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  • Writer's pictureSue Bulmer

Five ideas for Nurturing, Nourishing and Protecting your Creative Ideas

In my last blog post I talked about how the cycles of creativity and nature hold so many similarities for me. The upward and outward energy of that first burst of inspiration as it begins to grow into an idea, makes me think of spring. Energy generation and sunshine as we nourish and care for ideas as they expand into summer, blooming into a profusion of colourful flowers. Then come the fruits in the season of ripening, harvest and celebration, when we share our creations with the world. This takes us into autumn and as the greenery fades and dies away and the seeds are sown once again, we slip into the cooler more introspective half of the year. Here we can spend time reflecting on what has passed and we take time to rest and regenerate over the winter.

It all makes total sense to me, and when I feel my creativity faltering or I'm feeling stuck or a bit lost, I tune back into the wisdom of the seasons and natural cycles which helps me into a state of understanding and acceptance of where I am. Doing this eventually gets me back on track, whether that is in my state or resting or activity.

As we embrace the warmer (hopefully soon.... please Mother Nature!!) and lighter half of the year and I begin to plant out the seeds for the tomato plants I harvested at the end of last year, I begin to think about growing physical things (and ideas) but also of protecting them against risk. April is an unpredictably tricky month, one minute sunny and warm and the next a howling wind delivers us back into winter with a short sharp hail storm. It's too soon to leave my vulnerable tomato plants outside so I need to be alert to potential sources of danger of frost or hungry slugs and snails and I bring them in each night back into the warmth and protection of my house.

This has naturally made me think about the creative side of life too. I have already begun to put some of my ideas out into the world in the form of my next (FREE) online course, Creative Soul Discovery, releasing on Beltane, May 1st. This is a time to think about hope, the growing power of the sun and embracing a time when everything comes to life in creative abundance.

If you too are thinking about your own creative ideas but aren't quite sure they are ready quite yet, here are five self-care-inspired ideas for nurturing and protecting them from the frost, using the metaphor of planting seeds and tending to them as they emerge:

Cultivate Your Creative Garden: Think of your mind as a fertile garden or flower bed, where your ideas are seeds waiting to be planted and nurtured. Take time regularly to tend to your garden, thinking about ideal growing conditions. Think about what you need for nourishment, warmth, sunlight and water for your ideas and what you need to do to protect them from external stresses, dangers, damage or distractions. Create your own supportive, nurturing environment for creativity, set aside dedicated time and space, and surround yourself with inspiration, cultivating a mindset of open curiosity.

Mindful Seed Sowing: Begin to think about 'mindful seed sowing', where your ideas are planted intentionally and with care. Sort through them, but as well as picking out the stronger ones, give those you don't yet have complete faith in the space to grow and expand. You never know the potential of the underdog or the unexplored idea. Grow your own awareness of your creative inspiration, noting ideas down in a journal or sketchbook as they come up, capturing them in their raw form and allowing them to germinate and evolve over time.

Tender Loving Care: Think about the ways you provide TLC to yourself AND your ideas, much like tender tomato seedlings in need of nurturing. Protect them and yourself from harsh criticism or self-doubt by fostering an atmosphere of self-compasssion, kindness and encouragement. Talk to yourself the way your best friend would, practising positive self-talk rather than self-criticism (I do find I am my own WORST self-critic and I would never speak to anyone the way I sometimes talk to myself!!). Seek support from trusted creative friends or mentors, and celebrate small victories along the way with people who 'get it'.

Watering and Nourishing: Work out what your own sources of nourishment are. Ensure regular watering and nourishment of your creative ideas from diverse sources, such as art, literature, connection with others, nature, and personal experiences. My suggestions for nurturing creativity include engaging in a regular creative practice, self-compassion, journalling, experimenting with different mediums and techniques, and seeking out as many opportunities as you can for learning and growth.

Protecting from Frost: We must be warned at this time of year about the dangers of frost or hailstone, which can have serious consequences if it catches us unawares. Metaphorically speaking, frost can represent self-doubt, perfectionism, or external pressures that can hinder creative growth. Strategies for protecting ideas from frost, such as practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and cultivating a supportive creative community (see my previous blog posts about creative collaborations and how to create them). Ideas in their early stages are vulnerable so we must take proactive steps to shield them from harm, whether that's through seeking feedback from trusted allies or creating your own safe space for experimentation and exploration.

I hope you find a way through this delicate part of creative growth and find your won ways to nourish and nurture yourself. Tell me what worked the best and share in the comments below.

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