Bust Through

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Bust Through A Block
If an inventive solution is in order—in your work, life, or art—free your mind with these tricks, adapted from Danielle Krysa's book, Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists.

1. "Pick an object and, in one sitting, draw, paint, or otherwise represent it in as many ways as you can. So if you chose a ring, you'd perhaps start by drawing a diamond ring, then maybe a ring around Saturn, a ring around the rosy, and so on. Things get interesting when you start running out of ideas and are forced to get ridiculous." —Martha Rich, painter

2. "One of my professors in grad school suggested that whenever things are not completely working out, you should start a side project. It doesn't have to relate at all to what you're working on—the idea is to let your mind be open to other things." —Kelly Lynn Jones, multidisciplinary artist

3. "Take a road trip outside the city, somewhere you've never set wheel to pavement. And just drive. Sometimes it's not only the act of the voyage, however short it may be, but the state of mind that envelops you as the road widens. Some of my best ideas have come as I'm chasing the sun across the horizon." —Jen Altman, photographer
Stimulating Space

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Create A Stimulating Space
Organizing expert Peter Walsh suggests ways to make your home a haven for visionary thinking.

1. Engage your senses. The next time you're feeling stymied, find a way to smell, taste, or touch something out of the ordinary. (Sure, it sounds crazy, but I once filled a desk drawer with sand so I could stick my feet in it and think of Cancún.) Your senses get caught up in this other experience, sparking all kinds of creative energy.

2. Build something. I'm always buying little model kits of famous landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben—because concentrating on putting them together gives me pinpoint focus and clears out a lot of mental cobwebs.

3. Read outside the box. Go buy three magazines you'd never normally pick up. They can be about photography, home decor, woodworking—anything outside your usual realm. Leaf through them and discover what other people think about. We control so much of what we encounter—online, on television, in our daily routines. But letting stuff come at us from left field helps us foster new ways of seeing.
New Eyes

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See Yourself With New Eyes
O's beauty director, Valerie Monroe, on the fine art of appreciating your stunning singularity.

1. When we recently asked our readers, "What do you love about your body?" many said that their hands or hair (or feet) reminded them of a family member, or mentioned that their body let them care for a child or hike a beautiful trail. Never focus so much on how your body looks that you forget all it can do.

2. Avoid using a magnifying mirror (except to tweeze your brows—and even then, focus only on the task at hand). What's the point of seeing your imperfections larger than life? No one else sees them that way. Try looking at yourself with the generosity with which you'd view a loved one—a look filled with affection, not judgment.

3. I once heard an 89-year-old friend say, "I feel so beautiful!" She was wrinkled, a bit stooped. She wore the stout oxfords that help keep her balanced rather than the pumps that would have suited her silk caftan. But she was going to a party where there would be good food, her favorite drink, and even dancing, and she was happy. Her feeling beautiful had nothing to do with how others might perceive her. She didn't, after all, say, "I look beautiful." But she did. Her joyful anticipation lit and lifted her face. Want to feel more beautiful? Figure out what makes you happy. Then do it.
Renew Romance

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Renew Your Romance
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...routine. Behold three ways to change your point of view—and get out of a rut.