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5 Easy Ways to Create an Inspired Home

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I think I have always been equal parts nomad and homebody. I get this giddy high off of travel and have a sick love of getting up before dawn to catch a flight. But returning home to a clean house, carving out space for my travel finds, and printing photos from my trips is equally satisfying to me. And yet, long after the dust settles on my luggage and the novelty of homecoming fades, I have found that I truly love my life at home just as much as on the road. But it has less to do with easing into the comforting routines of domestic life and more to do with the desire to find inspiration all around me, whether trekking across the world or padding across my living room.

The thing about inspiration, is that even the smallest detail can awaken big changes, fresh thoughts, and enlightening experiences. A new spice inspired by a past trip can lead to a new meal, which can become a family favourite and eventually be passed down to the next generation. A collection of bud vases on a window sill can act as a rotating seasonal display, beckoning us to stop and observe the subtle changes in nature’s shifts. An old book, a printed photo, a fresh scent or a new album on repeat can alter a room’s ambience in a heartbeat, or modify our mood in a second. Done intentionally, the results can be far-reaching and inspiring on so many levels.

Here are 5 ways easy ways I use regularly to create a more inspired home. My hope is that these suggestions will serve those who pass through your home as well, inspiring everyone long after they’ve lingered in the space you’ve created.

The thing about inspiration, is that even the smallest detail can awaken big changes, fresh thoughts, and enlightening experiences. 

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1) Bringing Outside In

There are a variety of ways to bring the outdoors into our homes, and I enjoy many of these at different times throughout the year. Here are a few:

  • Clippings from your yard, garden, neighbourhood or regional parks (when legal). Use at a place setting, in a vase, hung with twine, or placed on a mantle or shelf. Observe what happens to the piece over time. Don’t hesitate to bring in something that is dead! My dried up hydrangeas have an old-fashioned sepia look that I love. Dry dillweed from my garden has a spindly, delicate appearance that never fails to fascinate me.
  • Live plants, big or small, edible or not, healing or just lovely to look at. At this very moment I’m eyeing a terra cotta pot filled with mint in my garden that I’m tempted to bring in and set by my kitchen sink where the light is good and the aroma will serve as a fragrant pick-me up. Also a reminder of the months I spent sipping sweet mint tea in Morocco! Living plants can require anything from minimal effort to a mountain of care, so pick something that works well (as in, won’t die easily) within your space, is suited to your lifestyle, and gets you excited to enjoy it.
  • Nature finds like shells, rocks, driftwood, even bugs! My kids love adding to a revolving collection of natural elements (revolving because eventually I throw pieces out that have become dusty or broken) and observing them at the table or on a shelf. Last winter while up in the Sierras, I came across monstrous pine cones that reminded me of the hefty sort found under the pine trees at my Grandparents’ prairie property. I hauled an arm-full down from the snowy hillside and used them in my winter decor at home. Every time they caught my eye, I recollected fond memories of my childhood on the Canadian prairies.

An old book, a printed photo, a fresh scent or a new album on repeat can alter a room’s ambience in a heartbeat, or modify our mood in a second. Done intentionally, the results can be far-reaching and inspiring on so many levels.

2) Coffee Table Books

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved coffee table books. Whether they were filled with fine art prints, photographs of exotic locales, or detailed illustrations, these hefty tomes filled with rich visuals transported me to other worlds and eras. While I own a number of cherished coffee table books, I really enjoy the act of borrowing half a dozen or so at a time from my local library. Whatever topic might be of current interest to me, I often go in search of beautifully designed books that nurture my curiosity of that field. I tend to seek out books that focus on photography, culture and place, nature, gardens, architecture, fashion, home decor, and food. I find that having books like these in my home keeps me from becoming bored and reverting to my phone for visual distraction. There’s just something about turning the pages of a book that scrolling down a screen can’t beat. The inspiration is curated, the tangible quality of the books is enticing, and the fact that they can be borrowed for free is a temptation worth indulging in.

