Design Yourself a Creative Life NOW!

Design Yourself a Creative Life NOW!

By: Ali Schofield

I read a quote by D.F. Uchtdorf recently that said, “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” It made me think about how little time we humans actually spend creating, especially considering how important it is for our souls. The thing is, we actually need to be creative if we really want to thrive. Whether you want to get into your “zone of genius,” have more fun or find a million new ideas for a project, the answer is always going to come from you inviting more creativity into your life.

Flex that creative funny-bone of yours and you’ll immediately start to see all kinds of benefits! There’s a reason most kids are happier than adults – they spend so many hours in a day simply being creative – trying things out and playing with different ideas. It’s time you time you took a few lessons from the young ones!

Here’s a few easy ideas that you can use to start designing a more creative life, right now!

PUT ON SOME UPBEAT MUSIC WHEN YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING

Dance around the house as you start your day – whether you’re a good dancer or not! Start singing in the shower and get more of your creative juices flowing! Those happy vibes will trigger “feel good” chemicals in your brain and your stress will decrease, making your thoughts clearer. This will bring you more in-tune with unique ideas and inspiration.

STEP OUT OF YOUR ROUTINE AND ADD SOMETHING NOVEL TO YOUR DAY

Routines can be good but too many can transform your day from magical to mundane. You really need to add some “spice” to your life each and every day. Anytime you can take yourself off autopilot, you’ll be opening yourself up a whole new world. Take the long way home instead of your usual route. Maybe you’ll meet an interesting person (or love interest??) or even a new friend. You might notice a cool shop or market that you can explore. Give yourself an opportunity to experience a sense of adventure because you won’t be able to predict what will happen or where you might find yourself. This will lead to excitement, positive anticipation and happiness–all good things for the body, mind and soul!

INTERACT WITH AT LEAST ONE DIFFERENT HUMAN EVERY DAY

You probably do interact with a human every day but can you honestly say it’s a human you particularly enjoy? Some of us have a whole host of different human beings we wouldn’t choose to engage with if we had the choice so why not broaden your horizons a little and reach out to someone you might not normally talk to or get in touch with. Maybe it’s the security guard in your building or someone you haven’t heard from in awhile. It could be someone much older or younger than you or someone who has a totally different perspective than you do. Being open to listening and hearing someone else’s story can actually shift the way you see things. It can even allow you to look at yourself and your experiences differently. Engaging in self-reflection is actually a way to help you come to new ideas, understandings and creative possibilities.

HOW CAN YOU PLAY?

Can you remember the last time you played, painted or tinkered with something? If not, then it’s definitely time to start playing! Think about what activities spark joy for you now or even when you were a child. Most of us adults stop playing and that means we drastically reduce the amount of fun in our lives. Reconnect to some of the activities you used to enjoy and give yourself at least 15 minutes each day to experience them. Yes, that probably means putting your devices away but you’ll be glad you did. If you can sit on social media for long periods of time, you can probably find a short block in your day for play. Even if you can’t think of any activity or hobby, just start with a simple paper and pencil. Make some squiggles, stars and shapes on the page and you’ll be surprised how satisfying that can actually be! When you play, you’re not only having fun but you’re amplifying feelings of well-being and positive emotions. You can literally shift your mental state from pressured and tense to mindful and energized. You can feel happy, healthy and full of creative zest with just a little dose of play.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN YOU GET MORE CREATIVE?

With just a few of these quick tips added into your day, you’ll start to open yourself up to a state of “flow.” Flow states happen when you find yourself “in the zone.” That’s when your sense of time seems to diminish and you notice yourself energized and feeling powerful and motivated. Ideas seem to come out of nowhere and solutions pop-up into your consciousness like magic. In a flow state, you’ll probably find yourself doing your best work and with the most pleasure and satisfaction.

Instead of letting life happen to you, or sitting on autopilot stressed and stifled, why not decide to feed your soul with some creative juice? All you need is a few small changes to your day and before you know it, you’re happier, healthier, and you’re doing the best work of your life!

Get on it!

