What is a Creative Exploration?
I’m glad you asked.
Creative Explorations are basically ways to learn about yourself creatively.
Creative Explorations have a playful, crafty spin on self-discovery to make it more fun and more effective.
Hannah learns heaps of nerdy science stuff about the brain, creativity and self-improvement and builds these learnings into super fun creative tasks that you can do at home with easily accessible materials.
If there’s something in particular that you would like to learn more about, please get in touch with Hannah directly. Seriously, she wants to know. She’s writing this right now, for you in third person like a weirdo.
How we usually handle problems
When we’re trying to work through a problem we have in our life, our usual go-to response is to talk it through. This technique definitely has it’s place but it’s very easy for ‘talk it through’ to become ‘constantly complaining about it’.
Complaining doesn’t get results. It focuses our attention on everything that is wrong with the situation and reinforces the position we are stuck in. While it can feel good in the moment, ultimately it is a tool for us to blame, make excuses and deny the position. Grumbling makes us victims of our circumstances.
Creative Explorations are a way for you to re-frame the problem. Using creativity as a form of expression brings new ideas, enables action and helps you take responsibility. Plus, it’s fun.
Compared to ‘ordinary’ forms of learning, like reading, being told or long-term observation, Creative Explorations super-charge the learning that takes place. Here’s how:
Creative Explorations are active learning projects
Think for a moment about other times you’ve tried learning something. Maybe you attended a seminar for your job. You sat in the audience for 2 hours. Maybe they had a few slides with graphs and inspirational quotes, maybe they had nothing. Later, at dinner, someone asks you how it was. You’re able to tell them a point or two you found interesting. Within a couple of days, the learning has mostly faded and you have not changed the way you work as a result.
Creative Explorations aren’t like that. You get to learn by doing. The projects use accessible materials. They take between 20-60 minutes to execute. The videos show you why you’re doing the project, how it works and what you need to do.
Creative Explorations help you learn smarter
You get to learn in your own space and in your own time. Our IQ literally goes up when we have a teacher we like.
When we are able to learn in calm, comfortable circumstances, we’re able to relax our danger detector, the fight, flight, freeze alarm in our mind. This allows more of our higher level thought, our Prefrontal Cortex, to come on board.
When we’re operating in our prefrontal cortex, we’re able to see things from other people’s point of view, to weigh options rationally, to detach from unproductive emotions like guilt, anxiety and fear.
Creative Explorations speak many languages
When it comes to moving more quickly through a problem, we need our whole brain on board.
Traditional learning strategies focus on repetition, words and logic, but this is such a small part of our brain. The conscious part of our brain, the thoughts we can ‘hear’, give us 5-9 bits of information a second. That’s about the length of a phone number. The subconscious part of our brain processes millions of bits of information a second and guess what, it doesn’t understand logic, words or symbols.
The languages of the subconscious mind are images, emotions and patterns.
By using colour, smell, sound, image, pattern and movement, we can speak directly to the subconscious mind, changing our thoughts from the inside out. High quality input means high quality output.
Creative Explorations invite new ideas
“A new result usually requires a new behaviour.” But what behaviour is right?
If we knew what we’re supposed to be doing, we’d be doing it already. Obviously, what we’re currently doing isn’t working.
Change is risky and we want to make sure we’re moving in the right direction, not inviting more pain. You don’t have the answers right now, but you know you have to move forward. You can’t think your way out of this one.
Because creativity speaks many languages, it lights up much more of your brain. By lighting up more of your brain, you make unusual and innovative connections, new ideas.
Sometimes those new ideas deliver the answer, light the next step.
Sometimes, it primes your mind to look for new opportunity and helps you trust it when it comes up. This might be in the form of synchronicity, something you couldn’t have planned like bumping into the right person.
The answers are usually there already but they have been filtered out by your old ways of thinking. Creative Explorations broaden the focus and help you see new things.
Creative Explorations aren’t just whole-brained, they’re whole-bodied
Creative Explorations focus on changing the chemical balance in your brain by moving your body and feeding it the right fuel.
The right brain chemicals aid the creation of new thoughts which inspire new actions which become new realities. They speed the learning process, speed the creation of new brain connections and positively affect your emotional state.