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3) Dress up Your Meals

If you are not an owner of easy to use, minimal fuss table linens, you are missing out! I bought my first linens and tableware (tablecloths and wooden napkin rings) while traveling in Russia when I was 16. I gifted the table cloths to friends and still use the hand-painted napkin rings every fall. Whenever I travel, table linens are an easily packable find that I can use every day and won’t collect dust on a shelf. They remind me of my past adventures and flood my home with inspiration. But I also have really inexpensive table linens from Target and World Market (napkins specifically) that get used more than almost anything else. Cloth napkins remind me of my Grandma who, when I was a child, always had a drawer of beautiful cloth napkins that elevated even the simplest of meals. We switched over to cloth napkins a couple of years ago when I realized how easily they altered my kids’ attitude at the table. Fabric feels special and offers an opportunity to take more care during a meal, linger over a dish, or engage in meaningful conversation. I make sure to have darker hued napkins to use with my kids, and throw them in with daily load of laundry. Nicer napkins are pulled out when we have guests or I want to use something other than the basic cotton versions we use as a family. Even if you are just sitting down to dinner on the couch with Netflix in front of you, a cloth napkin will instantly elevate the experience!

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4) The Sound of Music

Wherever I travel, I always purchase local music. It’s an easy way to recall my memories and the experiences I’ve had while on the road. But more often than not, I find myself using music to set a mood in my home. Classical at breakfast and while the kids do morning schoolwork, jazz in the evening especially if I’m cooking with a glass of wine in hand, old hymns on Sunday that not only turn my heart heavenwards, but remind me of late family members who have left a legacy of faith behind them. I also use music to compliment whatever we are studying with the kids for school. History, cultural, and geography studies are all enhanced with music. Music helps us focus, inspires us to create, stirs up memories, nurtures relationships, and makes even the most mundane tasks feel just a touch indulgent. Music heightens the senses, and when harnessed with purpose, can bring new inspiration our way no matter how uninspired we feel.

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5) Substitute a Staple

I’m a creature of habit, and once I like something, I’m hooked. For YEARS. It takes a lot for me to change, but I know that trying new things inevitably leads to a more fruitful creative process and inspired life. One of the easiest ways for me to infuse my life with fresh inspiration is to try substituting a staple ingredient with an alternate variety or one of a higher quality. Take salt for instance. I’d been using pink Himalayan sea salt for years. Nothing wrong with that, in fact I still use it from time to time. But when one of my friends introduced me to Maldon Sea Salt as one of the few ingredients used in the simplest of green salads, I was mindblown. I couldn’t believe how distinctive the flavour was and now use it in everything from homemade sourdough bread to stir fry to salad greens. It’s amazing how one small shift in a staple ingredient can make me want to eat simpler and allow the salt to enhance the flavour of very simple ingredients. Now I tend to use minimal spices because of how just a small pinch of Maldon salt can wake up a dish without hardly even trying. If you prefer not to swap out your staple blindly, ask friends or family what brands or versions of kitchen staples they use and ask to try a sample. You might be surprised and find yourself both inspired and converted!

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Goethe

Want more inspiration to help you THRIVE no matter where you are? Click HERE to get my FREE guide featuring 12 Prompts to Nourish Your Creative Spirit.

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How I Stopped Technology from Taking Over My Natural Rhythms

Between the ages of 7 and 17, my parents owned and operated a fly-in fishing lodge in the remote reaches of northern Canada. This meant that I spent a large portion of every summer virtually cut off from the rest of the world. Until I was in my mid-teens and wanting to spend more time with friends, and also be more independent of my parents, I don’t remember feeling particularly phased by this annual period of isolation.

