Quarantine and Creativity

Being used to a reclusive life, I could become an expert in quarantines. I can advise people during this very special period.

But hey, I don’t like labels. So, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert, okay?

YOGA and MEDITATION

Here is how I spend my days during my voluntary quarantine, which hardly differs from my usual routine. Except that these days, I no longer go on walks as I often do when the weather is nice. To just take a good bowl of fresh air and move my body. For me, the fact of not temporarily going out to walk is not a problem, because I consider that doing an hour of yoga largely replaces walking. As far as I am concerned, yoga is the best method for being healthy and preventing many scourges, for example stress, anxiety, fear, rage, sadness. Yoga, for me, is a medicine that brings happiness, joy, vitality, serenity, all these pleasant feelings that we appreciate so much.

Note: My yoga practice is meditation for me. But I regularly do sitting meditation sessions, in silence, without moving. It helps me to refocus, to calm my mind, to reduce stress or anxiety when thoughts of fear invade me. With practice, it becomes more and more part of a healthy routine. To end this note, I would like to add that in everything I do, I am in meditation. Because what is meditation, basically? It’s just being aware. Being conscious of our thoughts, our emotions and actions. I would also add that as many activities have been restricted and many people find themselves in quarantine, there is less noise outside, less back and forth, and I find that it creates a rather soothing atmosphere. Which is perfect for yoga and meditation.

WRITING

When I’m not doing yoga, I write. My creativity has always been very present throughout my life, but it is even more alive these days. The quasi planetary quarantine is a catalyst for ideas. This period of history is rich, and for an artist, it is nirvana. You just have to look at the cartoons that have appeared in recent days in various media. All those blog posts that try to promote such and such a product, such a service. The entrepreneurs are trying to take advantage of this wealth of opportunities that the Corona Virus creates around them; Corona Virus doesn’t just create problems; it inspires creatives and entrepreneurs, who tend to think outside the box.

CREATIVE COOKING

Yoga, writing, creativity… and cooking. Yes, on occasion, I take the time to cook special dishes. These days, it’s Indian curries. I love them. I take care to choose the ingredients that inspire me, then add just the right amount of spices. I enjoy myself. Cooking for me, is also a creative activity. I try new recipes; I modify them according to my mood and the ingredients available at that moment. Chef’s Special, as they say in restaurants.

DECORATING

As my creativity is peaking right now, I continue to perfect my decor at home. I am thinking about possible rearrangements of furniture and objects to make my environment more comfortable, more practical, better organized, and more inspiring. To feel good at home, it’s important that the surroundings are pleasing to the eye. Cleaning can quickly cheer you up; a nice, well-kept and tidy environment is as fresh as a spring day. While thinking about a creative rearrangement, I observe the objects around me and try to find a new use for them. It is a highly recognized method of creativity. I had some great decorating experiences this past summer and fall. Almost every day I found a creative utility in an often-banal object. I might write an article about it, with supporting photos. We’ll see if the mood lends itself to it in the days to come.

RESEARCH

Speaking of methods of creativity, here, according to the Bombardier Foundation, are the 4 elements of creativity. In my daily life, I like to do research on all kinds of subjects; research is a powerful tool for developing creativity.

THE 4 KEY ELEMENTS OF CREATIVITY

Creativity is a faculty which can be used in all circles and which concerns all individuals. Here are 4 key elements of creativity to keep in mind.

1) Each of us has the ability to create. The goal is to harness and put our resources into practice. Each individual has a creative potential but often we have lost contact with it. Creativity being like a muscle, the more you use it, the easier it becomes to use this potential in everyday life.

2) Creativity implies a notion of combination, of reorganization of existing elements. The flash of genius rarely arrives without prior preparation or an accumulation of data or experiences spread over several months or years. Using a variety of sources and cultivating your curiosity in a sustained way promotes crossovers and new associations.

3) Creativity largely appeals to the unconscious. We therefore aim to leave the rational by using analogies, symbols, intuitions. In this respect, artistic mediums are an asset because they facilitate contact with the collective unconscious and promote the expression of the imagination.

4) Creativity is a process in several stages: analysis of a problem, production of ideas, incubation, improvement of ideas, evaluation of ideas, selection and implementation. If we understand the logic of this process, we arrive at a better use of creativity in order to obtain convincing results.

Source: (https://www.fondationbombardier.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Philagora_Trousse-idees_Final_LR.pdf)

READING

Since childhood I’ve “devoured” thousands of books. I am a “bulimic” reader. Almost all genres interest me. In the last few years, I have read more particularly books on spirituality and “Self-Help”. I love everything related to digital technologies, blogs, creativity and travel books. Bali was a particular interest, my favorite destination.

FILMS AND SERIES

I love watching movies. I’m not a fan of series; it’s too long to “devour” all episodes! – so I prefer movies. I’m subscribed to Netflix, and I don’t need anything else at the moment, although Apple TV has some very interesting, high-caliber scripts, directing and production in series. So although pretty new to it, Apple TV has introduced me series. The two that I watched impressed me and quickly went through them.

MUSIC, SONG AND DANCING

Yes, music, song and dance play a big part in my personal universe. No matter what time of day or of the week, there is music in my house. Not all the time, only when I feel like it. I can be cooking when suddenly I stop for a song whose rhythm makes me dance. And I dance. Or else I am at work, and suddenly I decide to take a break and dance. When I know the lyrics, I take the opportunity to sing; it’s a release for me; it allows me to regenerate, inspire me … and it makes me vibrate.

I often listen to classical music too, especially when I work. I like jazz for parties and when I cook.

MANTRAS, RELAXATION

I also listen to mantras and sing some. Mantras have a powerful effect on our body and our thinking.

BATH

Ah yes! I love taking baths. I burn incense, light a candle, turn off the light, put on soft music and presto! I immerse myself in hot water. What a delight! I put my brain in neutral, and I let the thoughts come and go, watching them, not attach to them, as we do with Vipassana meditation. Because I let my mind hover, this is where the best creative ideas emerge, often with brilliant solutions to the most stubborn problems.

Then when I go to sleep, I pray that humanity will be better …

AND HOW ABOUT YOU?

OKAY. I know that my Zen and reclusive lifestyle does not resemble that of most people. I don’t meet the standard. So, how about those with a “normalized” lifestyle?

Tell me in the comments how you are living your quarantine.

Isabelle doing yoga in front of sunset in Nusa Penida, Bali (Indonesia), February 2020
Image Copyrights: Isabelle Bussieres

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