Release the (Creative) Kraken
Lately I've been trying to take more opportunities to be creative. Sometimes that means sitting for hours and writing until my fingers start bleeding and I can no longer understand the English language. Other times I simply go off-recipe and add a few different spices to whatever I happen to be cooking. Whatever I end up doing, being creative helps me not only mix things up a bit but also forces me to become more in-tune with myself.
Creativity and intuition often go hand in hand, and practicing one can help sharpen the other. When I free-write, for instance, I take 10 minutes or so and write without stopping, trusting that somewhere in the resulting mess my mind will have thrown out a few ideas that were rattling around in my subconscious. Then it's just a matter of fleshing those ideas out and creating a poem or short story or whatnot. In turn, the more I write—or cook or edit photos or read tarot—the more free my mind becomes, and the more comfortable I feel trusting my gut.
Ever since I was little, even before I knew what intuition actually was, my mom always told me to listen to that little voice in the back of my head. If I was thinking or feeling a certain way, she would tell me to explore that thought or feeling and make decisions not just with my head but with my heart. I've been honing my intuition for years, but you can never be too in-tune with your inner self, so I'm always looking for ways to be an even better listener.
Writing has always been my go-to creative outlet, but lately I've been trying other things too like adult coloring books (which, by the way, are freaking awesome). You'd be surprised how the simple act of coloring can take you into a meditative state. Maybe our subconscious minds recognize the activity and revert back to a childlike state. Maybe the repetitious motion of coloring itself lulls us into a state of calm that, for some, is not as easily achieved through traditional meditation. Whatever the reason, coloring is peaceful, and that quietness that creeps into my mind helps me listen to the softer parts of myself, making it easier to know when I need to do some yoga or take a bath or indulge in a little retail therapy to center myself again. Or, occasionally, the quietness simply says "thank you" for taking time to myself.
Intuition is all about listening—to our minds, to our bodies, to our souls. It's hard to listen, though, if we feel insecure or unworthy. Engaging in some kind of creative activity for no other reason than because it's fun and because we want to helps us let go of that fear and open up to the invitation our subconscious is sending us. So the next time you feel like you can't understand what your body's trying to tell you or you're not sure why you're experiencing a certain emotion, get your butt down to Barnes & Noble, pick up one of their amazing adult coloring books, and get to work.