During the early years while my parents were building up the camp and the business, our family shared a one-room cabin that lacked indoor plumbing. Electricity was generator-powered, but at night we lived by the light of our trusty Coleman lanterns. My younger sister and I spent our days exploring woods and beaches. We fished and read and played games. I think we each had a walkman and I had a film point-and-shoot camera. We were living out the creative, curious childhoods I desire for my own children.

“the ebb and flow of each day was free from distraction, hurried schedules, and…technology.”

Even once the camp gained more luxuries (indoor plumbing, round-the-clock generator power, and our family’s personal 3-bedroom cabin), our days weren’t much different. The long, often sweltering, northern summer days were sometimes punctuated with trips to sit in the tiny laundry cabin where my sister and I would watch the ice machine produce massive sheets of cubes while we munched on bowls of ice to cool down. The occasional evening in late summer provided us with a spectacular display of northern lights. That was about as exciting as things got, and I don’t mean that in a negative kind of way. During those long and lingering summers, the ebb and flow of each day was free from distraction, hurried schedules, and what stands out most to me now, technology.

“I let technology override my natural rhythms.” 

Now that our family has been mostly at home for the past month during the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve noticed that life has still felt stressful in terms of the amount of things I expect to accomplish on a daily basis. While most external obligations have fallen away, the internal pressure to ‘keep up’ with school, cleaning, meals, relationships, exercise, yard work, extracurricular activities, and my own business, have almost seemed to ramp up.

Since I haven’t been busy with things like errands or playdates, I haven’t been entirely sure why I’ve been so overwhelmed. We already homeschool, sit down together for three meals a day, and consciously keep our schedules free from too much ‘programmed’ activity. And yet, something felt distinctly ‘off’. Yes, we were without the support of our normal community and were thrown off our typical rhythms, but we were experiencing far less disruption than many of our friends and family members. So what was triggering my heightened state of overwhelm? After taking some time to reflect, here’s what I’ve concluded:

I have let technology override my natural rhythms.

Instead of listening to my body cue me as to when I’m tired, when to be quiet, when and what to eat, how to relax, who to connect with, what task to work on, etc., I’ve allowed technology to drown out my internal nudges. 

Since being in isolation, my online presence has increased tremendously. During the first couple of weeks, my inboxes exploded with texts and emails, and online shopping carts bulged. I had to limit time spent on Google or news sites because my brain felt like mush and my nerves were frayed. But then I moved on to courses and conferences, Zoom hangouts and sermon streaming. All good things to help my mind stay engaged and stimulated. And yet it felt like too much because I wasn’t maintaining a healthy dose. On top of this, I still had to work, which required me to be in front of a computer and on social media a fair amount.

In response to the technology consumption that has made me feel so distracted I couldn’t tune into my own needs as well as I would have liked, I suggested we return to something we tried two summers ago. Saturday technology sabbaths.

See, in spite of my Christian faith and practice, Sundays have never felt like a Sabbath, or day of rest for me. As an introvert, albeit a social one, I find myself happy yet exhausted at the end of a day often spent with a lot of people. I also typically use Sunday afternoons and evenings to plan and prepare for the week ahead, which while helpful, isn’t exactly restful. So we made Saturdays our Sabbath and included a break from technology into the mix. We kept our phones out of sight for the most part, went to bed when it got dark, and in general, used as little technology as possible. We weren’t legalistic about it, just trying to give ourselves and our kids a break from digital distraction and our bodies a chance to reset based on nature’s rhythms. I was in my third trimester of pregnancy with my youngest, yet felt the most well-rested of my entire pregnancy.

And so, we recently returned to Saturday sabbaths that include a break from technology. Our first one was incredibly restorative and not near as difficult as I anticipated. I’ll share more about what those Saturday technology sabbaths look like in the future, as we plan to keep them going even once the quarantine is over.

What I’m most excited about, is that I realized a one-day break from technology is enough to shift me back to a place of listening to my internal cues. And because right now we work and school from home with very little external expectations placed on us, I have a unique opportunity to try and live every day according to natural rhythms. My guess is that once I am more attuned to these cues, my kids will also feel so much more stable and settled.

