Self-Guided Practices to Nurture Creativity

Anne Berube
Self-Guided Practices to Nurture Creativity

In the creative cycle, the Inner Winter is the initiation and incubation phase. It is the time to retreat, tune in, and allow yourself to receive the inspiration without taking action—yet.

Giving ourselves space and silence to allow this process to happen enables us to receive the inspiration for the next phase and incubate it in our being so that, much like a baby, it can build in energy before we birth it into the world.

As a creative, I’m aware that there is a time when I should hold the seeds of a new idea or creation close to my heart and nurture them carefully, keeping them safe from the hard frost of other people’s opinions and criticism.

The energy of the Inner Winter is not linear or logical. When we are in this inner season, we may find ourselves moving in spirals, circling around something, and returning to the same spot repeatedly as we do when we walk a labyrinth.

For this reason, it’s important to allow yourself to be fully in the mystery of this phase. To accept that ‘I don’t have all the answers’ and to allow those answers to unfold in their own time, without trying to force anything.

Of all the seasons, we are closest to the Goddess when we are in our Inner Winter, and can allow ourselves to be moved by Her. But we first have to let ourselves inhabit this liminal space where the doors to our intuition are open so that we can hear Her whispers and receive Her guidance. We must surrender to the wisdom of the fertile void, for it is in the void that new life begins.

Here are two self-guided practices to nurture your creativity during this very special time. 

#1: Nurture inner creativity through journal writing

Here are some journaling questions:

  • Is there rest, relaxation, and quiet time in your daily routine?
  • Can you slow down at will? Can you stop "doing" and be still?
  • Can you clean up, clarify and cleanse murky or stagnant situations?
  • Are you building up your mental/emotional/physical reserves, or are you letting yourself get depleted?
  • Do you feel scattered?
  • Do you feel you have access to your energy, wisdom, and emotions?

#2: Get grounded using a simple breathing practice

Please also explore the accompanying audio meditation, "A Simple Breath," available at the top of this blog post. Instructions are provided below: 

Find a comfortable seat and close your eyes and just breathe naturally.

Bring your attention to the present moment and begin to count your breath. Count the first inhalation as one and the exhalation as two and so on.

Breathe in while you count one, breathe out while you count two. Breathe in three, four so forth. Start over when you reach 10.

Between the in- and out-breath, rest the mind. Pay special attention to the stillness between each breath.

Whenever your mind wanders go back to one and continue to count the breaths you can go back to one when you lose count.

You can return to one whenever any thoughts arise even if it hasn't distracted you from the counting.

Continue this practice for a few minutes. Let a few minutes go by and when you're ready you can open your eyes. 

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