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Kick-Start Your Midlife Creativity With This Simple Exercise And Get Those Ideas Flowing Again!

Episode 55 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Are you ready to kick-start your midlife creativity with a simple exercise that will get those ideas flowing again?

Do you remember when you were little and somebody handed you the construction paper and the crayons, and it just flowed. Your little imagination was going and all these ideas were popping up. You were coloring and creating and drawing. And how refreshing is that?

So that's what we're talking about today. This is one little exercise that can really start making a difference in your ability to get your midlife creativity back on track. Are you ready to go? Are you ready to find out what this is? I know! It's going to be so much fun. Let's do this!

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Today, we're talking about midlife creativity, yay! In the book "The Artist's Way," Julia Cameron recommends a week of media deprivation. When she originally wrote the book in 1992, it was only reading deprivation because that's pretty much what we did all day when we were consuming information.

But I recently read on her site that she's changed it to media deprivation because she wanted to update the sources. First of all, don't worry. We're going to be adjusting this a bit for the Easy Aging® way of doing things.

I can hear you right now asking, "Why Michelle? Why? What does media deprivation have to do with creativity?"


The reason you're doing this, this media deprivation thing, is to stop the inflow of information and ideas from other people and from other sources. To be creative, you have to create a space to listen to your own thoughts and your own ideas.

You have a couple of great ideas. You need to play with them. You need to percolate on them, and you need to experiment with them a bit. And that is incredibly hard to do when you're getting other people's thoughts and ideas constantly coming at you, just about everywhere you go.

It doesn't matter what the source is, whether it's social media or television or news or whatever. It's just information coming at you 24/7.

It's important to turn all of that off for a little while so you can actually hear yourself think. Julia Cameron says,...

"If we monitor the inflow and keep it to a minimum, we will be rewarded for our deprivation with embarrassing speed. Our reward will be a new outflow. Our own art, our own thoughts and feelings will begin to nudge aside the sludge of blockage, to loosen it and move it upward and outward..." (emphasis mine)...

And that's exactly what you want.

So when you minimize or completely stop all of that inflow of information that's coming at you, you can expect the new ideas to start bubbling up so you can take action on them.

I want to point out that there are so many people who say they want to be creative, but they're so addicted to the inflow of information that they're not willing to let go of any of it for even a short time.

Now I'm saying this to you because I know you are not one of those people. That's because you're better than that, and you're honestly interested in tapping into your own creativity, right? So let me give you the three steps to doing this the Easy Aging® way. Let's define what we're talking about first.

Number one, media deprivation means all devices are off. It means no reading, no emailing, no texting, no surfing the net, no talk radio, no TV, no social media, no video streaming like TikTok or YouTube. And sadly, I'm going to have to add, no podcasts...except for this one. ;)

No, no. Bad Michelle! No podcasts at all. But don't worry. I'll be here waiting for you when you're done. So number one is, all devices are off.

Number two, Cameron suggests a week but we do fun-sized actions here as Easy Agers so I'm going to suggest that you start with just a weekend. Are you taking a sigh of relief right now? Are you thinking, "Ah, that sounds so much better!"

Here's the deal: If you like it, try to go a day or two longer or even go the whole week, if you can. But just start with baby steps. We're going to start with the weekend and hopefully, you don't have to stress so much over your work situation if you need to be communicating for work. How's that? Feel better?

The reason we're taking this whole week idea and narrowing it down to a couple of days is because we don't want to scare our brains. Remember, if something sounds too big or too overwhelming, our brains will kind of freak out on us and put us into resistance. If we can take it from a whole week to two little days, we're going to be just fine.

Number three, you're probably wondering "What can I do instead of consuming different forms of media?" Well, here are a few of her suggestions along with a few of my own. You can knit, workout, cook, meditate, sort the closets, wash the dogs, invite friends over to dinner. Oh my gosh, when was the last time you did that?

You can paint the bedroom. You can repot the plants. You can mend the clothes. You can clean up the junk drawer or the garage or anything that needs to be cleaned in your house. Listen to music, go dancing, go out to eat.

Write a letter to a friend with pen and paper, and mail it from the post office. Now, this one's okay because it's output. You're not consuming something, you're creating something. Got it?

And the other thing that I would add to this list is journaling. I talked about journaling in episode 51. If you haven't tried it yet, go back and listen to that episode before your media deprivation time. Also be sure you check the show notes or the show description for the link that I'm giving you.

At that link, there's an article on 10 different ways that you can journal. It's really quite fascinating, the many ways that you can create journaling just for you. It's personalized. It's customized. It's tailored specifically to your wants and your needs. Once again, journaling is output instead of input, and it's your opportunity to get a handle on your own thoughts and feelings and ideas.

Who knows? At the end of this exercise, you could have enjoyed some great memories by listening to some of your favorite music from when you were growing up. You could end up with a clean closet or repotted plants or a freshly painted room. You could even find yourself picking up your sketchbook or dusting off your guitar.

Or maybe, just maybe, you'll have a weekend of fantastic conversation when you invite your family and friends over to play cards or to play a board game. And how refreshing does that sound?

So that's it for today. To recap: Number one, all devices are off, no inflow of new information coming at you in any way.

Number two, start with a weekend but if you can do it for a full week, congratulations. Go for it and have fun with it.

Number three, basically do the things you did when you were growing up before email and the Internet were even around. Does that sum it up for you? Do anything that doesn't involve email and the Internet, which I think were the first couple of things that we actually started all the technology with.

Once again, if you are not already on the Easy Aging® Insider's list, go to and sign up right now. I'll see you in the next episode and until then, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!


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