Why is Creativity Important?

People often ask me, "What is it you do? Why is creativity so important?"

It's one of those words which we know on some level is absolutely vital to expressing ourselves to our fullest potential, yet it's also a word which we tuck way into the realm of " the arts" and reserve it for those artisticly-skilled few. 

The truth is though, that creativity is far more than artistic talent, skill or even passion. The Arts is just one of the ways in which to actively engage with creativity but in essence, creativity is the energy of life, the basis of the universe. It's how we've come to evolve as a species, it's how we individually express ourselves everyday in the smallest of moments, from the clothes we decide to wear, the conversations we have, the connections we make, to the way in which we present a meal for a friend. It's the driving force of taking that first step towards that which calls to us, that which terrifies and excites you at the same time. It's the way we interact with one another, the way we choose to live our lives. It's the entire feminine principle of expression and form - within the masculine principle of awareness. 

The more I sit with creativity, the more ambiguous it becomes. It's difficult to pin point it as any one thing because it seems to me, that it is in fact everything. 

 

It seems unnecessary to explicitly answer "Why creativity is important?" but rather to pose a few questions to you. 

Find some quiet space with a pen and paper/journal and a cup of something warm and nourishing. 

1. How do you define Creativity?

2. Where do you feel creativity shows up in your life?

3. Is there a time you remember when you felt the most creative? how did that feel? What were you doing?

4.. When was the last time you saw a creative project to fruition? 

5. Were there any fears, doubts, obstacles or beliefs which arose while moving through the process of creation?

6. Why do you think it may be important to move through this process and unpack what arrises?

7. How do you think you can move through these blocks, fears, limiting beliefs so that you can create from a place of personal power and joy, so that you can trust the process of creativity?
 

Take a few moments in meditation, then read through your answers. Is there anything that surprises you about your answers? 

Why do you think creativity is Important?

Join the conversation!
We would love to hear some of your musings and responses. If you'd like to share with the community you can comment below, connect via Facebook or email us at: info@namARTste.com.au 

Escape with Creativity

Imagine taking a holiday with Creativity.

Imagine taking a holiday with Creativity.
The both of you would board your flight, you would sit beside one another in that most comfortable of silences. Creativity would gently nudge you to look at her favourite Pinterest pins and your eyes would sparkle. You would share snippets from your book with her and in return she would pose questions which would spark Wonder’s ears.

Perhaps you and creativity landed on a minuscule island in the middle of the indian ocean with sand sugary white contrasted against the pale yet luminous blue of the sea. Creativity would take your hand, she would gently begin to remove the layers you had gathered from the outer world, leaving you raw and open to the calls of her flighty friend Inspiration. Suddenly the three of you are engaged in long conversations to the music of waves and the gentle rustle of wind in the trees. Best of all, Time would dance with you, a slow lustrous dance, the kind that leaves you feeling confident, coordinated and sexy.

There would be no one to disturb this dance, this conversation, your biggest worry would be how to bike back to your room with a coffee in hand. Luckily Creativity’s got your back.

Perhaps though, you and Creativity arrived in Tuscany. Well, Creativity would guide you to the nearest table for one, She would whisper how beautiful you looked as the Tuscan sun illuminates your hair, the sounds of far off accordion fill your ears, and you, well you, have glorious undisturbed hours to commune with that Thing. You know the one, the one which calls to be made. That thing you desperately love, the hot passionate romance with the Thing which got you into this little partnership with Creativity in the first place.

Creativity is the perfect travel companion. She is the silent entertainer, she doesn’t hinder your plans, she doesn’t get moody, she listens, she follows, she leads, she uncovers, she supports,  she gives you space, she is the ultimate explorer.

It doesn’t quite matter where in the world you and Creativity land, perhaps you’ve both decided to have a ‘Staycation’ for the weekend. Just the two of you snuggled in warm flannelette sheets, cups of tea in bed, the sweet sounds of Jazz echoing through the house.

Regardless of what the two of you have decided, Creativity is the perfect travel companion. She is the silent entertainer, she doesn’t hinder your plans, she doesn’t get moody, she listens, she follows, she leads, she uncovers, she supports,  she gives you space, she is the ultimate explorer. See, Creativity doesn't care what you do or how, She cares about helping you to create your best life, the life where her and the gang are ever present.

This is Muse Retreat,  6 days, 5 nights of luxury in Ubud, Bali with Creativity and her Gang; Inspiration, Wonder, Time and the Thing.

The two of you will spend your days eating delicious food, doing yoga and meditation, you will have conversations, mentorship and workshops which will inspire you both.

If you and Creativity are ready to take a holiday together, then this is the retreat for you.

'Flow-State' and Creativity

FLOW ENABLES US TO MOVE INTO THE EXPEREINCE OF BEING IN THE MOMENT AND TO ENGAGE FULLY WITH THE MOMENT AND OUR INNER DESIRES.

