When you feel lacking in inspiration, each of the 5 senses (plus one bonus one) can be used to fire your amazing imagination.
Some days I don’t feel inspired. My brain feels like mush and every thought screams at me to give up. So how do I get from that to firing my imagination and feeling inspired? By exciting each of my senses.
This is the one I naturally go to.
My husband has an addiction to buying house plants. Every room in our house is filled with them. It’s great and I love him for them. Plants have also been shown to aid creativity by 15%. My desk has a variety of small potted plants and they remind me that growth happens invisibly, day by day.
I love the sound of silence.
Unfortunately, my husband prefers background music. As the end of year approaches he’s going to be enjoying his infinite playlist of Christmas songs. All day. Every day. Thank goodness for noise-cancelling headphones.
If I want to inspire myself with music, I choose either classical music or movie soundtracks. Something without lyrics that can activate the mood without distracting me.
“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
― William Cowper, The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper
Being British, tea is my beverage of choice and a good cup of tea nourishes the creative soul. If I’m feeling stuck, I stick the kettle on.
Living in Australia, however, coffee now also has a special place in my day. A skinny flat white can stimulate me with a caffeine boost if I feel I’m flagging.
Keeping my balls in the air.
Bored on a holiday as a child, I decided to teach myself to juggle. We were playing tennis. Whilst my dad and brother played I game, I picked up the spare balls and tried to throw them from hand to hand. It took me two weeks to manage a 3 ball cascade. Hot tip — stand over a bed so you don’t have to keep bending down to pick them up!
It was one of the best things I ever did. Juggling got me through my university degree. Once you learn to juggle, the process becomes automatic and your hands go where they are needed. The repetitive process shuts down the chatter in the brain and stimulates right-brain creative thinking.
A candle is the superhero of sense stimulation.
Scented candles are an easy way to generate a mood. I’m writing this with a West Indian Lime & Coconut candle burning. The smell is exquisite.
But a candle offers so much more. Staring into a flickering flame can hypnotise me into a daydream of ideas.
“Light a campfire and everyone’s a storyteller”
― John J Geddes
And one last bonus of a candle — the heat. Hold your left hand way above the flame and slowly move it closer until the heat warms your palm. Shut your eyes and feel how the warmth caresses your hand.
Those are my top ways to fire your amazing imagination with sense rituals. What are yours?