.

Lack of space can make you feel closed in, and shut off from the things you need to get going. Opening a space up gives you room for experimentation. Pare down furnishings. Be sure to give yourself some walking (and dancing) room and set yourself free!

Uninspired spaces are rooms with no music, creative quotes, photos, new ideas, books or color. Keep things around you that inspire you to act boldly. Include items that encourage you to sing, dance, paint, etc. Remove heavy window treatments and open yourself up to the world and a new perspective.

For me, creativity rarely comes in waves of frantic activity. It now moves along in quiet shifts. But whenever the frenzy shows itself, I know that changing perspectives, shifting my viewpoint and giving myself room within my space to be creative will allow me to forget about the whims of a very selfish muse. •

© Lise Richards 2006

Lise RichardsAs a lifestyle & creative arts designer, Lise Richards' mission is to help people live more creatively in artistically designed spaces. More »