Why You Have Creative Block & How to Navigate it

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Why You Have Creative Block & How to Navigate it

Navigating Creative Block

Creativity is a beautiful state to be in - it brings forth fresh, life-affirming ideas & transformative, beautiful works of art.

Creativity is not just for artists; We use creativity in a myriad of ways in our everyday lives:

- connecting the dots between multiple phenomenons
- finding a solution to a tricky problem
- allowing your subconscious mind to come forth 
- seeing things from a different perspective
- bringing beauty into your life

As useful and magical as it is to be in this state, even the most successful creatives amongst us experience creative blocks.

It can be frustrating when you’ve experienced the ecstasy of creative flow and then have it dry up out of nowhere - especially if you rely on it for a living.

Suddenly you might be struggling to come up with a concept for a photoshoot, book, painting or song...

Or you just can't find a way around a tricky situation in your career, home life or school life. 

We would benefit greatly from having constant access to creativity so why do we develop creative blocks and how can we navigate them?

First of all...

What is creativity?

Creativity isn't so much a personality trait that some people have and others don't (although there are close connections to certain personalities).

Creativity is an energy that you can tap into at any time. We all have access to it but some of us are more driven by personality & values to stick our heads under the tap and guzzle the sweet nectar of creative juice.

Creativity is feminine energy. It doesn’t like to be rushed or pressured. It likes to flow in its own time. It likes to feel fully in delight or despair. 

The source never dries out - there is an endless abundance of it.

We experience creativity when we are inspired.
But it would do you no good if I advised you around your creative block by saying,
"You just need to go and find yourself more inspiration". 

Because inspiration never ceases to exist - we merely need to open our eyes & see it.

Remove the blindfold

When you've found yourself in a creative slump - it is not that the tap has stopped flowing - it is that something in you has blocked itself off to it.
A wall has been built around your heart; a blindfold has been placed over your eyes. 

Stress, pressure, unfelt emotion, not feeling good enough.
Death and all his friends build a wall around your heart that inhibits creativity's flow. 

Navigating through creative blocks is not so much a matter of finding more inspiration - it's in removing the blindfold. 

How I navigate my creative blocks

How to fix creative block how to write how to be creative

Writing - journalling, lists, mindmaps

This is first on the list in my protocol to identify a block.
I may not find the answer in the first sentence I write, or even on the first page.

It gets me closer to it though. Word by word.

The translation of my thoughts into ink is turning chaos into order. It is sifting through the lies, half-truths & excuses to find Truth.

"The pen is mightier than the sword" isn't just one of those old sayings that are easy to ignore because old people say them.

Writing is literally thinking - and thinking is what makes humans powerful & influential.
Our civilisation completely transformed once the written word came into our midst - as will you.

How to fix creative block how to write how to be creative

Get in Nature (let nature inside)

Walking in the forest.
Barefoot - or as close to it as possible.
Letting the sun in my eyes and touching my skin.
Eating an ancestral diet.
Mid-winter swims in the lake when I’m in desperate need!

I know I sound like a hippie - and I totally am!
No matter, we are all beings of nature and it does us endless good to wrap ourselves in it - especially in times of creative lack.

The medicine of the Earth, in all her different ways, can help us reach equilibrium - bringing us back to our centre - where the real transformation happens.

How to fix creative block how to write how to be creative

Read a story

Knowledge & meaning are passed down through stories.
Since ancient times (In the beginning!) we have turned our experiences into stories so that others can be mentored when it's their time to learn.

It completes the cycle of a lesson.

It's a fundamental reason why art is our nature
Art conveys meaning

Books, movies, mythology, podcasts, conversations, art

Youtube: Like Stories of Old - Philosophy of LOTR

Relating to other people and finding knowledge in their stories is a step towards unblocking your creativity. Without realising, a friend may hand you a sword of truth that helps you to defeat your demons.

Find some trusted sources of wisdom. Friends that give you good advice during conversations are gemstones!
Get rid of the other ones.

I have a few mentors that I seek out when I need to solve a problem. I like to keep a relatively small circle whilst covering all bases of possibilities. 
I like to keep between 5-7 different sources - enough for variety in perspective. Not so many that I could get confused and not so few that I'm cutting off possibility. 

(also seems like a good way to set up your social media... )

How to fix creative block how to write how to be creative

Spend time with horses & animals

Spending time with my horse is the most powerful way to identify & perhaps even shift an inner block.

Connecting with a horse is meditation. It’s gaining access to the current moment. We strive towards this center in our training - transitions, piaffe, rider position - an outward reflection of an inner state. 

Horses will tell you when you are out of center if you listen - a clue to where your attention is required - just as they will tell you when you are in your centre. They positively reinforce being in your centre to put a psychological spin on it. 

Training a horse helps to develop a kind of muscle memory for being centred. Once you have that feel for it - you have a baseline to go from and explore. 

Now that I have eyes to see

When my creative block is removed - two things become apparent:

  1. Gratitude for the insight my creative block revealed to me

  2. I can see the inspiration that exists EVERYWHERE!


And the list goes on...

Inspiration starts as an open mind

An open mind will gain you access to the possibilities that exist just on the other side of a perspective shift.

This is why in the Big Five Scale of personality structure, people who score highly in trait openness are generally very creative people - they are naturally open to seeing the inspiration that exists everywhere. 

Link to a scientifically validated Big Five Scale personality test - $15

This is why it is so important to Know Thyself

My Golden Rule

Life can be confusing - but there is one powerful force that you have access to always: your interest.

"A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills."
- Arthur Schopenhauer

“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.
When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.” 
― Joseph Campbell

You can't control what takes your interest because that is the realm of your subconscious mind and it is a powerful problem solver. 
Let your interest guide you - it wants to find the answers so you can reach your highest potential.

It is a deep inner mechanism but it rises to the surface when something grabs your attention.

Use the force, Luke. 

How to fix creative block how to write how to be creative

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