Tapping into the natural rhythms embedded in life aids creativity. Because we are a part of nature, it's easy and ultimately helpful to be aware of both external and internal rhythms.  When I am both aware of and use the external rhythms of nature, as well as my internal bodily rhythms, my creativity is enhanced.

     I am particularly aware of nature's rhythms at the beach, where I marvel at the predictability and beauty of the morning sunrise and evening sunset, as well as the incoming and outgoing tides. I love being on the beach during the still, cool morning when the sky glows pink and in the late afternoon when puffy clouds roll in and the sky once again becomes brilliantly colored

 October Sunset - Amelia Island

October Sunset - Amelia Island

     By being mindful of my body's rhythms, telling me its time to eat, sleep, or exercise, reminds me to respond by self-nurturing.  This raises my energy -- and I need lots of energy to create. I also have to remember that the changing seasons (and now the change from daylight savings time) alters my personal daily rhythms, requiring me to shift my daily routine in response.

     By now you might be asking, how does this relate to creativity?

    As I matured and became seriously invested in my creative pursuits, I realized that I also have creative internal rhythms -- moments of each day when my energy level and creative urge peaks. And it does feel like an irresistible urge. Through trial and error I discovered my most creative times are in the morning until about 1:00.  Over time I have come to appreciate and use these precious hours, for they heighten my self-awareness and open me to new inspiration. I now feel compelled to use these times and not spend them on frivolous or routine tasks.

     Everyone's creative rhythms are different but I will share my routine as an example. Creating takes energy, so I set the stage each day with a healthy start.  I begin each morning with a good breakfast -- my favorite meal -- and then exercise -- a swift bike ride or rapid walk.  These daily rituals increase my self-awareness, sharpen my mind, and in turn make me more open to inspiration.  When 9:00 a.m. comes, I feel pulled toward my studio. The feeling is both visceral and emotional.  When I enter my studio I am aware of an inner shift in my state of awareness.  I have often likened this to entering a spiritual place.  I feel more grounded, mindful and open.  In turn, the tide of inspiration begins to flow, and I am ready to tackle any artistic task I have chosen.

     Once I am in my studio, it doesn't matter what form of expression I chose -- my artwork,  photography or  writing -- it merely matters that I express my inner spirit in some symbolic form.  After four to five hours, I am emotionally, physically and creatively spent.  Yet, I also feel exhilarated by my creatively productive day. Today, I felt like writing, so I focused my energy on writing this blog post.  If I have time and energy left, I intend to work on one of my photographs from the beach.  Merely the thought of working on these photographs excites and energizes me.  Once I felt the power of this enhanced time of day, I became more committed to using it. 

     At this point I want to stress, that although my form of creative expression is artistic, this internal creative rhythm applies to everyone. That includes people who work in an office and must show up each day at a prescribed time.  Nonetheless, during those hours, with self-awareness, it can be determined what hours are the most creatively productive.  Even the simplest job has a creative aspect. Tapping into this power source will not only make the job feel more exciting but the results will be more gratifying.

      We were all born as creative beings.  We merely need to stand back and be a witness to the ebb and flow of our personal creative rhythms, for when we are in the flow our body, mind and spirit are all in alignment.  Then with self-awareness we can take advantage of the inspirations that arise.

      What is the creative high point of your day

Follow me on twitter @carolkwalsh.

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