We all have creative currency.  This is where the juice happens in life; the moments of insight, of alignment and the instant where creation happens.  It is what we are energized and inspired by.  It is how we engage.

Those of us who have a van, get outside and breathe fresh air are helping ourselves enhance our creative capacity – more than we may realize.

There are four key ways to enhance our creative capacity.

1.  Be in nature

Nature is REAL – not artificial, digital or staged.  We resonate with what is real.  We have artificial lights in our house, electric screens, heating/cooling systems, refrigeration…being out in nature, helps us tune in to our natural cycles.  Cycles of the day, month, season, year.  There is a rhythm.  We don’t freak out in the winter when everything looks dead because we know spring is coming – it always does.  Nature is comfortable with the ebb and flow of tides, moon, cycles of birth, death and renewal.  Whether we are aware of it or not, we know when we resonate with something.  It is instinctual.  Primal.  We are literally connected to the pulse of the earth.  Walking barefoot on the earth is a great way to feel more grounded in our bodies and cultivate calm and quiet.

The ocean and natural hot springs will reconfigure electromagnic field causing a calming effect.  Have you heard of ‘tree breathing?’ Or the concept of ‘forest therapy?’  It is literally being in the trees and taking them in.  Fresh air helps cleanse that lungs, bring clarity to the brain, is good for digestion and helps improve your heart rate (I’m not a doctor, but can you feel it?).

Depletion doens’t help creative capacity.  In the natural world, there are robustly productive years and deeply restorative years. For example, a tree tends to produce 1 year of abundance followed by 2-3 years reduced yield.  How does this show up in your world?  Do we take time to rest, restore, regenerate?  (Hopefully this is where your van comes in handy.)

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2.  Feel Free – Not Fear

Restriction and constriction kill creativity.  If you’ve ever had a great idea, shared it and got shut down, what happens?  We tend to contract and not speak up again.  In a state of contraction, circulation is lessened, which means less fresh blood (ideas, joy, breathe) is getting to the outskirts.  Circulation helps cultivate health, literally.  Circulation is directly connected to the inhalation (inspiration).  With each inhalation, you fill your lungs with oxygen, which is then transferred into the bloodstream.  Fresh, oxygenated blood.  Life force.

Have you been brainstorming and had the best time?  No ideas turned down, lots of crazy thoughts (fun) and possibilities.  Feeling free cultivates possibilities.  Feeling free enhances our creative capacity.

3.  Tune In

When we listen, be quiet and practice stillness, the ability to hear inspiration and access “BIG mind” increases – dramatically.  This is an advanced practice.  It is when we learn to trust ourselves, we can make the leap to trust the whole/universe.* The universe is possibly the biggest soup of all creative potential.

Tuning into the physical locations of the body helps those of us who learn through our bodies.  The creative center, in physical form, is located in the same space as the sacral chakra.  A chakra is a step down transceiver. It literally translates to “wheel” or “disk.”  In yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body.  There are seven main chakras that align the spine.  In women, the sacral chakra is the place where spirit first becomes physical form in the case of having a baby.  In both male and female form it is the creative center.  The sacral chakra is the center of feeling, emotion, pleasure, intimacy and connection.  The energy of this chakra allows us to let go, to move, to feel change and transformation occurring in the body.  It allows us to experience this moment at it is, in it’s own fullness.  Being in the moment is a sure fire way to access and increase our creative capacity.

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4. Collaboration

Collaboration is, to me, like the sum of the parts are WAY greater than the whole.  What you are dreaming up + what I am dreaming up = way more possibilities than either of us could dream up individually.

It is part of the cycle of giving and receiving, which are two sides to the same coin.  We cannot give without first receiving (tune in, listen) and we cannot receive without being in relationship to a giver (‘BIG mind,’ co-worker, partner, friend.)

In the dynamic of collaboration, sometimes a teacher/student relationship forms.  Regardless of the role we play, learning and expansion are happening, which are key elements to enhancing our creative capacity.

Our van has been a gateway to nature, to feeling free in so many ways, to being in quiet with lots of time to reflect and connect with great people – collaborating and dreaming up new dreams.

The essense, to me, of being in the van is getting to be my authentic self.

Free of a scheduled, digital world, free of ‘costumes’ and make-up, inspired by where we are and who we meet.  Sweating, sleeping and eating well.  This, in the biggest way, enhances my creative expression and capacity.

 

Many of these insights came from:

Tami Lynn Kent in her book Wild Creative:  Igniting Your Passion and Potential in Work, Home and Life

*Erich Shiffmann

Joy Inc. :  How to build a workplace People Love by Richard Sheridan