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“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”
– Martha Graham

One of the projects I loved the most is the interviews I’ve done with many remarkable women. It is rewarding and exciting. Not only do I learn a lot from them and their stories, but I also can share their work with others. This opportunity feels like an uplifting and win-win situation. I like to think of the butterfly effect and that these women’s work may become more visible thanks to these interviews and that, in this way, they can also help more people. This gives me a lot of joy.

I also learnt something else in this process of interviewing women.

Most conversations occur on Facebook Lives, but I usually also upload them on YouTube. However, I still need to learn how to edit the videos. So, whatever we record, goes online as it is.
Moreover, I only know a little about doing podcasts, and the conversations have been genuinely informal and casual. Last week, when I spoke to Caroline Carey. I was exhausted, and we had some tech issues. And part of me was tempted to say that what I did was not good enough. ‘Oh Laura, you could have asked better questions; you could have been more professional; people will see you were not in top form! etc.’ (such an old friend, this inner critic!) But I also knew I had to let go of perfection in this process!
So let me tell you this. Whatever you are playing with, done is better than perfect! If you wait for perfection, you may make excuses and not nurture things you love and care for. And others may suffer too as a result of it.

Caroline and I spoke about women’s empowerment during the postmenopausal years, wisdom and creativity.
One of the most important things that emerged in our conversation was the reframing of the definition of creativity.

Often women believe they are not creative. Many get overwhelmed and feel they don’t have enough time to pursue their creativity as they look after their children or ageing parents.
Others put a lot of pressure on themselves and associate creativity only with arts, pottery and crafts, a finite product, making music, selling something and making money with it, mastering an instrument, writing a book or being a poet. While these are all great creative endeavours (please, don’t get me wrong, keep doing your stuff if that is your way!), there is a fundamental aspect that many often dismiss. A simple way to nurture, reclaim and enhance one’s creativity is to find it in the little things. It is also about getting juicy while you cook, tidy up your house, walk your dog, speak to your partner or take care of your plants.
Every moment you can ask yourself if you are stuck in an old belief and image of yourself or if you are willing to start anew and embrace a growth stance and mindset (vs a rigid one).
And this will allow you to have a beginner’s mind, be at ease and enjoy starting something new, and learn without expecting from yourself, for example, to use pencils and colours like an accomplished painter!

Many people are so hurt by past experiences and childhood traumas that shot down their imagination.
For example, it is common to remember teachers yelling at us, saying we could not do something well.
You may also recall the moment you gave up something you loved, thinking you were not good enough or there was something more important to do.
You may not have received enough validation or support.

Moreover, I know it can be challenging to make space for creativity for those struggling with menopausal symptoms or hardships in life. Nevertheless, today, I invite you to be open and curious and connect to that part of you that is resourced or your Higher Self, if you wish.

So my love letter today is about finding simple ways to reclaim creativity in daily life. Whether that is about getting a new plant in your apartment, putting some music on while you wash the dishes, getting some clothes from a second-hand shop that suits your personality more or talking to yourself more gently when the inner critic is kicking, I invite you to embrace the possibility to open yourself as a channel, so your creative juices can flow and move through you. You can play with the idea that you can channel something that wants to be expressed through you.
In the book Big Magic, I remember that Elizabeth Gilbert spoke about how sometimes ideas live in the Ether. We may need to open our senses to catch them from their tale and bring them down to Earth!

Here are 3 simple tips to enhance your creativity.
Please remember that this is an invitation to slow down and listen to yourself and your inner wisdom.
So here we go…

1) A. Describe somebody (a friend or public figure) whose creativity you admire with as many details and adjectives as possible.
What do you love about them? Write about them in the third person (i.e. X/W/Z is funny, talented, cooks wonderfully, is full of energy, has an alive imagination, has a strong and flexible body, wears vibrant colours, is bold & quirky, etc.).

B. Now, write the same list in the first person. (i.e. I am funny, talented, etc.)

C. You don’t have to believe all you wrote in the first person.
This is not about creating unrealistic affirmations. But it is about noticing what resonates with you and how that reverberates in your body. And it is about making space for qualities that already exist within you or that need more gentle tending.
How do you feel when you read this piece written in ‘I’ form? Excited? Sad? Energised? What do you experience in your body? Is it pleasurable?

D. Choose something/ a quality from the list you resonate with the most and want to cultivate in yourself and find a simple action step coherent with it. (i.e. you may buy a new cookery book, wear a bright colour, go to an open mic event, read your poem in front of a group, try a gym subscription or go to a dance class etc.).
Remember? Every small steps matter. And there is no right or wrong here. It is an exploration.

This is a powerful and inspiring exercise. The first time I did it, I could not fully own some qualities, even if I had glimpses of them.

2) Spend some time outdoors in a place you love.
In our anthropocentric modern culture, we often forget that many magnificent living beings around us can teach us many valuable lessons if we are willing to receive their messages.
Professor & author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer, says trees were storytellers before divinity was chased out of the forests and forced into churches. She reminds us of the intelligence of animals and insects.

So I invite you to find some stillness to open your senses and immerse yourself in the experience.

Can you allow yourself to be humble and learn from trees’ roots?
Can you empty yourself to listen to the storytelling of the insects around you?
Can you include the intelligence of other beings?
Can you open up your body as an antenna or musical instrument?
What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel on your skin?
What can you learn from your non – humans kins?

3) A. Make a list of 15 things you love and find pleasurable.
Write without censorship. Give full attention to this task.

In the Artists’ Way, Julia Cameron speaks about her grandmother, who used to write long and detailed letters.
She said that her grandma could be immersed in life’s ebbs and flows thanks to her capacity to be present with the details around her and to give attention to little things.
And she also says that pleasure is a gift that stems from attention.
And the gift of attention also allows us to live a more connected life.
This way, we can become co-creators with life. We can become more active participants and engage with life more profoundly rather than being just spectators or victims.
Cameron writes extensively that creativity is rooted in our daily life and reality. It is not something separated from it. When we make space to meet ourselves and give attention to details, we can also find our uniqueness and originality. And that originality is so when it is specific!

Chekhov said: ‘If you want to work on your art (and creativity!), work on your life!’

Caroline Carey also, in the interview, speaks about the importance of finding what gives us joy.

B. Pick up at least two things from the list above and dedicate some time to nurture them!

You may notice more synchronicities if you become familiar with these simple practices.
Or you may have more gut feelings and heightened states of awareness.
Also, keep a diary to track what is happening!

Let me know how this lands! I hope this helps.