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If I’ve learnt anything in my five years on the Internet it’s that you cannot rush the creative process. You can set up as many colourful content calendars, you can have as many Pinterest boards open and you can sit down in your favourite work outfit, with your cup of coffee of tea ready to go, but nada! The creative juices just won’t flow!
Elizabeth Gilbert (in her book Big Magic) says that ideas and inspiration are like living entities. They exist in your mind and in synergy with you as you flow in and out of a creative space. They’ll pop in at the most random moments and if you get even slightly distracted, poof they’re gone!
The worst is if you aren’t ready to receive them, they’ll leave just as quickly as they arrived, off to find the mind that is ready to welcome and work with them.
It’s an experience that’s isn’t easy to understand if you aren’t the creative type, so if you felt an ‘amen!’ to that description, then I already know you’re a part of my tribe!
I’m sharing some mindful practices you can implement in order to work with your creative energy, and for getting out of a creative funk.
1. Establish your boundaries and listen to them
How many times have we been in the middle of creating a piece of art (whatever that means for you) and your brain suddenly shuts down, and says ‘I’m done!’ It’s happened right?
One of the biggest mindful practises I share is listening to your body and the subconscious boundaries that it sets. If your brain tells you it’s done… STOP!
Even if that means you’ve only worked four hours a day when you intended to work eight, the work you would have produced on a full tank is your gold!
The trend seems to be to push through, push and push, more coffee, less sleep and a hustle mentality. Recent times have shown us the value of slowing down and I know you’ve experienced that more often than not, pushing through brings epic burnout.
No amount of caffeine or lack of sleep will result in any sort of meaningful art. Fuel your body with sleep, food and movement and before you know it, your body will send you signs that it’s ready to start up again.
2. When you get a burst of inspiration, drop everything and write it down
The best piece of advice I have ever been given as a creative is to keep a notebook on me at all times! And that’s the gospel truth.
Maybe it’s an actual notebook or the notes feature on your phone (I prefer the latter) but as soon as a little firefly of inspirations lights up in that wonderful brain, write it down.
Whether you’re on the train, walking down the street, in the shower, driving in the car, cooking dinner.
Wherever you might be when that gems strikes, make a note within the next five minutes because we all know how frustrating it is to have got the glimpse of an idea but then had it blown out of our memory by distractions.
3. Meditate (Hear me out!)
If you’re a meditation pro or even a meditation guru that’s stumbled on this blog, I apologise in advance but this is intended for all the people who I’ve met who’ve told me that meditation just doesn’t work for them.
If that’s you, can I suggest that maybe the idea you’ve been of meditation may be too strict? Hear me out!
During my ‘meditating’ moments, I have stumbled across some of my best ideas, my most provoking captions and the blog posts that I am the most proud of.
Here’s what I do: I simply sit in a quiet corner, maybe out in nature, maybe on the beach, maybe on my couch, cross legged with my eyes open, just staring out into the void with no distractions. Simple.
Just get rid of all your distractions and allow your brain to mindlessly wander to all your different thoughts.
For you, it could mean sitting on the loo without your phone or it could mean closing your eyes for 10 minutes during shavasana or it could mean using an app like Calm with a guided meditation.
OK yes, there’s a proper way to meditate, and if you can hone in on that ancient practice, then amazing! But for a lot of people, the fact that our lives are so full of distractions often means that the power of some alone time can be the simplest form of reaching some inner peace.
Find those moments of peace, and you’ll find your golden creations.
4. Get rid of the ‘busy’ mentality
Our society has always been ‘busy’, but current times have shown us that unless we slow down and make more time, we’re going to run right by the things that made us inspired us to do what we do in the first place.
If you’re a creative mind or any human mind for that matter, you once read books, you visited galleries, went to concerts, you had nights out with friends, you had late nights with lovers, you had home cooked meals and hot bubble baths.
It is when we decide to pursue a creative life that we should be doing more of those things, not less! It’s by doing those wonderful simple things that we can continue to feel inspired by the world, that we can continue to live the human experience that guides our passions and we can feel the little bursts of magic that fuel the creative brain.
It’s ok to have things to do, but when ‘busy’ becomes a constant excuse, we have to start asking ourselves what we’re doing any of this for? Be intentional about how you spend your time.
5. Find your tribe
Maybe you’re tired of hearing that term, but have you ever just felt like you met the human, or group of humans, who just get you?
Those people, the ones who unequivocally understand you, who can put into words the thoughts you’ve been having, who convey the energy that you’ve been missing in your life? That’s your tribe!
And in this wonderful age of technology, you don’t ever have to have met them in real life. Hey! Maybe we’re part of the same tribe and our paths are only just crossing now?
Once you witness the energy of the people who have lived through your journey, who have fought the same battles and won, there’s a fire of inspiration and perseverance that will light up inside you.
Everything you create after that will come from a place of knowing that you belong here and that there is room in this world for your art.
I would love to connect with you on socials! Here’s where you can find me:
Sit back, grab a snack, and I can’t wait to see what life has to offer us next!
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