The 'Flow State' is defined as an "optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best"
When we are in flow we are no longer reactive to stimuli but rather are able to respond to our environment and the challenges before us. This state of consciousness has been found to have a tremendous effect on Creativity. 

When we are in Flow, the world is no longer seen as a stressor but rather as a playground in which to explore and interact creatively with one-another and our expereince. 

Flow states enable us to step away from the notion that we are separate, it enables us to loose our sense of self-consciousness, judgement, beliefs around fear and our limitations. It enables us to move into the experience of being in the moment and to engage fully with the moment and our inner desires. 

This is why Yoga and Meditation are such a big part of how we explore Creativity at NamARTste. 

Through various studies it has been shown that this 'Flow state' "doesn't just heighten creativity in the moment, it heightens it over the long haul. In other words, being in flow actually trains us to be more creative."

Neuroscience tells us that Flow is the product of profound changes in brain function. We move from Beta brainwaves to Alpha brainwaves (responsible for day-dreaming). This allows us to slip between thoughts and to "combine ideas in radical new ways"

Flow is also caused by a temporary deactivation of the pre-frontal cortex called "transient hypofrontality" which is responsible for our detachment from our egoic sense of self.

Lastly, while experiencing flow, our bodies release a tremendous amount of performance-enhancing, pleasure-inducing chemicals which are responsible for feelings of happiness, acceptance and well-being. 

Creativity made the top of the list for most desirable skills for the Twenty-First Century. Creativity is seen as essential for todays Leaders and for those of the future.
I think it's safe to say that investing time in experiencing "flow" and exploring what arises within this zone is not only fun and enjoyable but an investment in your overall well-being. 

Steven Kotler of 'Psychology Today' discusses the results of several studies from Harvard University and an Australian study which looks into the neuroscience behind what we call the "flow state" and how this is linked to creativity and ultimately happiness. 
To read his findings click on the link below. 

CREATIVITY MADE THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR MOST DESIRABLE SKILLS FOR THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

 

 

 

To Sunsets :: A most delicious Hello.

SO HERE WE FIND OURSELVES. ON THE PRECIPICE OF NEW BEGINNINGS, NEW MOMENTS, NEW LOVES, NEW HEART ACHES, PERHAPS OLD ONES TOO. NEW FRIENDS, NEW CHANCES, NEW SUNRISES. BUT FIRST, LET US ENJOY THE SUNSET.

We find ourselves at the end of yet another chapter.
A metaphorical closing,
a folding,
a storing on the top shelf of this beautiful cabinet we call life. 

 

I smile at these moments past which have painted themselves in my mind. Knowing they are just that.
Memories.
Stories we will tell ourselves perhaps far into the future. 

My intention for this fresh-canvas year is to not only be fully present as often and as wholly as possible, but to live each of these moments as if I were thirsty for them.

I also hope to be conscious of the imprint they leave on me and to recognise the power of perception.
Our mind is ultimately the place where these memories become preserved in gold or turn sour. 

MY INTENTION FOR THIS FRESH-CANVAS YEAR IS TO NOT ONLY BE FULLY PRESENT AS OFTEN AND AS WHOLLY AS POSSIBLE, BUT TO LIVE EACH OF THESE MOMENTS AS IF I WERE THIRSTY FOR THEM.

I want to explore the terrains of this inner landscape we call the mind, I want to really look, really feel, really create, REALLY be. real.
I want to sip slowly on each moment knowing that stories aside, this moment, right now, is life. 

Could it be that we are simply here to witness the extraordinary beauty of being, and is this enough?

So, here we find ourselves.
On the precipice of new beginnings,
new moments,
new loves,
new heart aches, perhaps old ones too.
New friends,
new chances,
old dreams,
new sunrises.
But first, let us enjoy the sunset. 

Here's to 2016, here's to you, here's to me.
Here's to a Goodbye which precedes a most delicious Hello. 

A Home Practice :: Closed-Eye Drawing

We just wrapped up our final workshop for 2016 with our Art & Yoga Series: Creative Journaling led by Lucy at the Work-shop Melbourne space in Fitzroy.

It has been an exceptional year for us. From the moment we launched in February the Melbourne community has embraced us. We have continually grown along side you, questioning and exploring as we co-create this beautiful exploration of the union of the Arts & Yoga.

It is because of you that we can share what we are most passionate about. So we extend a massive virtual hug and our gratitude to the community, we love you so much!

We have some pretty special announcements coming in the next month. If you aren't already signed up to our Newsletter pop into our homepage to sign up to stay in the loop. We can't wait to share!

Here is our little GIFT to you- A little at-home practice that you can try in your Journals. 

Perhaps after a home yoga practice with a glass of your favourite summer smoothie. (If you don't have one there is a recipe below for a Mango green tea smoothie- it's delish!)

