I’d been writing. I’d only planned on an hour or so, but three had passed. I just couldn’t stop. It was like the words were flowing through me and I was too scared to stop. It was amazing. So exhilarating and energizing. So easy. I love easy. It was late, though, and I had to shift gears and close down for the night.
The next day when I tried to pick up where I’d left off, I couldn’t. The flow wasn’t there. I’d gotten into an argument with my partner. I woke up feeling lousy. And there was an acute pressure to generate some immediate revenue rather than write. I felt guilty about following my passion, the amount of time I’d invested, and the sacrifices that had been made while I did tried to make my dream a reality.
I was incredibly scared. What if I couldn’t finish writing the book? What if nobody read the book? What if I failed? Another wave of guilt washed over me. It was exhausting. The fear just seems to build on itself.
Bring on the miracles
There was a lot going on. If I wanted to tap into my creative juices again, I knew I’d have to make some serious shifts, heal some of the old hurts driving the rising fear, and be willing to trust myself.
Sometimes the search for your creative spark feels like the mirage in the desert. The more you focus on getting it back by chasing it, the more elusive it becomes. All the fears of, “What if?” only serve to deepen the dry spell, digging you deeper into the trench. Where your focus goes, your energy flows. The more you focus on what’s not working, the more that doesn’t work. It’s a vicious cycle.
When our actions reach the limits of our esteem, our brains will click into a warning mode. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all experienced a bruised ego that embedded the thought, “I never want to feel that way again!” The mind tries to keep us safe. So when we reach those outer edges of what we are and start to ease into what we could be, the mind activates the saboteur archetype in us to keep us “safe.”
Regardless of how big your dreams are, if you don’t believe 100% that you can be that or if something triggers an old belief around success, you can’t move forward. The creative flow stops.
The journey out of the dry spell requires a journey in.
In yoga and ayurveda (a form of Eastern Medicine), swadisthana is believed to be the energy center that drives creativity. Located two inches below the navel, just anterior to the sacrum, this center develops between ages 6 – 24 months. Vocabulary skills at that time are rudimentary. Emotions are much better expressed creatively.
At that age, everything is new! There is no history to mar the experience. No “been there, done that, not doing that again!” There is no comparison-itis. Just play, eat, play, poop, play and rest before the whole process starts again. Life is fun, especially if you are raised in a loving, supportive family because you just get to be you without too much concern about safety, security, and survival.
If you have simultaneously been focusing on security, acceptance, and/or approval, it is a bit like putting a kink in a water hose. The creative flow diminishes. Guilt becomes the demon of this energy center. If you have sacrificed one area of your life- such as relationships or health- in favor of where the flow was, guilt may appear. If your success shines a light on the wounded or lacking esteem of someone you care about, guilt may surface. If what you always thought you would do is different than what you are doing, guilt may impede the flow.
My guilt stemmed from someone else earning the majority of the income while I followed my dream. I allowed the value of my bank account to reflect my self worth. That only served to de-value my self-worth even more! I had to really be very present and honest with myself about why I was doing what I was doing. Then I had to be willing to keep showing up fully for myself. Even if the flow wasn’t there, was I willing to show up anyway? Fortunately, I was.
What really allowed me to break through was giving myself permission to play. If you’re willing to return to when everything was new, the pressure to exceed expectations was off, and life was fun you can open up the channel of creativity with ease.
Don’t wait for a play date.
Go play. Find a playground and swing on the swings. Go buy a kite. While you’re there, buy some bubbles, crayons, and get an adult coloring book- that now comes in a variety of themes from spiritual to profane. Unleash your inner child. Don’t give a shit if people look at you weird. If they pay attention to you at all, they probably are just a tad envious at your courage.
Dump the adult role for a minute. Meetings and networking are boring. Instead of meeting over coffee, go play frisbee and talk. Organize a snowball fight and tubing if you live where it snows. Use your imagination to invent new games. Start a kickball team. Go bowling while using golf scoring (it’s much harder to do when you’re actually aiming for a low score and hilarious to watch).
Take a nap when you need to rest. Don’t be afraid to sleep. Use a guided meditation if you only have a short time to relax. Eat a nutritious snack to fuel your mind and body. In fact, drop the junk food all together. Rest your beautiful body for optimal use.
A final tip is from the yogi’s. Wear some orange, burn some sandalwood incense, and shake your hips. Okay, they may not have stated the last one as such. Orange is the color of this energy center, so surrounding yourself with it helps to activate it. Sandalwood is a scent associated with the energy center and helps to activate the senses. The hips are where the energy center is located, so shaking them helps loosen stuck energy. Plus it’s fun. And creativity loves fun.
Where are you feeling stuck? I have an uncanny way of helping people through the stuck spots around where they are and where they want to be. I offer a three session package to help you weed through what you’re wanting to do, help shift energy and bring healing to the parts of you in self-sabotage mode, and generate an inspired action plan for forward momentum. You can learn more here.