I want to thrive during this time of isolation, and I want that for my family too. I know not every day or week will feel upbeat or pleasant, but I don’t want something I can control (my use of technology) to prevent me from living as abundant a life as possible, one full of beauty, purpose, and adventure. Just like the one I experienced during my rural, remote, childhood summers.

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5 Easy Ways to Exercise Your Creativity at Home

If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of trying to find time or motivation to exercise your creativity, you are not alone my friend! As a mom of 3 littles attempting to run a creative business, homeschool my kids, and juggle life without any family around for thousands of miles, I am pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down!

But in the same way that I feel kinda gross if I don’t make enough time for physical activity, healthy food, good sleep, or time with God and my family, (not all of these every day mind you, but at least a few times a week!) I know I’m not functioning at my best when I let opportunities to create find their way to the back burner of my life. So how does one integrate ONE. MORE. THING? By making sure creativity isn’t one more thing. By incorporating creativity into the everyday.

Here are 5 of my favourite ways to exercise creativity at home even in the midst of sleepless nights and zombie-esque days! Each of them make me feel vibrant and a little less frumpy. And they all require less than 15 minutes of my time.

“Perfection is no small thing, but it is made up of small things.” —Michelangelo

1) Bring nature into your home.  

Grab a glass, jar, or vase and find something natural to fill it with. Even if you don’t have flowers, clip a branch filled with leaves (or a barren one when that time of year comes). Dried dill from your garden, a handful of rosemary sprigs, twigs filled with pods or berries. Don’t feel like fiddling with an arrangement? Fill the glass with pebbles, pods, seeds or shells. The act of handling, arranging, and sorting is an easy entry point for tapping into your creativity and flexing some unused muscles. The practice also enhances observation skills, offers moments to revel in nature’s most minute details, get kids involved in creating their own visual inspiration from nature, and perhaps prompts a sketch or watercolour rendering if you’re so inclined. Notice I said ‘inclined’, not ‘gifted’. Practicing observation and focus through sketching or quick watercolour journaling can lift the soul, remind one that happy accidents and imperfections make life more interesting, and can be a fantastic alternative to meditation if you don’t do well with sitting still in silence..like yours truly!

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou 

2) Juxtapose books with household treasures. 

Peruse your home library and pick out a stack of books that have similar coloured spines, interesting text, or feature the same subject matter. Find a place in your home (coffee table, kitchen table, kitchen counter, shelves, bedroom dresser, nightstand, guest room, entry table) for the mini collection and arrange them in a pleasing way. Top off the stack with something of interest, or use an interesting piece from your home as a bookend. A sculptural rock, bud vase with single flower, an artifact from your travels, an heirloom such as an old camera. Perhaps the item relates to the subject matter, then again, maybe not. Let whimsy and intuition be your guide. Don’t worry so much about following rules, concern yourself more with what you find aesthetically-pleasing and thought-provoking.

3) Refresh what you wear.

Plan an outfit. For tomorrow, a special occasion, your next date night. Go through jewelry you haven’t worn in a while and pick out something you want to wear and then design your outfit around it. Or do the same with a pair of shoes you love but haven’t had an excuse to wear. Don’t worry about what’s fashionable, consider what feels the most YOU. Or just put together an outfit for fun that you might never wear outside your house and see if some new combination strikes a chord and resonates with you. Experiment if you have the wherewithal, or just freshen up your everyday outfits.

4) Enhance your dining experience.

Set your table for the next meal. Choose linens, dishes, and decor (vases, napkin rings, candles) that make you happy. If you can’t match it, clash it. Mix up patterns and pieces if you just need to break out of the mold and reject the norm. Switch up your typical seating arrangements. Do it alone or with your loved ones, just elevate the everyday by doing something different. If you have young children and butcher paper or wrapping paper, create a look that’s fun and festive

5) Use the written word to encourage, motivate, and inspire.

