Monday, April 8, 2013

298/365: Beginning a Morning Creativity Practice

"Stop trying to fit creativity into your days and start building your days around creativity." 

I read this quote (or some version of it) a while back and can't seem to find the author now, but it's been echoing in my mind ever since. If we have the freedom to do this, we owe it to ourselves to make an effort. I am breaking ground as of today. My days are under construction. (Hard hats are encouraged.)

I explored the idea of a morning creativity practice months ago, but at that point, my work schedule was just not conducive. Sleep won.

But now I'm blessed (and so grateful for it) with a little more flexibility in my morning schedule at least 3-4 days during the work week. Throw in my two weekend days and I think I can officially call it a "practice." Consistency is key for me. I don't know how long this new schedule will last, so I'm determined to give it a go while I have the chance. My inner critic is even less of a morning person than I am, so if I can get a jump on her, this could be a very good thing for my creative output.

It's not going to be easy though.

I can not think of many things that I loath more on this planet than alarm clocks. They say "rise" and I say "f*** ***" from under my pillow. I have learned to high-five the snooze button while still half- asleep with my head under the covers. If there isn't a classroom of children waiting for me, or the promise of a delicious made-for-me breakfast, there's not much that will tempt me out of bed in the morning. I blame it on insomnia half the time, but if I'm very honest with myself, I will admit to being just a little bit undisciplined. O.K. a lot a bit.

So how will I build my mornings around creativity? My ideal morning would look something like this:
(leaving out the boring housekeeping and personal stuff)

Stretch/Yoga - to get the blood flowing straight out of bed
Meditation - I've been wanting to practice this for ages, even just 15 minutes at a time. It would be such a good way to center before moving into the day.
Journaling or writing for the blog - I do some of my most honest, playful and prolific writing fresh out of dream state.
Visual Art - (muse willing) art journaling, painting/mixed media, sketching; I would so love to get some creative play in before moving into the rest of my day.
Inspiration and photo walk - The dog needs a walk, and I need fresh air, inspiration from nature and my photography fix. This could also be a beach walk or bike ride if I need a change of scenery.
Working on something towards my growth as an artist - I have business ideas and a few big creative projects up my sleeve. I need to start taking baby steps to make them happen!

Sounds like an incredible way to start the day, right? Well these are among my "six impossible things before breakfast." At least it feels that way from my bed in the morning. At the same time, it seems like a luxury to have this time and these opportunities to explore. But in the past, I've always made excuses. Why don't I feel entitled to this very special me time? What progress am I missing out on because of it? I'm so not used to having mornings to myself to be creatively productive, but people do it all the time. It's time to break some unproductive habits and revise my mental clock.

I don't want to set myself up for failure, so I'm going to start with stretching and see where that leads me, and I'll give myself until noon before my work day begins. Realistically, I have time for it all and one creative/spiritual practice should flow nicely into the other. I BELIEVE I CAN DO THIS...

if I don't get in my own way.

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