Overcoming Creative Blocks
Being in a state of creative flow can feel like one of the most engaging, wonderful, natural ways of being, especially in a world that can outwardly seem chaotic and contradictory. Too often in the arts, however, we can become conditioned to think that something “should” look or sound a certain way, or we are trained to look at our work with an overbearing sense of perfectionism and criticism. Those approaches usually feel like the complete opposite of entering into a FLOW, and can lead to creative blocks. They are product-based vs. process-based, and if we don’t know how to keep a balanced perspective, what once felt creative and expansive can begin to feel constrictive and even obstructive. Though technique and refinement have their place in all of life, not just in the arts, it’s important to approach things from our center, so that we may also stay present with what is authentic, and what is arising in us…. to stay tuned in to whatever it is that our souls are trying to give birth to. Just as a baby needs a passageway through which it can safely enter into the world, our creativity needs an unblocked space through which it can flow.
So what to do when we are experiencing creative blocks? There are so many fun answers to this question! Most of the solutions to overcoming creative blocks simply help us get out of our own way. They help us to quiet the left brain analyses, and to let the ego take the bench for bit, so that our playful nature can reconnect us with our right brain processes, and with our creative spirit again. My husband and I do a lot of art, both for pleasure and for profession, and when we feel blocked, we will each take an old sketch pad or some drawing paper, and secretly write down some random prompts for the other one. We just write down the first things that come into our minds. For example, I might give him a prompt like: Draw what your heart chakra feels like right now. And he might write something for me like this: Trace your hands and then fill them with the first words that come to your mind. After writing them, we exchange the notebooks again and take a half hour or so to let ourselves playfully draw out the prompts. It’s incredible how helpful it is at obliterating blockages! Another example we love is Dr. Seuss’ hat room! He had this secret closet, his hat room, and sometimes he and his editor would walk there, each pick a headpiece, and then they would put the hats on and go sit across from one another just stare at each other until they had a breakthrough! So have some fun finding what works for you, and allows you to release attachment to the “product,” and just dive back into the process.
There’s a very inspiring class offered here at the Academy called “Free Your Creative Spirit,” which is designed to help you get into your own unique flow, and remove what might be blocking your creative process. Here’s a brief description of this workshop:
“Creativity is the language of the soul. Fluidity in expression opens our hearts, lifts our spirits, and expands our consciousness. In this course you are guaranteed to awaken your creative genius. We use clay, collage, movement, painting and theater to open the channel. Simple and fun exercises remove all blocks to the free flowing of your authentic spirit and catalyze your personal and spiritual growth.” Check out this link to find out more!
~ Article by Karuna