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Healthy Your Home™ with Creativity!

These are the show-notes to season 2: Episode 2 of Blooming!  A Healthy Home by Design.  In this podcast we discuss how our home environment can support the overall wellbeing of ourselves and our family.    I believe that there are 15 different areas of our lives that contribute to overall wellness.  And I divide them into 3 different categories.  Personal Growth, Health and Relationships.  So I’m super excited about this season because we are going to discuss Personal Growth and how each different area of Personal Growth affects our overall wellbeing AND we’ll see our the home environment can support this important part of our lives.   Today’s topic is Creativity.  Everyone is creative - even if you don’t think you are, you are unique individual and you have the ability to create.  Creativity isn’t limited to art, dance or music.  Creativity is simply the use of ideas in new and original ways.   And if you start flexing your creativity muscles you’ll find that your life begin to have more meaning, purpose and joy.    How can you home support creativity for you and your family?  Well in today’s episode we’ll dive into that!  So it’s going to be a good one!  let’s grow!  

Hey welcome back!  Today, i”m excited to talk about creativity.  You might be wondering what this has to do with having a healthy home?  And so I’ve been doing a little research to explain it in a meaningful way.  Let’s start with why it’s important to use your creative muscles - even if you aren’t artistic or into traditional forms of creative expression:  Remember -the definition of creativity is simply the use of ideas in new and original ways!  

So here are 3 important reasons I found to be more creative …

  1. Creativity predicts a longer life. says  <>, “researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain.” studies and research show that when people create art, it decreases negative emotions, reduces stress and anxiety, and improved medical outcomes. Not only can being creative help you live longer, but it can improve your quality of health and your life too.  That’s pretty incredible. That’s why you’ll notice a lot of hospital programs involve art as a form of healing for  patients.   But remember creativity is not just limited to art.   

  2. Being creative can help you Solve problems. When you start to think of things in new ways and especially in different ways than you normally do -it can open a whole new possibility.  When  you do this for any problems that you encounter, being creative turns the problem into an opportunity for growth. This allows you to be more resourceful and resilient when times get tough.   Studies show that creative people are better equipped to live with uncertainty because they have learned to adapt their thinking.  

  3. Creativity also develops confidence.  Thinking differently can be inherently difficult because it goes against the flow of the norm.  Sometimes ideas or ways of thinking can be considered “out there”, but if you can get through that fear of being different, your creativity allows you to shine.  And when you shine and show how you are different without caring what others think, it builds confidence in yourself and develops you as a leader and a free thinker.  

Because creativity is actually the process of thinking of things in a new and different ways,  doing that reinforces that you are a unique person with a unique point of view!  When you use your creativity and/ or you encourage the creativity in others you are helping to bring about more happiness within your life and the life of others!  Because creativity is an important area of lives to develop.  When we don’t use our creativity for long periods of time, life can begin to feel flat.  We all have a deep longing or desire within us to share our unique talents and abilities with the world.  

For a long time I’ve used my creative expression when I design homes.  I absolutely love selecting tile, fixtures, flooring, paint, stone, furnishings, lighting, basically anything and everything that has to do with home.  When the kids were little,  I was a photographer for a few years too, and loved taking photos of families and brides because that was also a way I could flex some creative muscles.  As a realtor, I love being creative on different ways to market homes or to help buyers see the possibilities when on their home search.   My desire to use my creativity is what led me to create this podcast, because I feel that no one is talking about what I’m talking about!  Healthy homes to most people mean energy efficient homes.  To me, a healthy home is one that can be energy efficient, but it also has features and amenities that support our health and wellness.  So being creative and finding new ways to express my viewpoint is what inspires me each day!  Ever since I’ve been on this journey of helping families create a healthy home, I’m just so excited to start each day and learn and discover more ways to help others!  So imagine if YOU can start developing this area of your life too!  Or to encourage your family members to think creatively!?  

Psych states that "as children grow older, parents and teachers often encourage them to spend less time crafting and more time studying traditional, intellectually-driven disciplines like math and science. By the time they’re full blown adults, grown-up responsibilities like working for a living to pay bills, keeping house or taking care of family can take precedence over embracing the fun of innate creativity — just for the sake of it. When we neglect creativity, a crucial part of us suffers, both emotionally and spiritually.

