My friend and colleague, Sandy Davis, who lives in the northern reaches of the state of Maine, is an executive leadership coach. Among other things, he teaches people how to be resilient. He has a simple, effective formula that includes spending fifteen minutes each day in three different practices: a centering practice, an aerobic practice, and a creative practice. According to Sandy, along with some other basics like eating and sleeping well, if you consistently practice fifteen minutes daily in each of the three areas, you will develop and sustain a resilient mind, body and spirit.

I don't have difficulty with the centering or the aerobic practices. I make time for these easily every morning. I have always known that of the three resilience practices, my creative practice is the one I am most prone to let fall by the wayside.

While I am very creative in my work life, Sandy says that being creative at work (writing articles and creating workshops, for example) is not the same thing as a separate creative practice, like weaving, painting, or writing poetry. By the same token, if you are a poet and make your living that way, you would need a different creative practice that takes you out of the work arena.

Singing is my true creative practice, and sadly, I am not consistent.

In the past month, however, I've needed to sing nearly every day in preparation for a concert. As I practiced and rehearsed by myself and with my trio, I noticed that my energy was higher, my spirits lighter, and my attitude happier – not just during rehearsals but all the time. And this increased resilience seemed to radiate out into other domains of life. Singing always buoys me, but the songs I sang in this concert were particularly uplifting: “On A Wonderful Day Like Today,” “Put On A Happy Face,” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” to name a few.

This experience was a needed reminder of the benefits of a separate creative practice and has inspired me to sing at least fifteen minutes a day. How hard can that be?! What has kept me from it in the past is the interior dialogue: “I don’t have time to practice; it takes too long to warm up and get ready to sing,” -- stuff like that. What I noticed this time is that the warm-up IS singing and IS fun. So …

I will sing fifteen minutes a day. Promise to myself.

What is your creative practice? Have you actually practiced it lately?

Author's Bio: 

Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict ( and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments, containing stories and practices on turning life's challenges into life teachers. Judy is a black belt in aikido and nationally known presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive work environment. She is the founder of Power & Presence Training and chief instructor of Portsmouth Aikido, Portsmouth, NH, USA. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit