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Finding Your Inner Genius: The 10 Steps to Creativity

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  1. Feed your creativity. Along with exercise, creativity also requires good food to grow strong. Feed it with experiences, books, music, and art. Expose yourself to other people's creativity. Give yourself experiences that stimulate your imagination. Take lots of field trips. Try to take some alone, just for you. Notice what happens. Follow your nose and pursue ideas and events that intrigue you. Make sure there's space in your life to feed your curiosity.

  2. Give yourself quiet time. If you're like me, you have a lot of demands on your time. After all, you're a responsible adult. But, no matter what, give yourself some quiet time EVERY SINGLE DAY. Call it your "time out." Put your head down on the desk and close your eyes, just like you did when you were in elementary school. Take a long soak in the tub, with bubbles. Take a solitary walk. Guard your quiet time and take good care of it. Put it on your schedule and stick to it.

  3. Capture your creativity. Find ways to preserve your creative thoughts and ideas. Keep a daily journal or a sketchbook. Or, if you tend to be technology-oriented, keep a tape recorder handy to record your thoughts. Try to do this every day for one month (it helps to do it at the same time each day). Don't read your journal until the month is up and don't show it to anyone. Write about anything that comes into your head; don't judge yourself. See what happens.

  4. Reward creativity. Celebrate often. Develop your own rituals for celebrating, whether you are observing a traditional occasion or a special accomplishment. Give yourself creative gifts, whether they be material or experiential. Reward yourself well and often. Encourage others to reward you, too, and include them in your celebrations.

There are lots of tools to help you develop your own creativity. I could list hundreds of them here, but since we need to get on to crafting, I'll list just a few of my favorites.

  • The Creative Companion: How to Free Your Creative Spirit, by Sark, inspires the reader to explore the artist within.

  • Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Not expressly about creativity, but full of exercises for developing your inner self. It's aimed at women, but I think this book can be useful for anyone.

  • The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This is actually a 12-week course in creativity, aimed at recovering creativity from the blockages caused by various inhibiting forces.

  • Anything on neurolinguistic programming (NLP). Anthony Robbins' books are a good start. Try Unlimited Power or Awaken the Giant Within. Concentrate on the information on changing habits and problem solving.

  • The Universal Traveler: A Soft-Systems Guide to Creativity, Problem-Solving, and the Process of Reaching Goals by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall.

  • Shakti Gawain's books, including Creative Visualization and Living in the Light. Gawain sees us as "channels for the creative power of the universe," and gives exercises and ideas to help us tune in.

  • The Creativity Home Page: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~caveman/Creative

  • The Enchanted Mind: http://enchantedmind.com/

You'll find lots of other resources once you start looking. Begin this journey toward discovering your own genius: Share what you find with your child and you'll both experience enjoyment, intimacy, and growth.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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