Monday, August 16, 2010

A Relaxed Mind

My name is Marie Young. I believe everyone has a creative spark, but sometimes life pees on it. I write
a blog “Creative Sprinkle,” to help people reignite their spark. I find exploring the broader topic of
creativity helps me design for my online shop, Young Creative.


“A relaxed mind is a creative mind.”

This is my favorite quote on creativity. It is attributed to Yogi Bhajan, but I’m ashamed to admit that I
discovered it in a fortune cookie.
While I love this quote, “relaxed” is not my natural state of being. I am one of those task-oriented
people who work extremely well under a deadline. A relaxed mind was a foreign concept to me until
recently.

Those of you running a creative business while balancing a home life probably identify with the image
of a superwoman, flying from one cry for help to another, accomplishing amazing feats. It is a proud
banner to wear, yet it is also an exhausting one.

No question, we all have to get things done. The problem comes in when we live every day in high
production mode. A frenzied mind has a harder time coming up with fresh ideas. It is also far more
prone to burn-out.

There are two paths I routinely walk to find my relaxed mind: one that purges the mind and one that
stimulates it.

Purge the Mind
This where you take a break and clear your head, the closer to burn-out you are the longer the break
may need to be. Here are some of my favorite mind-purging activities.

1. Meditate: This can be as simple as sitting in your garden or staring into a fire. Start with 5

minutes and gradually increase the time.

2. Take a walk: Concentrate on your surroundings. If you mind wanders back to your to-do-list

gently redirect it.

3. Capture thoughts: Find a trusted way of capturing ideas and to-do-list items, so you can get

them down on paper and give your brain a break.

4. Clean: Physical clutter adds to mental clutter. Put on some lively music and clear those cluttered

thoughts away.

5. Fast: Take a short fast from social media and other mental energy zappers. Set aside social

media free times to give your brain a rest.
Simulate the Mind
Once your mind is calm, it becomes a powerful receptacle for new ideas. Stimulating your mind can help
you see things in a new light.

1. Seek new inspiration: Men’s ties provide great inspiration for my jewelry. Does something

outside of your specialty catch your eye? Is there something there that you can adapt?

2. Stimulate the senses: Essential oils are a good source for mental stimulation. A couple drops of

peppermint oil in a bowl of water near my workspace does wonders.

3. Take a mini retreat: When you feel open to some major brainstorming, arrange some dedicated

time for it. Sit in your special place and allow yourself to dream, sketch, and jot things down. No
computer and no distractions.

All of these suggestions are simple in theory, but it will take some patience on your part before
you see results. Start small and slowly add one or two into your routine and build up from there.

What techniques do you use to purge or stimulate your mind?
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