While not all of us identify as an “artist,” all human beings are somewhat creative. Creativity plays a big role in the way we make decisions, form relationships and conduct conversations. When we practice being creative, we exercise our agency and personal power. The more we express ourselves, the more meaningful our lives feel. So let’s brighten up this gloomy AF month and let in some creative joy! Here are 8 ways to unlock your creative genius:

  1. Dip your toe into the act of writing with journal prompts. Putting pen to paper can help you derail auto-pilot-type thinking patterns and let you to forge new territory. Check out a prompt-filled activity book like Wreck this Journal or 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment.
  2. Get a tarot card reading. I love tarot for how valuable interpreting the symbols and what they may mean for you can be. Examining your relationship with certain archetypes (e.g., The Magician, The Lovers, Justice) can help you discover ways you can be creative, ways you may not know of yet.
  3. Make something you would normally buy. A birthday card. A cake. Or sew yourself a skirt! Doing random acts of creativity on a small, daily scale can lead to finding capabilities, talents and bigger desires in you. It’s also a helpful way to trick your inner perfectionist into thinking “this doesn’t count.” That’s when you make the work of which you are most proud.
  4. Check out this roundup of TED Talks for creative entrepreneurs. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, opening up to a new perspective can provide a glimpse into new possibilities. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t – but knowing what ideas become “successful” can give you a sense of the ecosystem you might have a part in.
  5. Make a bucket list. Bucket lists > goals. Goals can quickly lead to tunnel vision and end up feeling like life is work. Bucket lists are exciting and more like “a quest.” Having one can give you something to reverse-engineer to make an awesome, whole life happen. Think BIG, but think doable, and read other people’s bucket lists for examples. Check out Laura Vanderkam’s List of 100 Dreams.
  6. Try Kundalini yoga. Yoga is thought to help achieve ease in the body and quiet the mind, but it can also unleash inspiration. It’s from that clear place that inspiration can spring forth. Kundalini yoga is all about awakening “Kundalini energy,” which, when it’s free flowing, leads to an expanded state of consciousness. Try it in Toronto at Lotus Yoga (100 Harbord St.)
  7. Make a vision board. Aside from the whole “law of attraction” aspect of making a vision board, which you may or may not be down with, the act of cutting, pasting and collaging will delight your inner child. Here’s where to go in Toronto to make an epic vision board.
  8. Schedule regular unplugged time. Declaring a full-on disconnected afternoon/day/hour to read a paper thing, regularly, to write in a journal, do yoga, meditate, or whatever you mildly to moderately enjoy, can shift your perspective and help you see things more creatively. Try committing to actually unplugging an hour before bed for a week, and see how it affects your sleep and dreams.

Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. Also, remember what Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So be a fruit loop in a world of cheerios and don’t worry about progress as much as process. Happy February!