Publisher - July 2021
Photography by Lindsay Gifford
“The creative adult is the child who survived.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin —
I counted 99 self-help books as I categorized the sections on the bookshelf in my bedroom. That number, 99, does not include any self-help books I have at the office, in one of my various business totes, in the car, on Audible, or that I have passed on to others. Does that make me a self-help junkie? Well, I don’t think so since I don’t feel the need to read self-help every day, nor do I have a problem working fiction into my reading mix.
I like to read and I enjoy learning. As I scan through the titles and topics of the nearly 100 books, I see help on things such as losing weight, breaking up with sugar, good leadership, self-discipline, financial peace, becoming a bad ass, living my best possible life, being successful, daring greatly, untethering my soul and having no excuses. In all of that guidance, not one of this genre on my shelf is about creativity—being creative, finding creativity or maximizing creativity.
I beat myself up over all those things I feel inadequate about, which drives me to rescue myself via self-help books. The struggle is real, as I am the first to admit I’m not the most disciplined person on the planet, and my to-do lists often take me longer to complete than most. Some things absolutely blow my mind—like too much paper and mail, or things I have no idea where to put. However, I had a revelation in looking through all these books: This month’s theme is #CreativeMinds, and this is a topic I excel in! This is my brain’s groove.
As the founder and publisher of Pink and Paisley Magazines, creativity is of utmost importance, and my spirit has been renewed in realizing I don’t need a self-help book to inspire me to do my job. I continuously think about new creative articles and how to creatively serve both our readers and advertisers better. But, I have to admit, sometimes creativity doesn’t flow like a river, but more trickles like a leaky faucet. What do I do in this case?
I’m happy to share a few tips on how I get my
creative juices rocking and rolling:
Downtime: As a busy person, it is hard for me to stop and let things go. I find I need assistance in this department. The best thing I’ve found so far for stopping is booking a massage. First off, it’s on my calendar, there is no time conflict. The only conflict is my guilt wrestling with my decision making. Nonetheless, I don’t miss a booked massage, and I’m always glad I went, naturally because of the massage, but also my brain starts to clear away the junk and new, vivid, original thoughts start to swirl about. Massages, for me, are like a 20 minute mega-brainstorming session, followed by 40 minutes of deep relaxation to let it marinate. I always leave refreshed both in body and mind.
Sleep: I used to be a night owl, working or reading until two o’clock in the morning. Not any more. Our bodies, brains, and creativity need sleep. Creativity is basically the opposite of lethargy, meaning tired creativity comes across simply as tired. If you want to boost your creativity, definitely consider boosting your sleep.
Inspiration: Immersing yourself in an environment that sparks creative energy does wonders for your creativity. For instance, have you ever toured beautiful homes and not left wanting to spruce up around your own home? That’s exactly what magazines do…give you inspiration to look, feel, dress, decorate, create and achieve your best. Our environment has the power to energize or drain our energy. That’s why it’s important to change things up occasionally—move the furniture, try new restaurants, go to a different city, just move into a different scene if you’re feeling blah to get those creative vibrations to wake up
Park your cell phone: I hate to say it, because I preach it on page 46, but there is nothing zapping our creativity, inspiration and energy more than that frickin’ phone. If I sound mad about it, I am. It is stealing a large portion of my life! I know I’m not alone. Put your phone in another room, if only for an hour. Don’t resort to Pinterest or other Websites before you try to imagine things on your own. Give your creativity a chance before allowing others to rope you into theirs. Look to these sites to fine tune your ideas, instead of letting them “think” for you.
Don’t say you’re not creative: Remember last month I talked about labeling ourselves and how we shouldn’t do it? I can’t tell you how many ladies have told me, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Well, in fact, you do. Even creative people are not creative in everything. I have difficulties in things like arranging bookshelves, I have very little patience for sewing. I like to decorate but am not often satisfied with the outcome. Come to think of it, I’m just good at planning and executing putting magazines together. I’m an idea person, and I like to see ideas come to life.
Lastly, there’s the shower! I get the most ideas while showering each morning. This is my environment to free think without any interruptions, which is the key to manifesting amazing creative thoughts and ideas. In a rut? Take a long, hot, refreshing shower and let your thoughts run free.
What self-help book topics are missing from your arsenal? Check it out and you may find your super power in that gap. And, here’s one more tip regarding all those self-helps: Sometimes it’s best to stop reading for a while and start practicing what you’ve read. When you do, be sure to include your authentic self—and your inner child— into your new discipline…now that’s being creative!
Happy Independence Day! I love America, and I’m thankful for the freedom and opportunities she provides for us all.