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Lori L. Cangilla, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and creator of Singularly Sensitive, an approach that helps highly sensitive/empath women find creative, holistic, mindful ways to grow. She is the author of Self-Acceptance and Change: A Guided Journal for Highly Sensitive People.

As an Empath Mama, I have had to develop a lifestyle that nurtures me, without being overwhelming. This has been a journey that has taken many years and is still ongoing. Empaths and highly sensitive people (HSPs) tend to be creative individuals who see things differently from others and seek out ways to express themselves.

I encourage you to develop a curious mindset and find creative outlets for yourself as often as possible. Curiosity helps me step out of the daily grind and see myself, my son, and the world in a fresh light. Creativity helps energize and recharge me so that I can be at my best for my child, my husband, my clients, and myself!

How a Curious Mindset Promotes Daily Creativity

Curiosity and creativity can help you handle motherhood as an empath/HSP. Curiosity is an openness to learning, a willingness to be surprised and connect in new ways to the world around you. You ask questions. Wait for answers. Step out of being the expert or the authority and allow yourself to learn from the people and circumstances around you. This includes allowing our kids to influence our thinking and our experience of daily life.

A curious mindset helps you naturally be more creative, to respond in fresh ways to the “same old, same old” of parenting. Creativity can show up in our day-to-day lives when we try something new or look at the world differently. When we put together a meal using whatever is in our kitchen, see our child reach a milestone and recognize how they have developed, or experiment with a new way of responding to challenging behavior, we’re being creative. I call this daily creativity, and it can make motherhood more pleasant for empaths/HSPs.

Many of us also need—need—to incorporate other kinds of creativity into our lives to feel whole. For me, writing, photography, and mindfulness practices outdoors are ways that I feed my need for creativity. Other empath/HSP moms might nurture their creative sides through music, fashion, makeup, painting, drawing, interior design/home decorating, dance, gardening, crafts—the list is endless.

Regularly combining daily and other kinds of creative practices is the right mix for many of us. And while it would be nice to set aside hours a day to engage in these activities, sometimes all we can manage is a few minutes a day or an hour on a weekend once a month. That’s great! Give yourself that time and space. If you’re in a busy season of parenthood (and really, when isn’t it busy?), try to focus your efforts on daily creativity, those small changes you can make to things you’re already doing.

Tips for Nurturing Creativity in Your Empath Mama Life

  1. Set up family creative periods. Take a break from screens for 5 minutes, half an hour, or a weekend morning, whatever feels realistic. Call it studio time, art break, or imagination station. Invite the whole family to play, make, move, be curious. Allow yourself to participate fully, not just support your kiddos. Afterward, share your creative products and your reflections on the process.
  2. Identify a problem your family is having (for example, shoes keep getting lost all through the house) or a place where you feel stuck in a rut (for instance, we eat the same few boring dinners every week). Brainstorm as a family some new approaches and try them out. See if you can work together to find a creative solution or at least an alternative to the old familiar way of doing things.
  3. Go on a curiosity and creativity walk through your neighborhood. See how many new things you can notice. Talk about what you might change if you had magical powers. Maybe you’d make leaves pink and white or change cars into flying saucers. Tell each other a story about that alternative world from your imagination.
  4. Challenge yourself and your kids to do something in a fresh way. Arrange your pizza toppings in a design. Use your non-dominant hand to draw or make a craft. Write your own parody song. Go to the bus stop without walking—hop, skip, or dance your way down the street. Create mismatched outfits for a play-at-home day. Be willing to be silly and stand out in your search for creativity.
  5. Take turns introducing each other to the creative practices you enjoy. Listen to your daughter’s favorite song. Have your son teach you how to build a movable Lego structure. Show your kids how you make a pot of soup from scratch, arrange a vase of flowers, or set up holiday decorations. Most people enjoy sharing their creative process with others, and when we bring curiosity to learning about what our family members are doing, we strengthen our bonds.

 Dial Up the Creativity in Your Life

As far as I’m concerned, one of the best parts of being a mom is watching my son develop into a curious, creative human. To support his growth, I need to be a curious and creative human being as well. I’m working to be curious and creative every day, and I encourage you to do so, too. After all, it’s never too late to nurture your own creative lifestyle!

If you are interested in exploring creativity join us for our FREE workshop, Creativity Playbook for Empath Mamas, on October 18th from 6:30-7:30pm CT. Here is the link for more information and to register.


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