The 30 Day Creativity and Happiness Program
Most writers and aspiring writers feel as though they could use a little more creativity. I am often asked where I get my creative ideas from, or how I access my imagination. My answer is this: by going beyond my thinking mind. This program is a month's worth of exercises designed to help you do just that, go beyond your thinking mind so that you can delve into the depths of your own creativity and imagination. Some of the exercises have been developed from my own experience and imagination, and some have been drawn directly from the writings of Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and my late friend Pat Rodegast.
Happily (no pun intended) these same exercises can be used to access an inner sense of joy. Going on the assumption that joy is our birthright and that it is the heaviness of the mind that weighs us down and sometimes robs us of that joy, these exercises are created to lift the weight of the mind.
The exercises are simple, painless, easy, fun, and take virtually no time out of your day (you can always do them while you are already doing something else, like walking, eating, washing your hands, doing dishes, waiting for a page to load, etc.) Some people put them on their phone, adding one exercise to each day in their email calendar so that it pops up as a daily reminder.
Each exercise takes between one second and fifteen seconds to complete. You may start with the first and work your way through, doing a new exercise each day, or choose them randomly. It is suggested that you do the exercises as many times a day as you remember. If you find that when you lie down to go to sleep you have forgotten, do one of the exercises then, congratulate yourself for remembering, and go to sleep.
There will be a cumulative effect, as each time you take a few seconds away from the mind you will be adding strength to your power to lift the weight of the mind, like the many ants lifting the lion and carrying him off. And hopefully, after the thirty days are over, you will continue doing the exercises because you like them.
I wish you burgeoning creativity, access to the deep well of imagination that is already yours, and a growing sense of joy in life.
The 30 Day Creativity and Happiness Program:
- Look around you, find beauty.
- For two or three breaths, breathe into the present moment, breathe out everything that has ever been.
- Stretch a part of your body. As you do, be aware only of the stretch.
- For two or three breaths, breathe in peace, breathe out any stress or tension.
- Close your eyes. For a moment, feel the animating presence inside your body.
- Sensory perception: Hearing. For a few moments, be aware of each of the sounds in your environment.
- Think of something you are afraid of. Ask yourself, "What would I do if I weren't afraid?" Now imagine yourself doing that.
- Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, mentally accept everything in your life just as it is.
- Sensory perception: Smell. Think of a favorite smell and imagine sensing the aroma.
- For two or three breaths, imagine breathing in light and filling your body with light.
- Think of a person in your life. For a few moments, open your heart to accepting them just as they are.
- Mentally name three things you are thankful for.
- For a few moments, pay attention to where you are and what you are doing, and nothing else.
- While doing something you enjoy, say to yourself "This is heaven," and feel the ways this is true.
- Sensory perception: Touch. Touch something and be keenly aware of its texture, temperature, and feel.
- Direct your attention inward. For a few moments, open your heart and accept yourself just as you are.
- While doing something you normally think of as tedious, boring, or unpleasant, say to yourself "This is heaven," and feel the ways this is true.
- Sensory perception: Sight. Look at five things, one after another, without naming or labeling them.
- Close your eyes. Feel the ways in which you are safe right now.
- Think of someone in your life. Open your heart and send them a moment of love.
- Close your eyes. Say to yourself, "There is always enough time for everything." Feel the ways this has been true in the past.
- Sensory perception: Taste. Think of a favorite food or drink and imagine tasting it.
- Randomly, say to yourself "This is heaven," and feel the ways this is true.
- Close your eyes. Send yourself a moment of love.
- Think of something in your life that causes you to feel resistance, discomfort or pain. Now, answer this question, "What about that makes you feel thankful?"
- Feel the life in your feet. Feel the life in your legs. Feel the life in your torso. Feel the life in your arms and hands. Feel the life in your head. Now feel the life in your whole body at once.
- While engaged in an activity, mentally name each thing in your environment as "the best." Example: while walking in nature: "Every step is the best step. Every leaf is the best leaf. Every cloud is the best cloud, etc." Or while sitting in traffic: "Every car is the best car. Every traffic light is the best traffic light. Every inch of progress is the best inch of progress, etc."
- Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, hum a single note. Feel the vibration in your throat and chest and imagine that this vibration is "dusting" you off inside. Do this for two or three breaths.
- For several moments, or as long as you can, stop thinking.
- Be satisfied. For a few moments, feel satisfaction with your life. Say to yourself, "I have done the perfect amount of work. I have had the perfect amount of fun. I have the perfect amount of health." Continue with money, vitality, friends, love, etc. After those few moments are over, you can go back to wanting more.