If you’re feeling creatively blocked, or just need a little boost to get your imagination juices flowing again, consider approaching life the way you did back in kindergarten. Read on for a few simple ways to lighten your emotional load and reawaken the artistic inner child within:

So these are great ideas I just love so much so I’m going to keep reading:  (If you want to see the original article click here.)

1. Move Your Body.

Throughout kindergarten and even grade school, we’re get to go outside and play during recess, up to three times a day if we’re lucky. But when was the last time you took recess as an adult? The next time you feel a creative block, get up and move your body so the creative juices can start to flow again. Jump on a swing and kick your heels to see how high up you can go. Find your favorite song, turn it up loud and dance like no one’s watching. Catch a breath of fresh air in nature with a brisk walk through the woods or a gentle run. Or, pull out the yoga mat and try practicing a few inversion poses – head and shoulder stands or even a classic downward dog can improve mood and bring fresh, energized blood flow to the brain.

2. Let Go of Outcomes.

Attachment is the root of all suffering. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna told Arjuna that to be a true yogi, he had to be willing to move forward in the battle royale of life without attachment to the fruits of his labor. As you battle through your creative process, let yourself embrace the essence of your journey without expecting any particular outcome. If you keep your heart and mind on the journey, the destination will eventually reveal itself.

3. Just Play.

Taking artistic projects too seriously can make being creative feel like a job, instead of an opportunity to explore and express your deepest passions, emotions and beliefs. Like back in kindergarten, you have to make being creative feel like fun if you want to enjoy practicing it regularly. Be your own playmate. Try laughing and smiling as you create. Have fun with yourself by delighting in each moment. Notice when you begin to place too much importance on things that don’t really matter. Travel light through the creative process, so you can be free to go wherever the creative flow takes you.

4. Detox Your Diet.

As children, we’re taught to eat a balanced diet with all the key food groups – and not too much fat, candy or sugar. But how healthy are we as adults? In addition to preventing degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension, adopting a more whole foods, plant-based diet will take less of a toll on your digestive system and free up your body and mind for more artistic pursuits. Want even more clarity? Fast or try a healthy detox from meat, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine to help alkalize your body and open yourself to more peace and creativity.

5. Meditate.

In kindergarten, quiet time was sacred. Likewise, just a few minutes of meditation each day can help raise your vibration and clear your consciousness, a gateway to higher levels of imagination. If you don’t have a consistent meditation practice, start by sitting just five minutes a day with a straight spine on a comfortable seat. Just breathe. Focus on your breath and allow any thoughts that arise to come and go freely without judgment or attachment. Simply let go. In the space between each thought, some of your best creative ideas can flourish.

6. Keep it Simple.

Sometimes, overthinking a creative problem can suffocate it. Some of the most beautiful works of art are the least sophisticated, so practice allowing yourself to work with less effort, operating from your gut instinct instead of a more calculated strategy. Trust your intuition. You may be surprised where it leads you.

7. Take a Power Nap.

Remember all the naps we took as kids? They’re great for creativity. According to University of California, Riverside’s Sara Mednick — author of Take a Nap! Change your Life, resting your brain anywhere from 6-30 minutes per day can reduce blood pressure while boosting creativity and long-term memory. When all else fails, close the computer, walk away from the canvas and hit the sack. Or, just get a good night’s sleep. You may wake up with a fresh perspective.

8. Bathe.

When the creative fuel runs low, take a relaxing bath with epsom salts to cleanse your aura and reset your energy field. Add a candle or essential oils like peppermint and lavender. If you don’t have time for a bath, wash your hands with soap and water, take a quick shower, or smudge yourself and your creative space with sage or palo santo to free up stuck energy and welcome the new.

9. Switch Up Your Medium.

In kindergarten, one of the best parts of the day was story time. As an adult, you can read a book or listen to one on tape, catch up on your favorite podcast, or watch a movie. Taking a break from your creative process to enjoy someone else’s artistic work can help jump start your own. If you’re a writer, consider pulling out a paint brush, drawing in an adult coloring book (with your non-dominant hand for an extra creative push), or dabbling in a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, like knitting or playing piano. If you’re a painter, journal. Giving yourself permission to explore other forms of expression will inspire your imagination and take the pressure off of having to deliver a brilliant work of art.

