Where do you go or what do you do to get the creative juices flowing? I’m a very visual person so I have to get out and see things to really be inspired. I’m also very task oriented, so it’s very easy for me to get consumed with a project and never leave my desk (Mary can attest to that, as she frequently has to remind me that it’s 3pm and we still haven’t eaten lunch!). It’s really important for me to make time to do creative things and to put myself in situations where I will be inspired and see new things. One of my daily rituals is to start my mornings out with a walk. It wakes me up and gets me moving. Morning walks are a way for me to start the day doing something that I enjoy and that has the added benefit of being healthy (it’s my justification for not going to the gym. Ha!).
Until a few years ago I was not a morning person. My husband, Josh, and I would always try to sleep in as much as possible and ever since I was young I’ve loved staying up late. I was forced to become a morning person when I had a skiing accident, which resulted in me tearing my ACL, MCL and meniscus – the trifecta! I had to have knee reconstruction surgery and as part of my physical therapy I had to start walking. It seems silly to think of now, but I would literally have to get out a timer and walk down the street for 10 minutes (which felt like quite an accomplishment) and then build up my time from there. I was pretty slow moving and I had a bunch of other stuff I had to do for rehab, so I had to get up really early. I was not happy about it…that is until I started seeing the sunrise in the morning and it was gorgeous! I’d never gotten up early enough to enjoy the sunrise… who knew it was so beautiful?! I also noticed how quiet and peaceful it is early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day sets in. And gradually I began to relish my walks. I got into the habit of doing them and of going farther and farther, until I got to the point that I didn’t want to stop doing them even though I no longer had to. I realized that my morning walks were a way for me to get away from technology and appreciate the outdoors and the world around me. It helped to start my day centered and in a positive mood.
Even though I walk in the same general area, there’s always something new to see and as the seasons progress I get to enjoy different aspects of the great outdoors. I have the pleasure of living in two places throughout the year. I live near the beach when I’m in LA, so I walk down there daily. Josh and I aren’t really daytime beach people…we have such fair skin that we have to lather ourselves up in SPF100 every few hours, plus I don’t like to be hot or sweaty. The beach in the morning is so peaceful and quiet and only requires an SPF20 on the face! I also live in Atlanta for part of the year, and although the summers are pretty brutal (remember the whole not liking to be hot or sweaty thing?!), I get to experience autumn in all it’s glory and that is something that I look forward to all year long. Both of my neighborhoods are very artistic and there are always new murals or art exhibits or window displays to get my brain moving in a creative direction. I also like to walk around in the neighborhood and see how people have styled their houses or admire the seemingly endless construction projects that are going on. The geography of each place is very different so I get to enjoy different colors and textures and patterns that nature has to offer in each place. Often times I’m guilty of being too busy to stop and notice the outside world, so this morning ritual is really important to me both creatively and mentally. There are many things that I love about my walks but here is a list of the things that are particularly special:
1. The colors in the sunrise
2. Dolphins or whales swimming with surfers
3. The fall colors in Atlanta
4. Murals and street art
6. The smell of the flowers, the lavender bushes, the ocean, the leaves in the fall
7. Other friendly morning walkers (this only happens in Atlanta…nobody in LA says “hi” to me in the morning! Haha!)
I generally try to snap a picture every morning on my walk. It keeps me alert and looking around for interesting things to see. We live in such a beautiful world, it would be a shame to let life pass us by without ever taking time to stop and smell the roses. When you get outside of your usual environment and you’re open to what’s around you, it’s easy to be inspired and to get your mind thinking outside of the box. Here are a few of my favorite shots:
What do you guys do to get inspired creatively?