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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

How to Create the Life You Dream About

Many of us are fascinated with artists, actors, writers, architects and all sorts of creative people. We sigh and wish upon a star that we could be creative like them, certain that we are wired with a gene for mediocrity. As we experience all kinds of normal, to-be-expected difficulties following a structured, heart-deadening routine, we get weighed down and feel stuck. The symptoms are unhappiness and negativity - the it will never work syndrome. The solution lies in the creative process: To fire up the mind, the emotions and energize the body. But how do we access our creativity when we donít feel genetically entitled? The good news: We can develop our creativity as well as our childrenís and learn to apply it.

Begin by creating an inspiring environment at home. Make it relaxing and whimsical by using color, seasonal window treatments, moving knickknacks and furniture around, serving different recipes, etc. You canít keep on looking at the same things and eating the same foods, yet expect to be stimulated and experience something different. The idea is to cultivate a new sense of enthusiasm; donít worry about how your self-expression looks or sounds! If you feel like laughing spontaneously, singing even if you canít sing or just dancing to the music that no one else hears Ė do it and donít be afraid. Fear and self- consciousness will imprison your imagination with judgment. One of my favorite quotes comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ďTo be great is to be misunderstood.Ē

Creativity will not make you an outcast who seeks to live alone in the woods; on the contrary it has wonderful therapeutic benefits. It generates optimism, energy, reverses the clock and improves the immune system. However, creativity doesnít just happen by wishing and hoping. So, prepare yourself to get inspired. Practice daily! And remember invention is its own reward Ė donít bribe your children to be creative. Here are some general applications for you, your parents and your children because creativity is timeless.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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