10. Embrace the Messiness.

Life isn’t always neat. In fact, the creative process can often be messy, just like finger painting was in kindergarten. Give it time. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty during the creative process. Embrace a beginner’s mind. To get started, let your ideas be messy, unorganized and abstract at first. Let the spirit of the work carry you. Eventually, it will take shape into something more tangible that motivates you to take a next step, and then the next. Luckily, you can always wash your hands afterward.

Being creative is a gift, but it requires patience, compassion and trust. Whenever you feel pulled out of your creative flow, remember you’re always just one step away from getting your groove back. The next time you feel stuck, grab a pen and paper and ask yourself: “If I were in kindergarten, what would I do next?” Consider the answer a first step toward a happier and more creative you."

Here's the link to that great article above. I only have 3 additional recommendations  1 would be to laugh - find ways to laugh little!  It lightens your mood and can get you into a positive frame of mind.   and 2 - change your posture.  If you find your are crouching over at a desk - take a moment to open up your arms wide and look up at the sky, count to 3 while you breathe in deep.  Rotate your shoulders and #3 put a huge smile on your face while you think of one thing you are thankful for.  This is enough to change your frame of mind for a few seconds and get those creativity muscles moving!   

Ok - so now that you know what to do, how can your home environment support your creativity? 

  1. Find a creative space.   your room, home office, spare room, family room, kitchen or bonus rooms can all serve your creativity.  Just be sure you have enough light coming in.  That you have enough room to work.  That it’s clean and organized so you aren’t stressed when you are in there.  

  2. Fill it with color - colorful photographs, artwork, walls, colorful furnishings are always you can infuse a little more life into your creative space. I did a podcast episode # 7 on using color physiology to create more CALM in your space.  But in this instance you would want to use color to inspire creativity.  Think of colors of nature are always inspiring - greens, blues, oranges, reds and yellows.  Go check out that episode because in it, I discuss what each color means, and how you can use those colors to promote the feeling you want to encourage in your creative space.  

  3. Make it personal - Display things that inspire you -anything that makes you happy!  Previous work, inspiring quotes or messages, even a vision board that displays what you are working towards this year can help get those juices flowing.  

  4. Give yourself room to move around!  Like we discussed before give yourself room o you can physically get your body moving when you are taking a break or doing your work.  

  5. Use your other senses - Listen to music that inspires you or consider adding essential oils to promote an invigorating mood.  

Whatever you do, get started.  Even if you only spent 15 or 30 minutes a day trying to think creatively, you will find that this practice will begin to enhance your life.  Involve your kids and see your relationships grow as you are helping them develop their sense of self and esteem.  You are doing good mama!   

Ok - so just to recap- Creativity is an area of your life that develops your personal growth.  It’s an essential component to overall wellbeing and we can live longer, helps you solve problems and develops confidence.  And by developing this area of our lives we are promoting more joy in our home environment.   

we learned from psych to move your body, let go of outcomes, play, detox, meditate, keep it simple, take a power nap, bathe, switch up your medium, embrace the messiness, my additions are to laugh, change your posture and breathe and to smile and give thanks.  

Then we talked about how to create a space in your home that promotes creativeness - 

  1. find a space - keep it organized 

  2. fill it with color 

  3. make it personal 

  4. give yourself room to move

  5. and use your other senses  like listen to music or aromatherapy to help inspire your creativity. 

Using your home as a tool to promote wellness is one way we can begin to lead richer more meaningful lives.  When you do are filled with more joy, you create a ripple effect that your family will feel in turn your friends will feel.  And so just by finding ways to create a healthier home, you ARE creating a ripple effect that changes your community for the better.  And together, we are making the world a healthier place, one home at a time!  

I hope you enjoyed today's episode!  I’d love to hear your experience or your thoughts on this!  Let me know what you think by commenting below or leaving a review!  I so appreciate you listening to this and hope you have an amazing day.   

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