Using a wet or dry erase marker, write out favourite verses, poems, or quotes on mirrors throughout your home to inspire, encourage, or make laugh. Try a new font, add a few flourishes, and add some design elements. Erase and start over if you don’t like the look or leave it up and see if it grows on you. Messages to your loved ones can be just as meaningful and fun.

“There’s the whole world at your feet.” — Mary Poppins 

I truly believe that creativity is something we are all gifted with. That doesn’t mean we’ve perfected a specific skill or even yet tapped into our true gifting, but it does mean we are all imbued with a sense of creative spirit that can be exercised even in little, everyday ways. 

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We Bought A Garden

I gasped the first time I saw our back garden in full bloom. It was not long after our offer on the house we now live in was accepted, when the owners had us back for a more detailed tour. Stepping into the garden I truly couldn’t believe my eyes. Roses in full bloom were spilling out everywhere and tree blossoms hummed with bees. A jasmine border lined the entire back fence. A pair of meyer lemon trees (more like large shrubs) were blossoming. There was a raised garden bed constructed of stone and a massive olive tree arching over a significant portion of the back yard. In spite of being set smack in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood, it felt as if I’d stepped into my own personal secret garden. It offered not only complete privacy from the surrounding homes, but had been designed as a delightful sanctuary appealing to all the senses. I was awestruck. We hadn’t just purchased our first home, we bought a garden!

Growing up on the Canadian prairies I was influenced by three garden spaces belonging to my parents, paternal grandparents, and paternal great-grandparents. My parents owned 30 acres only a few minutes’ drive away from grandparents’ own rural property, and some of my most enduring childhood memories include spending time in the vast vegetable garden and walking through the fields to find wild roses. We could never have much in the way of flowers in our home due to my mom’s allergies, so   I vowed that one day my future home would be filled to the brim with flowers (except when my mom visited of course!).

In spite of being set smack in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood, it felt as if I’d stepped into my own personal secret garden.

My Grandma was forever harvesting fresh produce and flowers from her gardens and us grandchildren always delighted in the tart, puckering promise of a crunchy stem of rhubarb or crab apple plucked from a tree.

My grandparents’ home featured expansive country gardens that included a crab apple orchard, multiple vegetable gardens, an exceptional range of flower beds, and views of a pond filled with geese and ducks that my Grandpa tended to. My Grandma was forever harvesting fresh produce and flowers from her gardens and us grandchildren always delighted in the tart, puckering promise of a crunchy stem of rhubarb or crab apple plucked from a tree. My grandparents’ home and gardens were probably my greatest influence on my passion for the harmonious blend of architecture and nature.

While I didn’t spend near as much time at my great-grandparents’, their home in Winnipeg was situated on a large lot in the city. My memory of it was that the back yard was a magical oasis. My Opa was a skilled wood worker and filled the rolling property with wishing wells and enchanting niches that looked as if fairies and elves dwelled there on a permanent basis. It was a backyard that beckoned a child’s imagination to take flight and I always delighted in allowing mine do so.

By the time we moved to British Columbia just before I turned 13, the joys of the garden, no matter what the style or size, were permanently rooted in my psyche. From then on, I was obsessed with how nature could be mindfully cultivated in order to bring both beauty and bounty into one’s everyday experience.

As a young artist and photographer, I sought inspiration from the blossoms of the Okanagan Valley’s myriad of fruit orchards. In university I indulged in purchasing my first store-bought bouquets from the flower stalls of Vancouver’s Granville Island market and Kitsilano’s neighbourhood shops. During the summers I returned home to the Okanagan to plant flowers for the city, hauling and planting hundreds of flats of marigolds and zinnias every May and June. I traveled to Morocco and found myself mesmerized by the lush courtyards of Fez and Marrakech, and to the English countryside where chocolate box cottages spilled over with a riot of colour and fragrance. An Eden of my own became my goal and that was realized the moment we closed on our home. I mean, our garden.

