(Copied from original post found at https://www.micheleduncanking.com/blog)

Do you feel like you’re the natural artistic type or is finding creativity a challenge for you?

In the Enneagram personality model, I’m a Point 4.  Different interpretations of the Enneagram refer to Point 4 as “The Romantic,” “The Individualist,” – and “The Artist.”  When I’m speaking with other people who know the Enneagram system and I tell them I’m a Point 4, usually the first thing they ask me is “Are you an artist?”

I don’t believe I am particularly artistic and I definitely don’t consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination.  (I resonate more with the Romantic and Individualist descriptions found in the Point 4.)

However, in the Essence vs. Form (TM) processes I study with Laura Lavigne and also use in my coaching practice, one of the five Core Essences I identify in myself is Creativity.

Not identifying as an artist but identifying as creative piqued my interest in personal development.  To start, I simply looked up the definition of “artist” and the definition of “creativity” in the dictionary.  They both say just about the same thing: “…create with imagination and skill and express important ideas or feelings”!

My basic understanding is in the art world, it's common knowledge that repetition, pattern, and rhythm are types of art principles.  Repetition refers to one object or shape that is repeated.  Pattern is a combination of shapes repeated in a recurring and regular arrangement.  Rhythm is a combination of shapes repeated, but with variations to the pattern.

Stippling, mandalas, zentangle, quilting – even the designs found on ancient vases all have repetition, pattern, and rhythm.

And there’s my favorite example, the Fibonacci Sequence, which is a mathematical ratio or as I see it rhythm found in flowers, pinecones, nautilus shells, hurricanes, and galaxies.  There is no denying that Mother Nature is an artist.

Having a deeper understanding of art principles helped me to embrace my creative nature. Although I don’t have any works shown in galleries and I don’t paint en plein air, I use repetition, pattern, and rhythm when I knit, sew, make malas, and weave zen rocks out of basketry material.

So the next time someone asks me if I am an artist, I am going to say, “Why, YES, I am!  I love to be creative! It's one of my Core Essences!”

Here are five ways I have found to spark creativity:

PICK YOUR TIME OF DAY:  For me, my creative time is in the early morning while the house is still asleep and the sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon.  It’s such a peaceful time for me to sit with a cup of hot coffee and wake up slowly while listening to the surf, birds, and chipmunk chatter in the tree outside my deck door.I have found that it is in the quiet of nature that I am able to be the most creative, before I start thinking about emails coming in, checkbooks to balance, and phone calls to make.  It is the time when I write my Morning Pages, think about projects I might undertake, set intentions, and begin to create my day.

GET IT OUT OF YOUR HEAD:  When I want to manifest something, I sometimes get overwhelmed because although I have a general idea of what I want to do, it feels like a pinball machine in my brain until I can express it somehow.  Abundance is everywhere and that includes thoughts! It’s certainly not for lack of options of what to do and sometimes making decisions is hard.  It’s when I feel I am spinning my wheels in the mud I either pencil my idea out freeform, write it down, collage or make a vision board.  The process of doing the brain dump helps me see things clearer when it’s right in front of me and I can see it.

RECOGNIZE THE BEAUTY THAT IS AROUND YOU: Sometimes when I am feeling especially creative, I can begin to see pictures in everyday things, like the patterns in the tile in the bathroom shower, the grain in wood, or out on my walk as I see the designs in the sand from the tidewater.  Take note of the patterns that are available in nature and use it as a springboard for your next project!

(Side note:  I found it interesting to learn that there’s a word to describe seeing faces in inanimate objects.  Pareidolia can cause people to interpret random images or patterns of light and shadow as facesof people and animals!) 

VISUALIZATION MEDITATION:  Sit in comfortable quiet for the sole (or soul) purpose of thinking about what you want to make.  For example, if you want to design a costume, what color will it be?  What will it feel like?  How will you put it on, with buttons or a zipper?  Can you repurpose something you already have?  What shoes will you wear?  What feelings do you want to evoke when you’re wearing it and what reactions do you want to elicit from others who see you in it?  Use all your senses for a visualization meditation.

LISTEN TO MUSIC:  While most people would probably say classical music puts them in a creative state, I personally like new age and techno music that has a steady beat! I imagine the electronic beat mimics the sound of my heartbeat and it makes it possible for me to focus, find my breath, get centered, and tap into the creative juices.

I hope you find these ideas helpful.  I'd love to see a comment about how you find your creativity.

What would you like to create today?

Essentially yours ~
Michele