Are You Stuck in the Basement? by Emily Lewin

design(1)We've previously discussed the importance of guarding your Creative Mind House from various intruders such as Colonel Criticism and Ringleader Regret, and we know that these mental terrorists, if let in, can wreak havoc on our ability to think and act in our full creative potential. However, Sarah and I realized recently that we were operating under the assumption that everyone is actually living in their Creative Mind House. Your Creative Mind House is the space within yourself (and your thought patterns) where you give room for your creativity to flourish and live. For some of us, we've taken the time to really get to know our creativity and ourselves as creative people. We know how many floors our house has, we've furnished the rooms and created spaces dedicated to our artistry. We're determined to explore every nook and cranny and press the boundaries out to the max. For others, the idea of having more than a dark, safe basement hasn't crossed our minds. There are several reasons that you may find yourself as a basement dwelling creative person. You may have believed that the basement is all that there is, so you've decided to make the most of it and really own that space. You may have been told that to go further is risky and dangerous, so you've stayed in the basement out of fear. Perhaps having more space feels like too much responsibility, too much to clean and look after, or too much effort. You may believe that stairs are evil, or that walking up them would be gross self-promotion or pride. Maybe there are ghosts that you don't want to face, or that much creativity is beyond what you're allowed to have.

All of this same reasoning could be applied to keep us trapped on any floor in our house. Perhaps you've made it to the first floor but you've been washing your hair in the sink not knowing that there was a shower just up a level. Or you've been sleeping on the couch, feeling like the bed upstairs was too much to ask for. What if there are hidden treasures you never dreamed of, already waiting for you, in your Creative Mind House, and all you have to do to access them is start to explore?

You own your Creative Mind House. You get to decide what to do with it. Chances are it's not totally empty. Even if it is, what a beautiful blank canvas! Here are a few things that you could potentially gain from exploring more of your personal creative space:

1. More room to be creative. If you're feeling cramped in your creativity, chances are there's another floor(s) waiting for you with the space that you need to grow. Do you want a dance studio to choreograph new routines? Check out the third floor, it's all wood floors and mirrors.

2. More space for other people. Everyone benefits from you exploring your creativity. Expanding your Creative Mind House will also enlarge your capacity to include others in your inner space. Do you want more freedom to collaborate with others? Check out the second floor studio, it's got great light, comfy furniture, and everything you need to get started.

3. More flexibility of thought. Creativity expands your options for interacting with the world, and extends your ability to live more fully within your own life. If the only place that you're allowed to live is dark and moldy than you're going to live a fairly small existence with few options and rigid rules. But if you can create spaces inside of yourself that you love, you'll have the flexibility to think more broadly and engage more fully with your dreams. Perhaps you like the dark, but a wood paneled study would be more your style for thinking and planning, take a peek at the fourth floor, I think you'll like what you see.

4. More fully living. Creativity opens up your world to fullness. Living in the basement of your creative house is like playing in a tide pool when you could be swimming in the ocean. Or playing candy crush when you're on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Or building a brick wall when you could be jumping on a trampoline. Let's not be satisfied with living shallow lives! Creativity multiplies your efforts and takes you places beyond what you have imagined.

My challenge to you is to take some time this week to explore your Creative Mind House. Give yourself permission to begin to think along different creative pathways and channels. Creativity is worth the risk to venture up the stairs and find out what's waiting for you. We'd love to hear what surprises you find as you explore!

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11709673_10155712342880304_364978038189091847_oEmily is a creative entrepreneur, born in the South, raised in Colorado, and loving life in Brooklyn, NY. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing blog posts, drinking black coffee, experimentally cooking, laughing, playing minimalist puzzle games on her iphone, exploring NYC, and working a lot of odd jobs. You can follow Emily’s adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or read more of her posts here.