One of the best ways to help yourself create every day is to craft a starting ritual that you begin to use regularly and routinely. When your ritual becomes habitual you will find yourself moving effortlessly from not creating to creating.

For example, here’s a “ritual tea” starting ritual. Make a cup of your favorite tea. In the minute or two it takes for the water to boil, take a few deep breaths, clear your mind, and ready yourself to work. Take your cup to your studio and as the tea steeps prepare your materials. When your tea is as dark as you like it, put the tea bag on a small saucer and turn to your work. Work until your tea is cool enough to drink. What may happen is that you lose yourself in the trance of working and discover that your tea is cold by the time you turn to it. Excellent! Part of your work ritual can be re-heating your tea in the microwave as your first small break between creative stints.

Other starting rituals:

• Do something physical like yoga, tai chi, or stretching. After five minutes of exercise move directly to your creative work.

• Meditate for five minutes. Once you’ve calmed your mind, mentally bring forth your creative project and hold it gently until you feel ready to proceed with it.

• Start each work session with a war cry. Stand up, beat your chest, and shout “Ready! Set! Go!” Stride fiercely to your work space.

• On a sheet of paper, write down one goal for your upcoming work period. The goal might be “finish my current painting,” “go deep,” or “have some real fun exploring.”

• Give your creative project a name. Ceremonially repeat that name like a mantra or incantation for a few minutes as you ready yourself to create.

• Choose a small object like a pebble or coin to serve as your talisman and lovingly squeeze it several times before beginning to work.

If you never have trouble starting, you likely don’t need to introduce a starting ritual into your life. But if you occasionally or regularly find it difficult to start, give one of these rituals a try!

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