Over the past five years, Will and I have both flourished and floundered as eager, beginner gardeners. We’ve celebrated bumper crops of lemons with pies and daily honey and lemon tonics, sat lazily under the arc of the olive tree while sipping local white wine on hot summer days, and filled our home with a rotation of blossoms, unfurling roses, and vessels filled with olive branches. We’ve also battled typical garden pests, made poor planting calls (my succulents and a couple of finicky shrubs still irritate me but I don’t know when I’ll have time to uproot them and replant something else in their place), struggled to get cucumbers to taste just right, and let our garden run out of control following the birth of each baby. But it’s ours and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a secret garden.

I also love that our children are going to grow up smelling jasmine and citrus and roses, with those scents imprinted on their psyche, taking those fragrant memories wherever they go. It’s the perfect backyard paradise for painting, flower picking, and planting their first vegetables. This garden brings inspiration into my life on a daily basis, no matter the season or the weather. It has taught me how to bring inspiration into my home and find beauty in every day no matter what challenges we might face as a family. Nature brought into our home feels like a soothing balm when days are tough, and a source of inspiration when the routine of motherhood feels a bit mundane. We bought a house, for sure, but the garden will always be our most cherished part of this place.

“I also love that our children are going to grow up smelling jasmine and citrus and roses with those scents imprinted on their psyche, taking those fragrant memories wherever they go.”

 

How to Create More than We Consume

Every woman juggling all the things knows how tempting it is to start the day off scrolling before we’ve even left our beds and our feet have hit the floor.  But do we know what that’s doing to our creative spirit?  Do we realize how much the constant content consumption is depleting us of our creative juices and replacing our ability to generate authentic ideas with copycat material?

As a creative entrepreneur and homeschooling mom, I’ve come to recognize just how necessary it is to safeguard my brain from consuming too much content if I want to nurture my own creative spirit, inspire my kids, and live a life that feels free of Pinterest-pressure.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, Instagram, and easy access to family and friends through Facebook, texting, emailing, and every other communication app. But I also know that these tools can add pressure to my day, drown out the needs of the loved ones directly in front of me, and sap my creative energy. The sheer amount of time I spend staring at a screen directly correlates to both my desire and ability to create and inspire.

The sheer amount of time I spend staring at a screen directly correlates to both my desire and ability to create and inspire.

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So what does it mean for me to both avoid too much content consumption and actively create things that inspire me and serve others?  Well, I’ve developed a two-pronged approach that incorporates both defensive and offensive strategies which I’ll share below.

Defending my brain and body from an overload of consumption includes the following habits I try to maintain:

1) I avoid starting my day off with scrolling, email checks, and text replies. 

It’s easiest if my phone is kept in another room instead of by my bedside, but that doesn’t always happen.  I’m working on that one!  I know that beginning my day with prayer, devotions, a workout, or some tea in a quiet space is far more invigorating than lounging in bed staring at a dark screen. Will and I have started to get up to pray together at 6am every morning before the kids are up/allowed out of their room, and the days when we do this always leave us feeling more alive and excited to start our day…which is saying a lot especially for Will because he is NOT a natural morning person!

2) I respond to emails and messages in bulk and at times that suit me best. 

Once I’ve gone through some more natural, organic rhythms to start my day, I’ll usually do a quick check of my emails, texts, and messages at which time I’ll move emails into folders to deal with later and make a list on paper of correspondence to attend to later in the day unless something truly requires my immediate attention.  I don’t like messaging in front of my kids if I can help it, and also don’t thrive when there’s a message thread building up all morning while I’m trying to accomplish other tasks.  Plus, messaging and emailing tend to require less creative energy than a lot of other things, so I’d rather tackle those during quiet time or after my kids have gone to bed.

