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Establish Your Midlife Creative Practice In Just 3 Simple Steps So You Can Feel Energized Again!

Episode 81 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Are you ready to establish your midlife creative practice so you can get refreshed and energized again? Whoo-hoo! Who doesn't want to feel refreshed and energized in midlife?

Midlife creativity can give you the little oomph that you may be needing right now. It can give you the kick in the seat of the pants that makes life more interesting and lively.

That's why today I'm going to give you a couple of examples and leave you with three very simple steps so you can establish your own midlife creative practice. Oh my goodness, you're going to love this so much.

I've got to tell you, I am so excited about this episode because I think creativity is one of those things we view as an ethereal thing that's difficult to grasp onto.

These three steps are going to help you get started, even if you are still exploring to find out what you want to have a creative practice about. Let's dive in!

Hey there, Easy Ager. If you are not already an Easy Aging® Insider, go to right after this episode and sign up today.

I wanted to start today's episode with a couple of examples for you. I'm an improv actor, and I loved performing with ComedySportz San Antonio. When I discovered improv, I realized I had found my first love.

I've always loved performing. I started as a stage actor with scripted pieces, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. And then I moved into voice and loved being behind the mic. And when I discovered improv I said, "You mean I can still get out there and perform, but I don't have to go to rehearsals? Yay!"

When I performed with ComedySportz, we performed in a family-friendly way which means no profanities, no vulgarities, no discussion of body functions or body parts. And no words that would have your children saying on the drive home, "Mommy, what does this word mean?"

No, we didn't do any of that. We kept it clean because most of the time, we had kids in the audience. And for me personally, playing clean is just a better fit with my sensibilities and my personal values.

Performing in a family-friendly way is a very specific way to be creative. It establishes some parameters under which you function. I view these parameters as boundaries. You may see them as limitations.

This family-friendly performing pushed me into a corner to be creative within those boundaries. Those boundaries were fantastic because they forced me to be more creative than I normally would've been.

I had nothing to fall back on. When you don't have the crass language and the sexual innuendo and the risque talk, you're going to have to dig deeper within your creativity and not be quite so cliche. These boundaries trained me exceptionally well.

Another boundary that has helped me dramatically is understanding one big thing: You don't need to wait for inspiration to hit before you create. I think this is one of the most misunderstood and detrimental things to midlife creativity.

Most people think, "It's all about the inspiration. I'm waiting for the muse, or I'm waiting for the mood to hit so I can create."

Let me take a moment to bring you back to reality. I am a working writer. I do not have the luxury of waiting for anything. If a client is expecting something on deadline, I have to produce and if I don't produce, they're going to find someone who can.

It all gets down to one thing for me and that is: If I don't work, I don't eat. Period. Having that thought constantly in my mind makes it much easier to sit down to the blank page and start typing.

Over the years, I've become quite familiar with my process, with how I work best and how I create because the process is unique to each of us. I start typing with full knowledge that I am not getting to any of the good stuff until the 5th or 7th paragraph, sometimes the 10th or 12th.

So I just start typing. I know it's not going to start flowing out of me from the moment my fingers hit the keyboard. I know this about myself So I start typing and see where it takes me.

In the beginning, I would be writing something daily just so I could learn to understand myself better, find out more about my own process and what works best for me. When I was doing this, I also gave it 100% of my attention. No distractions.

It's the same thing with improv acting. When you're doing improv, you have to pay a lot of attention in order to contribute to what's happening on stage. If you want to help build the scene, you have to be keenly aware of what is going on and put all the other distractions aside.

Those are a couple of examples of my creative journey, but there are lessons to be learned in each one of them. In a moment, I'm going to give you the three little steps that you need to do, but I want to acknowledge something.

I know that there are some of you at the very beginning of discovering your midlife creativity. You may still be exploring what you want to be creative at, what activities you want to do on a regular basis, and that's okay.

Exploration and experimentation is part of the creative process. And if you're at the very beginning, your midlife creative practice will simply be creative exploration, trying new things that intrigue you.

You can use these three steps as you're exploring. Once you narrow it down, you can use these same three steps to establish your creative practice on a regular basis.

  1. Set your boundaries. After you've explored where you want to go, set some boundaries for yourself. Creativity looks different on every single level. For example, you may want to creatively express yourself through your style, though the clothes you wear. It's important to understand that for most of us, we have the 80/20 rule. Most of us are wearing only 20% of what we have, and then we wash it and wear it again and again and again. If you want to get creative, start limiting the number of items in your wardrobe. This could encourage you to work with what you have, mixing and matching pieces or accessories to create new outfits so you can have clothes that are new and fresh for you.This is just one example of how to encourage your midlife creativity, because having less to work with can unequivocally make you more creative right off the bat.
  2. Give it your full attention. In episode 80, I talked about the "100% dedication theory" to help you with your focus. This means giving the activity or task your dedicated attention when you're doing it. So giving your midlife creativity your full attention might mean closing the door or putting the phone on do not disturb, so you're not getting all those notifications. That may sound drastic, but I can guarantee you it is going to help you get into your creative flow faster. Creativity is so refreshing when you give it 100% of your focus, and that's the point of all of it. The goal is to use your midlife creativity to refresh and invigorate and energize your mind and your spirit. Give yourself permission to release all the notifications during your creative practice and don't ever apologize for that.
  3. Be consistent. Now, I put this last, but this is actually the most important part of this entire process. Your creative muscle is like any other muscle in your body. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. That's going to make you more toned and honed and fit in your creative practice. I don't care if you're creating for two minutes or two hours. I don't care if you're creating this steaming pile of poop at the beginning or you have achieved a new level of genius. It doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter if other people are going to be seeing what you've created, or if they appreciate the work you've created. It doesn't matter. All that matters is to set the time and be consistent with your practice, and you are going to be amazed at the new insights you start experiencing. You're also going to be shocked at how much easier it gets.

So these the three steps you can take to establish a creative process so you can start living a more creative life.

Here's a recap: If you want to cultivate a creative habit and establish your midlife creative practice, you've got to get curious about what intrigues you and start turning on that midlife creative spark. The process itself is:

(1) Set some boundaries for yourself because having less to work with can actually make you more creative.

(2) Give it your full attention. Do what you need to do to have 100% complete focus on your creative practice. Don't ever apologize for that, and give yourself permission to just release all the distractions, including the notifications on your phone during your creative practice.

(3) Be consistent. Let me say it again: Number three, be consistent. One more time: Number three, be consistent. Does that sound like it's an important part of this? Yes, friend. Pay attention to this one.

If you start flexing your creative muscle, you are going to be flabbergasted at some of the results you create. Once again, if you are not already an Easy Aging® Insider, go to right now and sign up today.

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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