Guest Author - Beth Schreibman Gehring
How many of you suffer from periods of time when you're creatively blocked? Tapping into your creativity is about the process of allowing yourself to be fluid, graceful and self-nurturing while at the same time being in relentless pursuit of your dreams. Smashing through the creativity gap takes persistence, but it can be done. Here are a few tips to show you how!
If you are experiencing a week that leaves you with a backlog of projects, and literally no energy to begin any of them, just choose one and just get started. Create a comfortable place to work; if thatís curled up on your bed with the computer and the cat itís just fine. If the thought of simply beginning is completely exhausting, pull the blankets up all around and shut your eyes for a few minutes. You could even set an alarm for yourself with the intention that when it goes off youíll know that youíre going to begin working. Upon waking just fluff up the pillows, open your computer and begin to type. At first your words may sound awkward to you but just ignore your discomfort. Discipline yourself not to change a single thing that you've written and just keep going. Anything that doesnít fit will be able to be edited later.
Before you know it five hours will have gone by and youíll discover that much has been accomplished. The take-away? Often we will manufacture many creative roadblocks, simply because we can be too desperate for perfection on the first try. Let the fear of personal imperfections go and have a wonderful time getting swept away by the creative process. There will be plenty of time for editing later. When youíve finished put your work down for a day or two and then go back to it and take another look. Giving yourself a break like this is always good because you can come back to your work with fresh eyes and not nearly as much frustration because youíve started. Because you will have tamed your inner critic it will be possible to go back and revise what youíve worked on without judgment.
I encourage you to put pen to paper, or paint to brush and just begin. Drown out the negative and persistent voices that would normally make you quit trying. Sometimes creative block happens when youíre burning the candle at both ends. If you find that you canít just start because of nervousness or leftover work stresses why donít you just escape if you need to with a hot cup of tea, a great book or maybe a warm bath? Just let the world go for a little while and when you begin to work again know that not everything you produce will be the "masterpiece". Be patient with yourself and don't be afraid to put some of your projects into the world even if you donít think that theyíre quite ready for primetime. Show them to your friends and let them go and live in someone elseís home for a while. Iíve seen this happen often; I come from a family of painters and often many lovely paintings will get tossed aside, only to have someone say come to my home and say ďThatís beautiful, if you donít want it anymore Iíve got just the place for it.Ē If youíre a writer why donít you show the work that youíre stymied by to a trusted friend who you can count on for really constructive feedback? The same thing goes for anything crafty, musical or artistic. You never know whom youíre inspiring to begin a creative project of their own. Let the outside world be your mirror and instead of feeling isolated youíll begin to feel like youíve really accomplished a lot.
When the going gets tough and you simply donít know where to begin, please donít get frustrated. Why donít you instead try a creative meditation? Here is an excellent one that focuses on the blooming of the Sacred Lotus.
This meditation is very simple. The most important thing is to be in a comfortable place where you know that you wonít be interrupted for a while. The Sacred Lotus is a flower that grows under the water with its roots and flower heads buried in the murky soil at the bottom of the pond. It does its growing unseen underneath the surface of the pond for months at a time but one day it bursts exuberantly above the surface of the water as a beautiful pink or white blossom with gorgeous green leaves. Begin by sitting quietly and breathing deeply. Visualize that beautiful lotus gathering its energy from its roots sunk deep into the earth. Allow yourself to feel the warmth of the sun as it begins to coax you upwards. Shortly youíll feel yourself struggling to get to the surface of the pond. The perceived struggle is the energy that you will then use to create what you desire. When you finally burst through to the surface of the pond I promise that you'll be relaxed, energized and ready to begin.
One last technique that is very powerful for smashing through a persistent creative blockage is to sit down with a journal and colorful pens and pencils. Begin to write about or sketch the blockage; youíll be amazed by what appears. Giving your fears and concerns shape and/or voice will allow your creative energy to flow once again in the right direction.
Iím very interested in your feedback and thoughts about breaking through creative blocks. What techniques have you found effective in the past? Just click on the button below to join the discussion. I hope to see you there!