Expert: Teri Griffin Williams, Soul-cial Connector
Every now and then even the most creative of us fall into what can seem like a deep dark void where not even the slightest spark ignites into that bright light of artistic explosion. What can you do when you feel yourself hurling into the space of “nothingness?”
When I find myself slipping into a creative funk I stop, breathe, and gently give myself permission to simply be. At times when I am forced to move on, because of deadlines and commitments I take a look at this list, choosing at least one or two to practice. (OK sometimes all of them) Generally speaking, after running through this list, an idea has sparked and the flame begins to burst.
1. Meditate – Nothing dumps the baggage from the mind easier then meditation. Practicing a creativity meditation can help reduce stress, drama and fear, quieting the mind, opening it up for more positive thoughts to easily and effortlessly flow.
2. Morning Pages – several years ago I began reading “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. Cameron suggests that you begin each day with writing three pages about anything. I have found that setting the timer for a minimum of 10 minutes helped me to channel my focus. In the beginning, most days were filled with complete randomness, which overflowed into the rest of my days writings.
3. Catch the idea when it hits – How many times have you thought of a great idea just when you were walking into a meeting? Carry a notebook or use voice record on your phone to capture the idea or spark as soon as it hits.
4. Walk the dog – or pet the cat, or sit in the park. Nature offers one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reconnect with flow. The natural world is the ultimate source for activity and flow, even if you simply follow the path of an ant.
5. Draw a creativity map – with a thought in the center of a piece of paper, create a web of associated thoughts that extend from the center out. Notice the pattern that arises and the inspirations connected to that first thought or word. Use the threads of the pattern as your spark.
6. Feed your inspiration – Pay attention to what inspires you and be present with it often. Allow yourself time to tap into your inspirational source often to stay energized and uplifted.
7. Move your energy – Get up and dance, bend, stretch, move. Moving your body moves energy, like hitting the refresh button on the computer screen.
8. Connect with others – visit a coffee shop with a friend, go to a party, host a dinner club, engage and bond with likeminded people for conversation, collaboration and social connecting.
9. Play – that’s right play, have fun, and do something off the wall and unexpected. Need help with that? Find a child to mentor or become a big brother/big sister to and allow yourself to simply play.
The next time you find yourself lacking the creative spark, take a deep breath and lean into the moment. The pressures off, you have my permission to explore new ways to tap in.
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