shine brightly this summer: live out loud

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

Looking for a change of pace or an activity to put spring in your step? Stepping outside thecomfort zone to explore new experiences can have a profound effect on elevating a mood and overall zest for life. Below are a few ways to live out loud and embrace your creative spark along the way:

Get artsy: I use “artsy” to cover a few mediums such as pottery, sculpting, drawing, watercolor, and painting. Picking up a book, taking a group class, or working one on one with a tutor offers you a chance to create in ways you may have never thought possible. There is something *incredibly* zen about working with clay, or taking your palette, easel, and canvas to the local park to capture summer flowers.

Get centered: In order to let creativity flow, it’s helpful to set up a creative ritual. I like to light a candle, fire up nag champa incense, and have a cup of tea nearby. You may find setting an intention, meditating, or doing a few sun salutes to be particularly grounding.

Get inspired: Indulge in an artist date – a weekly one-hour solo excursion to indulge your creative side. I like to take this a step further with occasional solo nights, days, or even weeks. Think of your artist date as replenishing your creative well, nurturing your inner artist, and allowing yourself the chance to find inspiration. Visit a museum, browse a bookstore, meditate, go for a hike, explore the Arboretum or Botanical Gardens, savor jazz in the Sculpture Garden, try yin yoga, listen to live music at Wolf Trap.

Get your hands dirty: The act of planting something and watching it grow can be very rewarding. We, too, are little seedlings constantly growing, thanks to water, love, and light. Planting a few herbs in your apartment windowsill or an entire wildflower garden in your backyard can give you a little glimpse of Central Park in your ‘hood. This endeavor takes a few gardening tools, soil, seeds or seedlings, sunlight and a dash of know-how.

Omwork: Explore ways to add more color, glitter, belly laughs, yoga, and light into your everyday. Put your personal stamp on everything that you put out to the world. Namaste.

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