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The Art of Creative Living

Welcome to Week 3 of the Yogaleena Challenge!

Yay, we have made it to my favorite week of the challenge – the week we talk about creative living!

I believe creativity is essential to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. I’m not talking about a nice-to-have or cherry-on-top kind of thing, I really mean it’s a critical ingredient for a life worth living. I believe this so wholeheartedly, in fact, that I made creativity a core value of my business, and it’s a part of pretty much everything we do at Yogaleena.

(I wrote in depth about creativity back in April of last year, check it out if you have a few minutes to spare!)

Just so we’re clear, when I talk about creativity, I’m not referring to making art, although that is one way for our creativity to be expressed. I consider creative living, well, truly living…. that is, living in full color, with passion, purpose, curiosity, attention, and a limitless sense of possibility.

Sounds pretty good, right? Yup – and at some point in your life, waaaay back when, this is exactly how you DID live.

We are all born as creative individuals, but as we grow up, we start adding rules and guidelines and constraints to our way of thinking and eventually end up seeing the world, and our lives, through very narrow lenses. Think about it: most kids prefer playing with the boxes and paper their Christmas gifts were wrapped in instead of the the shiny toy they find inside. Why? Because boxes and paper offer a million possibilities for play (they make nice cars or airplanes or forts or sail boats or tunnels or…you get the point) whereas a toy is designed to do only one thing (and we make it even more boring by telling them what that should be.) Sadly, as adults we mercilessly self-edit for fear of judgement, stifling all of our creative potential and looking outside of ourselves for direction.

If you feel stuck, bored, or blocked in your life, what you really need is some play-time with boxes, not more analyzing why you’re stuck, bored, or blocked. In my experience, flexing your creative muscle is the best way to start expanding your perspective and considering wildly different possibilities for yourself.

During week 3 of the #yogaleenachallenge, we’ll be doing just that.

How, you ask? I have two basic tools to offer that I learned from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages and Artist Dates. We’ll cover a few more throughout the week, but these are a solid start.

The Morning Pages are a brain dump you do on paper every single morning as soon as you wake up. Morning pages don’t have to be pretty or make any sense, in fact, you won’t ever read them again. They simply offer an opportunity for you to clear out all the worries, thoughts, to-dos, etc. that left to swirl around in your mind all day don’t give you time to connect with what’s actually happening right in front of you. Content doesn’t matter, you write and write until you fill 3 pages – no exceptions.

The next tool is a weekly Artist Date. This is a date you take yourself on (no friends or significant others allowed) to do something outside of your normal routine that engages your senses and brings you joy.  A long walk, shopping at a Farmer’s market, attending a show, taking a cooking class…even going to the dog park to watch furry nuggets play around counts. The idea is to get you out of your head and into LIFE. Why? Because taking the time to fully experience things (vs. getting home and numbing out in front of the TV or your Facebook feed) is the only way to expand your sense  of what is available and possible.

Please note: these tools only work if you use them! If you want to spark your creativity and truly start shaking things up a bit, take a moment now to schedule daily morning pages and an artist date in your agenda this week. No, seriously, do that right now:)

Great, now a few more things:

  • I am back on our Insta account this week and your challenge is to post and share your artist date (#yogaleenachallenge, #artistdate #creativeliving #week3)
  • We are taking a teeny tiny break from workshops this weekend because I am a realist and I know that the Super Bowl kinda trumps Meditation 9 out of 10 times, but we still have lots to look forward to as we continue our 30-days together. Check out upcoming events below and make sure to sign up to save your spot!

As you can probably tell, I am really excited about the next 7 days! See you at the studio and please share your thoughts and progress as you incorporate a spoonful or two of creativity into your life this week.


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