Ali Schofield is one of the Co-Founders of InspiredHUMNS. She always makes it a priority to try new things every day and loves exploring whenever she can. InspiredHUMNS curates unique and creative experiences so that you can meet new people, get inspired and learn new things! We are a Toronto-based community of intellectually-curious people who love deep conversations and inspiring work. Be sure to sign up to our mailing list and visit our “experiences” page for upcoming events!

Just Get Started!

Just Get Started!

By: Ali Schofield

Sometimes opportunity knocks but you don’t want to answer the door.

I’m a very social person who always needs to be part of an active community. Don’t get me wrong–I love my alone time too but I have a strong need to be around deep thinkers, debaters and problem-solvers. Coming to Toronto from Dubai, where I’d been for 13 years; I’d grown used to attending so many different events, numerous times a week. It was a vibrant lifestyle where you could easily meet like-minded and inspiring people.

I immediately found Toronto a bit of a “cold” city in comparison. Most people seem to disappear into their homes after work and socializing on weekdays doesn’t really seem to be a thing. This makes it quite hard to meet new friends. Luckily, one day I ventured out to an amazing talk at the Harbourfront Centre-not having been there before-and I happened to meet Muryani there. She and I seemed to get on like a house-on-fire right away! I could see she was a fascinating person that I definitely wanted to get to know. One thing I should tell you about Muryani is that she is a super-connecter and a seasoned networker. Before we’d even left the event, she had already exchanged contact details with all of the people we were chatting with and she even booked a meet-up the following week! Soon after, she sent out an invite for an event she was organizing. Of course, I went to that event with bells on (desperately happy to have somewhere to go and people to talk to!). I was amazed at how she’d managed to pull together such a fabulous evening of storytelling and networking AND with really interesting people! Once the pandemic hit, she hosted another online event that was just as outstanding. I could see that she had a great vision and the kind of talent it takes to bring people together.

Back in my corner of town, I still wasn’t having much luck branching out or meeting many other interesting people, aside from my Uber-drivers. More and more, I started noticing the large number of people that were eating alone at restaurants. I kept hearing neighbours tell me they were lonely in Toronto and that they weren’t sure if it was the place for them. I think this was the story I kept telling myself and somehow it seemed to be mirrored right back at me. I was feeling isolated and started to notice everyone else around me seemed to be lonely too. How could things be different, I wondered? It seemed like there were so many people here trying to find their tribe! I continued scouring all kinds of events and activities-looking for places where like-minded humans might be hiding. Even after going to a few more lukewarm events, there still seemed to be no further signs of life…anywhere!

I went on to complain to my friends across the globe about my sorry situation here. They kept telling me to stop whining and instead, do something about it. Secretly, I just wanted to burrow under a blanket. Why should I always have to create new things? I’m already a busy social entrepreneur! Honestly, I just want to finish my work at the end of the day then get out to some already-organized events where I can relax and meet other like-minded people authentically. That was the ideal plan! Why should I stretch myself any further than that?

One day, after meeting with Muryani again over coffee, we talked about her events and how powerfully engaging they were. I said she really had to continue doing them-they were just so outstanding. Then, she asked me if I wanted to help her organize them. Even though I hadn’t at all seen myself taking on anything extra, something inside me said, “Just do it!” I just knew I had to do this with her, all signs were pointing straight at me! I actually felt a surge of energy for this new opportunity–a chance to co-create a new community and solve a problem that many other people here are facing – not just me. After we came up with our name and our brand, I felt aligned and dare I say…inspired?

Sometimes in life, you might just find that your biggest problem can become a beautiful opportunity. Remember though, you just have to be willing to open that door when you hear the knocking.

InspiredHUMNS is an amazing community of intellectually-curious people who love TEDTalks, deep conversations and inspiring work as entrepreneurs and innovators. You’ll enjoy high-quality, curated experiences where InspiredHUMNS can connect meaningfully in Toronto. Be sure to join our mailing list to hear all about our upcoming experiences or visit our ‘Experiences’ page on our site. We can’t wait to meet you!