Our Creative Hacks
'I am not a creative person.' This was something Janie used to say to herself and believe for far too long. She would hear other people say it back to her far too many times and it was only until she understood that, creativity is the ability to express oneself in whatever way they wanted that she discovered it was a quality she possessed and everyone else too for that matter.
Creating isn't reserved exclusively for great writers, artists and musicians; nor is it limited to the 'right-brain' myth that has people believing they can only ever be an accountant if they like numbers. Psychological studies have shown that the creative process 'is a dynamic interplay of emotions and our conscious and unsconcious processing systems' and actually, being creative draws on the whole brain.
When we speak about creating the life you desire, we say that you have to shape your world according to who you are - what you love, what you're good at. It is therefore a process that comes from within (the internal work to see who you are), as well as from outside (to learn and practice new skills). By signing up for the RECREATE YOU™ programme, you will be given a framework to do both the internal and external work - a roadmap basically, to help you learn a cool new skill. Below you'll find a few of our favourite creative hacks that help inspire us to practice being creative and also overcome any challenges.
1 / HEADSPACE MEDITATION APP
Simply put, Headspace is the simple way to reframe stress. Andy Puddicombe, the voice and mindfulness expert behind Headspace 'is said to be doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver did for food'. We second that! It's SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE and FUN. It's not only beautifully designed but the endless library of meditation packs are so interesting they have us hooked. You can learn basic techniques that will bring calm, well-being and balance to your life in just a few minutes a day by signing up for the FREE 10-day beginner's course; and after that, subscribe and gain access the full Headspace meditation library where you can train your mind with hundreds of guided meditations on everything from stress to sleep, anxiety to relationships, training and communication, happiness and change. The annual subscription works out to less than R100 a month (we drop more cash on our daily coffee) and the with the on-the-go exercises like mindful eating, sleep sounds, kids meditation and SOS sessions, the benefit is HUGE because it helps us skilfully manage moments when we're feeling overwhelmed, helping you and everyone around you as a result.
2 / PHOTO SHARING APPS: INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST AND tumblr
A beautiful photo can evoke something in you, the desire to travel, to dream big, to save up for something you've always wanted or to help you set goals and remind you to keep working for them. For us, it's not just about the material things (even though there's nothing wrong with desiring that) but it's more about the important feelings you are desiring by association. For example: what does well-being and happiness look like to you? Is it bold, confident and no nonsense... or is if barefoot and free with unlimited possibility?
Visualization is a very important tool that you can use to help you achieve your goals and we explore this in more detail in the ENLIVEN GUIDED SERIES. To help you get started we've carefully curated over 1000 images on Enliven's Pinterest account with beautiful storyboards for you to explore across our well-being, life + style, travel, inspired by categories for both him and her.
3 / BEAUTIFUL MAGAZINES AND BOOKS
There is nothing quite like passing time quietly between the inspiring pages of a beautiful book or magazine. The styling, the artistry of some of the world's finest creatives, writers and photographers. Here at Enliven, we appreciate how busy our lives can be and that is why it's so necessary to escape and fuel our own creative fires. Net-a-Porter's Porter magazine has been instrumental in inspiring the way we present a lot of the work we do here. The fact that it's bi-monthly makes it eagerly anticipated and we'd like to take a similar approach in the way our website engages with you - journaling meaningful articles with punchy updates rather than menial daily postsbecause we know you're busy and this work is important. Conde Nast Traveller and Cereal Magazine and Travel Guides inspire our desire to feel renewed and reenergised through beautiful escapes and of course, there are many more titles, books and collectors pieces that we will profile in our Inspired By section over time.
4 / finding cool podcasts
These days, it seems to take longer to get anywhere doesn't it? Instead of dreading your daily commute, why not wake up a little earlier, download a cool podcast while making your morning smoothie or coffee to-go and head out onto the road, taking another route even if it is a little longer. Take in the views, take in what you're listening to. It's bound to make for great conversation and let's face it, it's better than letting the traffic bum you out. Try out:
- Armchair Expert is Dax Shepard's new podcast that celebrating the messiness of being human. It celebrates the challenges that often lead to personal betterment and success of many A-listers like Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen Degeneres and in this episode, he debuts the show chatting to his wife Kristen Bell. It's candid, funny (and explicit at times) but it is also revealing and dips into why visualisation and our thoughts and emotions are so critical in attracting the opportunities we desire - like Dax dreaming of being interviewed by David Letterman, Ashton Kutcher scribbling on a piece of paper that he would make it in Hollywood as an actor and so on... it's something different.
- Girl Boss Radio: expect hilarious co-hosts and vulnerable, honest conversations about redefining "success" that you won't hear anywhere else.
- Ted Talks for thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable, every week.
5 / music
Platforms like Apple Music and Spotify have made curating playlists and discovering music pleasurable and fun. We connect with it on such a universal level; it can take us back in time to our earlier years or another era. It can transport us to different parts of the world (Africa, South America, Ibiza); it can soothe and calm us down or build up cinematic intrigue and adrenalin. Unlike the nostalgia of the music we know, disrupting the ordinary by exploring new talent and new styles - instrumental jazz or Indie Folk - well, it can take us forward. It can create a new atmosphere even if it's temporary. It's interesting observing other creatives and lyricists do there thing. We recommend making playlists with funny names '80s Hits' is just so boring. If you titled your playlist like you would say, a movie, you start to curate the soundrack accordingly. Quentin Tarantino, the famed Hollywood Director behind Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, always starts with the personality of the song in the opening credit sequence to set the rythym of the film. As a result, he's produced some of the most iconic scenes of all time so why not, Tarantino your playlists, look into cool concerts and dance like no-one is watching on rooftops or around your house.
6 / change YOUR scenery, inside and out
If you find yourself in a creative rut and you're fighting for the ideas to come, step A-W-A-Y. Take the performance element out of it and free your mind to be open and spacious. Don't look at your phone. Rather, get outside and take notice of everything around you on a sensory level. Feel the sun and breeze on your skin, smell the sea air, taste the flavour of that instagrammable cup of coffee and pause a moment to hear the sounds of the chatter in the cafe, notice what music is playing. Take in information slowly and pause to consider it. Connect with your breath, do a yoga class or go for a run. Trust that by doing this you are freeing your ideas and they will come.
It also helps to spring clean your space. A freshly wiped counter, neatly organised desk or even a little redecorating can work wonders - move your furniture around or buy a new plant. Sarah has been known to take this to the extreme: "it's true" she laughs, "I have personally painted every house I've ever lived in, much to my landlords delight. There's something very cathartic and satisfying about being a part of that process, almost as if it is an exchange, inviting fresh new energy in to flood that space. It creates mood and atmosphere and that's when I feel most inspired to be creative."