As we continue our Create Daily Challenge, this week, we are going to practice “opening up” while we’re in the space we created last week.

Let’s break that down: what does it mean to “open up while you’re in the space”? It means:

  1. You create a space for your creating by picking a time and place to do the creating each day (and setting reminders). Then you enter the space by just showing up during that time, clearing everything else, and just seeing what happens.
  2. Then you practice opening up — that means that if you’re feeling closed down, you relax and open your mind to the act of creating. Closed down can feel like resistance, wanting to procrastinate or switch to something else, etc.

Let’s assume that you spent last week creating the space for creating, and entering into it. If you didn’t, that’s OK — just recognize that you didn’t, and commit to doing it this week.

Now what? The practice this week is to recognize when you’re closed down, and then to practice opening up.

Recognize When You’re Closed Down

We might sit down to write (for example), but then have difficulty actually writing — because we’re closed down.

What does closed down look like? It might show up as:

The last item, you’ll notice, is a physical symptom — it’s how you can check in to see if you’re closed down in any moment.

Once you recognize you’re feeling closed down (which is nothing to judge yourself for), let’s look at how to practice with that.

Practice Opening Up

When we’re closed down, it’s because there’s something in the creating that we’re feeling aversion towards. We don’t like it, don’t want it, don’t trust it, want to get away from it.

So the practice is to relax, open up to the creating, and let yourself play.

Here’s how you might practice:

  1. Noticing that you’re closed up and tight, relax the muscles in your torso, neck, head. Feel this as an opening up.
  2. Breathe deeply, letting each breath relax you, helping you to feel more open.
  3. Let your mind open to the act of creating, turning towards it instead of trying to get away from it. See the act of creating as a beautiful thing, something to be appreciated, something to find gratitude for, something to have fun with, something to find joy in.
  4. Let the young 8-year-old version of yourself come out to play! This is a child who was free, loved to explore, was creative and full of wonder. Let this child come out, and find joy in the creating. Smile and be free.

This takes practice, so don’t worry if you don’t quite get it.

Also don’t worry if you’re not doing it exactly as outlined above. Play around with it. Find your own way. This is your art — get messy with it and see what happens!