Basics - Learn Something New

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lily heaton

Lily is a writer, photographer and allround creative. For more of Lily's work visit www.lilyheaton.com. Follow Lily on Instagram to keep up with her daily (creative) life: @lilywanderlust

As freelancers, we’re in a constant flow of hustling new projects and simultaneously pumping out awesome ideas for our current clients, while networking and staying active with business development. Spending a lot of energy focused on one project or working in one medium may leave your mind and spirit in need of some diversity and inspiration in order to maintain functioning at top speed.

I am here to encourage you to embark on an adventure by trying something different. Similar to practicing mindfulness, this experience is all about letting go and stepping away from work. This is your chance to jump out of your comfort zone, by wandering down a different path, you’ll be able to experience and explore without any work-related pressure on your mind. Better yet, you don’t need a lot of time or money; the only thing required is a solid commitment to expanding your horizon. As your thoughts shift and focus purely on the experience, you're able to relax your mind and use your imagination in a new way. This will bring positivity into your spirit, and subsequently info your business.

Making art is good for your heart

Whether you want to try your hand at sculpture or write a song, being creative for the sake of being creative, has positive effects, no matter your medium of choice. Doing something artistic is scientifically linked to decreasing anxiety and stress. These benefits are strengthened with an increase in positive emotions (HuffPost). In fact, studies claim that engaging in creative behavior is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly (Psychology Today).

As briefly pointed out above, embracing a different outlet allows your mind to relax, allowing your thoughts and ideas to flow more freely. This may help you to brainstorm more efficiently or discover your next great idea for a client by working in a completely different medium than you do normally. And remember: the goal is to fully engage an experience and not worry about the outcome.

Take a step back

This creative exercise is completely personal, based on your own curiosities and experiences. This is your chance to dig deep and embrace challenges that you haven’t conquered yet. Don’t be intimidated because telling your story through art - written, visual or culinary - requires some vulnerability. Painter Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “to create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.” Go ahead and get your hands dirty because a colorful, creative garden requires effort and patience before it will begin to blossom.

Find the right fit

The brilliant thing about jumping into a different direction is that you’ve embarked on a journey along the open road of learning. This is, unfortunately something we easily disengage from once we’ve grown into the demanding world of adulthood. Sometimes, the simple act of doing something different is all you need to find new inspiration and motivation. Joining an art, dance or cooking class is a great way to engage with other curious minds while learning from an expert. Or take matters into your own hands and find directions for a DIY project to make something yourself. I recently visited a local apple orchard, spent an afternoon picking fruit, which inspired me to cook a delicious dinner for friends. Trying a new skill doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on music lessons, expensive art supplies or an around-the-world journey. It is definitely possible to expand your imagination with new experiences while staying local and on a budget. For example, you could walk around the park and sketch what you see. If you’re feeling bold, strike up a conversation with your neighbor and write your observations into a short story.

Getting started

Take a moment to think about something that you’ve always had in mind but never found the time to try. Maybe it’s something a bit daunting like sharing spoken word poetry with an audience or it could be as simple as taking 30 minutes of quiet time to color. Perhaps you’ve been waiting to try a Portuguese cooking class or lend a hand at a community garden? How about trying in a new fitness class like trampoline jumping or pick up supplies at a gardening store and plant your own mini herb garden. The whole point is to step away from work and immerse into a new experience. Keeping your mind open and working in a different direction will naturally bring a little more creativity into your everyday life.

New experiences are everywhere, ready and waiting to be explored. So, what are you waiting for? Sometimes letting go does far more for you than holding on tight. Your mind, body and business will thank you. Have you recently tried something new to expand your creativity? Let me know, I am curious to hear about your creative adventures!