 

 Closed-Eye Drawing

Materials:
Journal/Paper
Pencil/Pen
Smoothie (optional)

With your journal in front of you and your pencil in your hand, find a comfortable position and close down your eyes. 
Begin by noticing the breath, how is the breath moving through your body? Is it getting stuck anywhere? Are you able to soften into these places with gentle surrender?
Feel the weight of the pencil in your hand, notice the texture, is it soft or hard, cold or warm, smooth or rough?
Bring the pencil to your page and begin to draw from your memory/imagination. There is no ideal and no perfection seeking here, simply explore the way the pencil feels as you begin to make marks on your page. If an object or image begins to emerge allow it to do so letting go of the idea of perfection.
Allow this drawing to be an exploration rather than a product. Feel the vibrations from the pencil as you draw, feel these vibrations in your finger tips, palm, wrist, forearm, how far do these vibrations go?
When you feel finished with this exploration. Pause, take a moment to reconnect with your breath. Feel into the body. How do you feel? More or less calm, more or less stressed than when you began?
Take a full inhale into the belly, fill up the chest. Pause. Release with a sigh. Perhaps do this two or three times. 

When you're ready gently open your eyes and smile at inspiration and what has flowed through you. (Take a long sip of your smoothie) 

Benefits – Amongst a great multitude of others- benefits include exploring beyond the ‘should’ and the obvious path. What else can you do that might make a difference / shed new light on the same thing? This can be a practice of meditation, and a form of physically shifting mindset. The events we encounter are neutral - neither good or bad - it is our thinking that makes it so.

Journaling is a way to process the mixed bag of emotions, thoughts and memories that accumulate in our minds each day - the cocktail that intoxicates our bodies. By bringing clarity to what it is that we are focused on, and recognizing our subconscious tendencies or intentions in a given moment/day, we can break the loop of habitual patterning, and guide ourselves back towards our center. 

Enjoy xo

Much love and blessings for the Holiday Season and the New Year.

The Shadow Side of Creativity

I recently returned from Bali where I was teaching a most delicious yoga retreat of stand-up-paddle board and Restorative yoga. Needless to say it was complete bliss and I am both honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to share and hold space for these open hearted, self-aware beings.

Before embarking on the retreat I took three days to immerse myself in solitary 'creative retreat'. It was myself, the rice paddies, a yoga mat and a torrent of creativity...or was it?

Fear shows up in many forms. It can show up as procrastination,
"Surely if I just do a few emails and go for a swim I'll be better able to get (insert: wonderful creative project) done."
"I'm not procrastinating, I'm researching." 
Fear also shows up as resistance or guilt. "I really need to be working on (insert: fantastical website) or spending some time with (Insert: steamy Italian lover)"
Another familiar (and favourite) face of fear is perfectionism.
"It's just not ready to be shown to the world yet" 

I caught myself saying and doing all of the above and quickly recognised these avoidance tactics as a familiar friend- FEAR. 

This begun a delicious new exploration into FEAR and how to move beyond it and into creating from the heart. How do we move beyond these blocks? How do we use these blocks to empower ourselves?

We will be exploring this deeply over the next few months through workshops and talks.
Make sure to sign up to our Newsletter to stay up to date. 

Inspired by...

We are smitten with several PODCASTS and BOOKS at the moment.

The Book 'Big Magic' and Podcast 'Magic Lessons' by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) are not only (ridiculously) inspiring but are filled with relatable and easy to implement content for moving beyond fear into creative living. If there is something within you that wants to be "made" but you don't know where or how to begin...Liz will give you the push you need. 
Start here.

The Podcast 'On Being' by Krista Tippet is our favourite for morning commutes. It sets the tone for the day and provokes reflection and curiosity toward this whole life business. 

Next on our must read list is 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. We are currently delving deeply into the discussion on the importance of Vulnerability and the correlation between being vulnerable and living a whole-hearted authentic life. Definitely worth reading.

Join the conversation...
We would love to hear about what is currently inspiring you. 


 

Inter:view:ed

MAKE TIME FOR YOUR CREATIVITY IN ANY WAY YOU CAN
GET CARRIED AWAY, GET EXCITED ABOUT IT.

What a delight to be interviewed by the talented Jess Phillips. We chatted about NamARTste's emergence and why-oh-why the magical word, CREATIVITY belongs in our lives.

"Our creativity is directly linked to our life force, it is vital for our health and wellbeing to have the opportunity to create- not always for the sake of creating a product but to participate fully in the process of creating. It is through this process that we find an essence of who we are and can allow that to emerge. "

"This process is the overcoming of fear, guilt, shame. It takes tremendous courage and vulnerability to show up and allow ourselves the time and space to create especially in a society that tells us taking time for ourselves is selfish."

"Time allows us to give from a place of abundance. The combination of yoga and art awakens this creative process and becomes the petrie dish in which we are ultimately reflected. The work is to continually observe without judgement to remove the harshest barrier of all. Ourselves."

CREATE! JUST BEGIN! START SOMEWHERE, THERE’S NEVER GOING
TO BE A PERFECT TIME, YOU ARE READY NOW.