I swear creativity is the answer to everything. Being creative means we’re fully connected to ourselves, the grand flow of life, and to our personal happy and productive place!
Being in a creative frame of mind is what helps us splash paint on a canvas, invent a game, write a bestseller or cook a meal that’s so delicious we find ourselves talking about it long after the tastes and aromas are gone.
Having our creative hat on while brainstorming solutions with our intimate partner is a smart thing, too! My quick advice? Leave the struggle or blame hat on the shelf and don the one you’d wear to a costumed street dance!
Creativity in relationships is important. If we’re not being creative with that guy across the breakfast table, are we:
- positional, heels dug in deep?
- ignoring, avoiding, stonewalling?
- stuck, on automatic, in a well-rehearsed pattern?
- blah, passive, resigned?
If you and your hubby want opposite things, doing battle or putting up with a huge compromise is no fun. Getting creative will save you all sorts of trouble, and besides, you’ll likely find a way to make both of you happy! Sit down together and come up with 8 or 10 or 20 out of the box ways to solve your problem. No editing, just speak aloud any solution, whether or not you would actually employ that solution. The exercise won’t work if you’re serious and practical. Don’t even bother being offended at anything that is suggested! Laugh a little and loosen up the gospel according to you. Outrageous is just fine here. Go ahead and give voice to that ridiculous idea – you never know where it might take you.
It’s good if some options are things like “I could give up my opinion and we could do it all your way.” Or “we could get a divorce and find a new partner who agrees.” Like I said, include everything. Speaking all options gets the flow going. Empty those negative tanks so you can see what else you’ve got — maybe happy surprise discoveries.
I’ve done this process many times with couples, and I often start with, “if you could have it all your way…” After all is said and done, the most amazing thing happens. Both people realize they want, in essence, the same thing.
There are genius ways of doing, well, anything at all! One food writer, Food52’s Executive Editor, Kristen Miglore, is in charge of “Genius Recipes.” She doesn’t even make up the recipes. She simply finds them and dubs them “genius.” Here are her top 10. Now she’s got a cookbook full of genius recipes like Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, or Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup. The recipes are often simple, but they work.
Another example of food genius comes from the recent issue of Cooks Illustrated. There was a recipe for “Almost Hands-Free Risotto” (who knew?) and an article on how to keep your kitchen staples fresher longer. (nice to know) There were instructions for how to make “Perfect Scrambled Eggs.” (for one person: 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk. 1 TB half n half. A pinch of salt and pepper. Cook in an 8 inch skillet for 30 to 60 seconds over medium-high heat and then 30 to 60 seconds over low heat. For 4 people, use 8 eggs, 2 yolks and 1/4 cup half n half. In both cases, coat the pan with unsalted butter.)
The recipe is very specific. It tells you the steps to make scrambled eggs turn out better. And no, they won’t be dairy free or have fewer calories, but you’ll be really happy about it!
Being creative in your relationship is way more fun than pretending things can’t change, holding a grudge or believing that there are no answers. This I am very sure of: there’s a genius recipe for your relationship, waiting to be discovered. By you.
Expectation is huge. When Kristen Miglore scours the planet for recipes that make her “genius” cut, I don’t suppose she’s wearing the struggle hat. Or the hat of disbelief. Why does she find these great recipes? Right! Because she’s looking for them! It’s her thing. She believes other people come up with great ways to make great food and all she needs to do is go find them. If you believe there is a brilliant solution for you and your spouse about how to take vacations, raise children, or feel closer to each other, it’s there, I promise.
Mostly, finding your own genius recipes are all about being in an open, easy-breezy frame of mind. Here are 11 ways to open the doors and windows to your creativity and let the sunshine in.
1. Know that you can’t do it wrong. If your attempt fails, be like all the great inventors. Learn from it, add to your nap sack of knowledge and try something else. Don’t be so timid. Not every experiment will produce a bed of beautiful red roses. It’s OK. Growing weeds is part of the process. Nothing is a failure. You’re just one step closer to the thing that works.
2. Go easy on yourself no matter what. Hello High Achiever! Be nicer to yourself, even when things don’t turn out the way you think they should. You’re doing the best you can at any moment. Find a way to give yourself credit, it will help you every single time. I know long jumps are your favorite, but lasting long jumps are made up of baby steps over time.
3. Take yourself and your troubles less seriously. It’s not the first time your problem has occurred in the Universe and it won’t be the last. Many other people have had this problem. They figured it out and so will you. It’s not such a huge deal. Really.
4. Back up twenty paces. Heck, go to the moon, find a nice place to sit, and look back at the Earth and your problem. In the grand scheme of things, your scene is itty-bitty, but — yes! — it’s there and you do need to figure it out. But now, from your perch on the faraway moon, you can at least breathe. Breathing is helpful. Maybe while breathing deeply, you’ll realize you’re better off than you thought. You’ll turn your attention more easily to questions like, “What’s working about this? How is this helping me?” Answering these puts you in a better frame of mind immediately.
5. Go lightly. Wear fairy shoes. Step gently. Get some air. Give it time. Relax more. Play in the clouds. Take your time. Be mindful. Rest.
6. Find your silly. Do something that guarantees a smile from you. Watch a video of a baby laughing. Get out that Carol Burnett video. Do a 1 minute crazy dance in your living room. Think about your best friend and what she said yesterday that made you both fall on the floor and hold your sides.
7. Pretty soon, this problem will be old news. You know all the times something terrible happened and eventually it worked out? You got through it. You’ll get through this, too.
8. Don’t take this thing in front of you so personally. There’s a good chance it’s not personal — it’s not about you! Not taking something personally gives you more room to move. If you have room to move, you have room to discover.
9. Get over yourself. Snap out of it. Change your mind. Turn the corner. Leave it behind. Let it go. Turn over a new leaf. Start fresh.
10. Play “what if.” Whatever you think is going on, what if that’s not really going on? (opens up your mind) What if I could have what I wanted, what would that be? (helps with clarity) What if he’s not doing what I think he’s doing? (see if you can come up with 5 other interpretations of the event in question. What else could it be? and what else? and what else?) Looking for other ways to see a situation will lead you to a more open frame of mind, which is like inviting the Queen of Creativity to tea.
11. Give up any opinion that causes you angst. Try it for a day. Bet you didn’t know you had that many opinions! You’re late? Give up your opinion about that. You just stepped on the scale and you don’t like what you see? Give up your opinion. Someone didn’t call you and you thought they should? Give up your opinion. Give up the opinions about big stuff, little stuff and everything in between. It’s revealing. You may even have an opinion about having so many opinions.
Ahh, now that’s better! Do a few of these, or any of these and your creativity will come a knockin’ at your door. What creativity does for your relationship over time is remarkable. It loosens and lightens most anything that comes up between the two of you.Continue Reading