1. Spend Time Alone in Nature. To cultivate your own connection to the creative part of your mind, spend time alone in nature. Think of Walden and his pond. Beethoven used to take long walks in the forest. In that environment the music would come to him.
2. Remember how to think like a child.
- The 1988 International Exhibition in Brisbane, Australia, featured pavilions set up by countries from all over the world. Organizers asked all of the hundreds of thousands of people attending to vote in a poll for their favorite. It was later revealed that in the winning pavilion, from New Zealand, every idea had originated with school children.
- Psychologist Michael Robinson assigned two groups of undergraduates the same task, i.e. to imagine what they would do if they had one day completely free. But one group were first guided through a visualization where they imagined that they were all seven years old. This group produced twice as many creative ideas as the ordinary group.
- Try this. Play with children. If you don’t have any of your own, borrow some from your friends and relatives – they will thank you for it! To really get into ‘play’ mode with children requires a major brain shift where you have to let go of inhibitions and put your ‘inner critic’, (hostile to your inner child), to bed for a while. What a relief!
3. Set aside regular time for creative work.
Do not mix this activity with anything else. Allow no interruptions and stick to creative, imaginative activity only. If you are writing something, this is not the time for editing or revising. That requires a different kind of thinking, and it will suppress your creative mind. The creator and the critic don’t get along and the critic is a bully, so you have to lock him out of the room to allow your imagination to spread her wings and take flight without fear. You have to intervene to create space for your imagination to express herself.
4. Heart contemplation.
Concentration exercise. Practice daily for five minutes before your sitting meditation. Find a quiet spot. Ideal is early morning (the earlier the better) outside, standing on grass or bare earth in bare feet. Stand straight but relaxed with your hands by your side. Close your eyes, and breathe naturally. Concentrate on your heart Chakra – the energy centre in the middle of your chest. Feel your breath entering your chest and leaving again. Continue to remain aware of your breath, whilst focusing your attention on the heart Chakra. After about five minutes, open your eyes and go to your sitting meditation practice.
5. Meditate daily. Here are some tips:
- Choose a time, place and duration for your meditation and stick to it. Early morning is a good time.
- Meditate before eating. A full stomach is the enemy of concentration.
- Before meditating, listen to music. Choose something that makes you feel positive and awakens a feeling of love in your heart. This is a quick way to put yourself in the mood. In my guided meditations I include beautiful spiritual chanting recordings, for this purpose. You can download Sunrise Meditation and Sunset Meditation here: