“You are the laboratory and every day is an experiment. Go and find what is new and unexpected.” –Joel Elkes
Showing up to engage with our creative nature is the first step – then what? Often we get overwhelmed with so many ideas, or we don’t have ANY ideas. Or we jump from one idea to the next without the focus that is needed to develop it. Or we are met with the inevitable fear that comes with an expanding territory-our creativity. So we disengage so as to not feel that discomfort of fear. But then the discomfort/regret of not trying the idea hounds us. We call this place stuck.
I recently did an interview with Laurie Mattila, founder of Discovery Writing, about discover-ease in experimenting with small steps that can lead to big results. The vehicle she uses is writing but any process(painting, breadmaking, knitting, cooking, etc.) can serve this purpose: to follow that inner pull to try things which open your life to what is important. Experimenting moves you forward and enriches your life. Changing any routine (process) you find yourself in can be a vehicle for your own small step experimenting. Practicing this strengthens your skills in risk-taking and embracing uncertainty; these are valuable in creative expression AND in life.
But the key is to keep the steps so small that fear doesn’t sabotage forward movement. They are of minimal impact, ones that don’t disrupt your life but do take you out of your comfort zone. Just trying things unleashes that creative energy within you. She calls it “playing” with bringing newness into your life – to get more comfortable in the not knowing. You get a good feeling about trying something new, and are more apt to do it again; if you have one idea, you’ll have more. It generates confidence – you’re not stuck – you’ve chosen to do something instead of dreaming without any action.
So experiment with experimenting. Change up a routine, practice opening to try new ways of doing things, and notice what you discover. Get comfortable with not knowing and enjoy discovering. This will help you engage with creativity more easily, and certainly will help you engage with life more fully. And by all means, HAVE FUN!
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