“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists of all time suggesting in this quote that in order to get “inspired” you must be busy doing your work – not waiting around wishing and hoping that a flash of brilliance will come to you. Instead, working and continuing to create even when you feel, well, a little less than creative.
Let’s face it. We’ve all had moments where we just couldn’t swing it anymore. Overwhelmed by life in general and specific stressors in particular, we often lose our swing and our creative energy is just zapped. So, what do we do? No one wants to be stuck in a rut forever and certainly those of us whose very livelihood depends on continuous creativity at some level can’t afford to give into a creative lull.
So, when you find you have lost your creative swing, here are some tips to get it back and find your creative groove:
1. Observe and discover - get out and about. Do something differently, even if it's driving to work a different way or changing up your work out routine (oh, and if you don't work out, start! That alone will help inspiration find you!). Find out more about what motivates you creatively and how you want to express that. This will help you choose the experiences, situations and relationships that will be most stimulating for you. When you begin to observe the world around you and find out what really stimulates you, you start to feel in flow and things seem to occur naturally and effortlessly. Inspiration will find you.
2. Let your imagination be your guide - at least for one day. If you are ever lacking inspiration or creative ideas, just hang out with a group of young children for a few hours. Watching their ability to imagine and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary - a stick becomes a knight's sword, a rock becomes a fairy house, a sled over two mounds of snow becomes a bridge to new lands - will virtually guarantee that you see things differently and spark some creativity in you. According to Carl Sagan (an American Astronomer and Astrophysicist), "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere." Make sure you are on the road to going somewhere - tap into that wonderful imagination that has served you so well for so long.
3. Believe in your creative capabilities. Often when we lose our swing, we tend to second guess ourselves and question whether or not we're creative or if we will ever get our groove back. We start hearing ourselves saying words like "should," "could," "would have," "could have." Or, worse, phrases like, "That will never happen," or "I can't," or "I'm too (insert appropriate dysfunctional adjective) old, young, whatever." These self-defeating words, phrases do nothing to serve us and quite frankly, just make us feel worse!! If you believe in your creative abilities (try some affirmations to help - I am creative. I do believe I can do this. I am good enough, etc.) and venture forth with that belief, the probability of success and value that you receive will be much greater than if you don't believe. By believing you will attract more creative things into your life will lead you to having more energy and confidence which, in turn, will help you get your swing back.
As a seasoned traveler of both personal and professional change, I understand how easily we can lose our swing and get stuck. In good times and in bad, the choices we make every day will keep us either faithful or unfaithful to the path that is ours to journey. Remember the words of Marianne Williamson, “…your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. When we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” So commit to letting your creative light shine and watch as your creative groove gets grooving again!
So, tell me…what do you do when you’ve lost your creative swing and how do you get back in the groove? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org