For example, some explorations involve moving your body which produces Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) which is like miracle grow for the brain. When BDNF is present in our brain, we learn better and our brain takes on much more of the information.
Creative Explorations make learning about yourself fun
Logically you know you should be into mindfulness or meditation. You have heard that it’s good for you and it helps. But you just can’t seem to make it a regular part of your day. Sitting silent and still just isn’t fun regardless of the benefits it promotes.
I hear you. The good news is, you can have the benefits of meditation and mindfulness through Creative Explorations. You will move, create, sit quietly sometimes of play your favourite heavy metal to help you focus.
Creative Explorations are playful and colourful. In fact, the more fun you have doing them, the better they’re working. Our state of mind is a factor that increases our learning. So if boredom is 0 and Super-Stoked is a 10, your learning will be 10 times more impactful and resonant at a 10 and will be basically non-existent if you’re bored.
Please take ownership of your own learning. Alter, tweak or recreate the Creative Explorations to maximise your stoke. Then share it with the community so that others can try your spin on things.
How long does a Creative Exploration take?
Creative Explorations take from 10 minutes – 60 minutes. Preparation is key. I would recommend watching the video or checking out the materials required so that you have everything you need when you’re ready to create. Most of the materials should be easily accessible around the house like coloured pens, scissors, glue, paper etc. Others may need a little more forethought like watercolour paints, magazines, cookie ingredients.
This is your creative process. You are welcome to add more detail and take longer or make adjustments to fit it into your busy schedule.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, just ask.
Do I need to be artistic?
I believe that everyone is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. However, many of us haven’t used our creative muscle since childhood.
Creative Explorations are not about capital-A art. They are playful, colourful expression – much more like craft. They are not supposed to be perfect. In fact, imperfect action is part of the process.
If you’re worried about your creation needing to be perfect, start with a food one. It’s easy to forgive a mistake when you get to each it. The impermanence releases the risk of imperfection.
I know it’s been said to death, but you will get better with practice.
Ultimately, this is meant to be a fun, light and playful way to learn about yourself. If you’re feeling big resistance to it and judging your creations harshly, that’s trying to tell you something.
Reach out if you need support, I’m happy to help where I can.
What do you mean by transition?
When I talk about going through transition, I mean that you are experiencing change. You’re moving from one state of being to another.
Sometimes, our transition is intentional: we want to develop. In this case, we’re searching it out, experimenting, we’re active in the transition.
With intentional transitions, we run the risk of burning out too quickly or feeling disappointed if the results we’re searching for don’t come when we’re expecting them. Especially when we’ve been doing the work.
Creative Explorations help to tap into sustainable motivation, get clear on the objectives and make the self-development more fun. In this way, the Creative Explorations will help you reach your goal more quickly.
Sometimes, our transition happens to us. This is often the harder kind of transition. It can be unexpected and incredibly uncomfortable, even painful. Because of the forced nature of this transition, we tend to resist it much more strongly which prolongs the experience. This kind of transition also comes with a lot of uncertainty. We’ve never been here before, we don’t know where it’s heading and if we’ll get through it in tact.
When we’re not expecting it and our plans are thrown out, it raises more questions than answers. We start to doubt our self-worth, to judge ourselves and others. We may experience depression, fear, anxiety – those dark emotions that pull us down.
The good news: once successfully navigated, these transitions bring us the biggest gains, the greatest learnings and opportunities to help others.
Transitions, whether intentional or circumstantial, come in many forms. Sometimes they are physical in nature: you’ve been made redundant at your job, you’ve moved to a different city, you’ve had a baby, changed career, lost or gained weight, separated from a partner or tied the knot.
Sometimes they are internal changes: your values have shifted, you’re not challenged in your job and have grown bored, you want to love and be loved, your ambition, attention and empathy have been sparked and you want to pursue a new mission. Maybe you want to develop your inner strength and your inner voice: be more grateful, mindful, kind.
We find ourselves in an accelerated state of change. Each one has it’s own challenges and opportunities. We can become victims of change, resist the growth, kick it old school safely enveloped in our jaded world view or we can embrace it, learn to look for the positive, learn to surf the wave.
The Creative Explorations are a tool to bring the lightness, play and colour back into your reality. Once you recognise the transition for what it is, you have a choice about how you respond.
You always have a choice.