We hope that you are enjoying our mini-retreats from Torri Shafer’s “Romancing the Soul”. Here’s our ninth selection, exploring practices to nurture and expand your creativity. Enjoy!
Creativity is the part of the soul that is both child and parent. It is a child because of its boundless possibility, its abandon and joy, and it is the parent because it is the creator and nurturer of all our wildest imaginings. Yet, sometimes it can be a little shy.
How do we coax it out from behind our staid, logical brain? How can we cajole it to help us with problems that confound us?
The way to encourage our creativity to come forth is to put in the background all those habits we have acquired which hold it back—fear, judgement, embarrassment, conformity and convention. We need to step back into our childhood brain, when imagination was our friend. This retreat is designed with this in mind.
Showering Yourself with Milk and Honey
Taking good care of you means that the people in your life will receive the best of you rather than what is left of you. ~Carl Bryan
A surprising way to feed your creativity is to take a shower. According to research, there are several reasons why a shower can invigorate your brain as much as your body. First, it is a monotonous activity which allows your brain to switch to autopilot. When you are on autopilot, your brain is free to wander and is less likely to censor unconventional and creative ideas.
Next, hot showers relax you. You are in a safe, comfortable place away from stressors while velvety water cascades soothingly down your body. This releases dopamine, which is one of the key factors in generating moments of epiphany.
Before you whet your creative juices, it’s time to sweeten your skin with a milk and honey body treatment.
Milk cream is hands down the best natural moisturizing cream that you can apply. It makes your skin soft and supple in no time.
Honey works wonders when combined with milk cream. The reason why honey is often found as a base ingredient in almost every beauty product is because it deeply moisturizes the skin from deep within. The enzymes present in honey enables it to seep easily into the skin while conditioning it and softening it from deep within.
For this treatment, simply take two tablespoons of honey and mix it with two tablespoons of cream. Warming the honey for about ten seconds in the microwave might make it easier to blend.
Prepare your spa space in your bathroom with whatever you find makes it sumptuous and serene. Then step in the shower and slather your body with the honey cream, massaging in your skin slowly. Then wash it off with a hot, relaxing shower
To be creative means to be in love with life.
You can be creative only if you love life enough
that you want to enhance its beauty,
you want to bring a little more music to it,
a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
This retreat is about letting your creative muses out to play with your inner child. Play is, of course, the key word. Without play our lives become dry and brittle. When we play, it is easy to step out of the comfort zone into that garden of possibility.
It makes sense, then, to bring to this retreat the art of being playful, being bold and sucking the juiciness out of the fruit of the moment.
Put on some music that speaks to your heart. If you can, go outside. If not, try to face a window. Curl your toes into the ground and fling your arms wide open. Imagine your heart opening to the sun. Breathe. Stay here for a moment and contemplate the question, “What would it take for me to feel fully alive?” Relax your back, your neck and arms. Let out a deep breath with a heart-felt “ahhhh.”
Now, tune into the music. Start to click your fingers and sway your hips. Feeling awkward? Don’t worry; no one needs to know that you did this. For all they know you spent the day organizing your closet. This is absolutely your time alone. Dare. Breathe, close your eyes. Picture yourself as that wild child living in the lush abandon of your imagination.
Visualize the music swelling in that place in your body where your most powerful life energy and inspiration grows. It might be your brain, your throat, your heart or your solar plexus. Wherever it is, allow the music to swell sweetly in that spot and move throughout your body.
Allow the music and energy to move you. Forget about “dancing”, forget trying to do anything consciously. Just tie into the music and move. Gyrate, pirouette, leap, grind and feel fully alive.
When you feel like you are satiated, pick up your journal and, without thinking, write everything you can think of to complete this sentence, “To be fully alive I could…” Feel the energy that still courses through your body and write without restraint. Finish with three slow “ahhs” or other sounds from your belly.
Breathe and check your balance. Ask yourself, “What do I want to do next?” Follow your instincts. Your life is your greatest creative work. Approach it with the innocence of a child, the compassion of a parent and the fearlessness of both.
Torri’s book is available for purchase here.