3) I’ve turned off notifications on my phone.

I’ve turned off all notifications on my phone so I’m not constantly being made aware of every attempt to reach me.  In truth, I generally have my phone on Do Not Disturb, but have enabled specific contacts to reach me even if my phone is on silent.  Again, this helps me to stay present, efficient, and protective of my mental space.

Now that those defensive tactics are in play more regularly, I’ve been developing my offensive strategies to find more time to create in ways that are meaningful and fulfilling.  This is the fun part!

If you don’t believe you’re the creative type, I encourage you to try experimenting with some new hobbies or potential interests just to see if you can nudge those creative juices into motion!  It might be a slow, uphill struggle, but the benefits are beautiful and I can guarantee will absolutely lead to more thriving instead of surviving. 

 

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*Disclaimer – If you don’t think of yourself as the creative type, I would challenge you to reexamine that mindset.  I believe we all have a creative bent, but for some it’s never been nurtured and for others, it’s been buried so deep for so long that it feels impossible to discover/recover.  That’s a different topic for a different post, but if you don’t believe you’re the creative type, I encourage you to try experimenting with some new hobbies or potential interests just to see if you can nudge those creative juices into motion!  It might be a slow, uphill struggle, but the benefits are beautiful and I can guarantee will absolutely lead to more thriving instead of surviving.

 

So here is what I’ve been doing on a regular basis to spark creativity:

1) I find ways to implement creative activity, no matter how simple, into most days. 

I thrive on visual creation.  Whether that’s arranging a vessel filled with clippings from our garden, or putting together a cute outfit complete with accessories for an event coming up, or laying out props and details for a flat lay shoot I’m assembling, I have lately realized that my best days are ones in which I’ve spent some period of time creating something of beauty that brings inspiration into my home or enlivens my soul.  That could be as ordinary as dusting and refreshing a bookshelf, playing with watercolours at the table with my kids, repotting a plant or pruning the roses, or laying out a super simple charcuterie platter for myself at quiet time. I realize that not everybody has an aesthetic bent that needs to be nurtured in order to access their creative side (my husband is certainly not moulded that way) but for me I thrive best when I’m incorporating some element of aesthetic creativity into my day.

2) Creating before consuming has a positive affect on the rest of my day. 

Creating before consuming sparks ideas for other aspects of my day.  If I spend a little time doing something creative first thing in the morning, be it in my office or at home, I find the rest of my day is inspired.  I have more verve and excitement for homeschool lessons and cooking, seek out small ways to make errands and menial tasks more fun, and in general, have a more pleasant outlook on life than when I’m not accessing my creative side.  I also tend to be more thoughtful and intentional with my email and text responses, which is never a bad thing!

3) I try to avoid going online for inspiration–at least initially.

If I’m stuck and have no natural inclination to create anything, be it a journal entry or our next meal, I try to avoid going online to look for inspiration.  Sometimes just reading a chapter from a book, looking through old photos, taking a walk, eating something refreshing, or honestly, taking a nap (I’m not usually a napper except for when I’m pregnant) can be all I need to jumpstart my creative juices.  I usually tend to hop online for further inspiration once I already have an idea in mind and need to flesh out the details, but try to avoid this as my first stop.

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Sometimes just reading a chapter from a book, looking through old photos, taking a walk, eating something refreshing, or taking a nap can be all I need to jumpstart my creative juices.  

Do any of these seem like options that would prompt a more creative, inspiring lifestyle for you?  If you want to be more intentional about finding rhythms that lead to more creativity and inspiration, I would love to be a part of that journey.  Just hop over here and subscribe to my newsletter updates where I’ll provide you with fresh ideas and creative prompts on a regular basis.  These updates are succinct, yet filled with rich nuggets meant to revitalize your lifestyle and refresh your creative endeavours so you can lead your life with beauty, adventure, and purpose.  And really, who doesn’t want that? 

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