Do you always feel like you are on the go go go? There are only 24 hours in a day so it is very easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you can’t accomplish everything you set out to do. As an artist, this feeling can be increased if you don’t believe you are as far a long in your professional success as you would like to be.
You might even start comparing yourself to others. This kind of thinking can send you into a downward spiral and can be very damaging to your self-esteem and creativity. To keep yourself on the creative track, you need to learn how to silence those negative voices in your head and stay connected to your creative core.
Think about those moments when you are effortlessly creative. Those moments are when you connect with yourself and your creative flow. Often, we don’t make enough time in our daily lives for our creative flow to happen.
How do you detach from the narratives that disempower you and tap into your creative flow in your already busy life? Here are some tips that might set you on that path. Practice these when you have trouble focusing or need to feel connected.
-Develop a daily practice of some sort that takes you out of your head and allows you to be in the present moment and connect to your body. For me it’s yoga and meditation. For you it might be going for a walk in nature, sitting and listening to music that moves you, dancing in your kitchen for 10 minutes, running (without the iPod), swimming, or any activity that allows you to be present and disconnect from the internal chatter.
– Take a moment to just breathe. When you are feeling anxious, emotional or stuck in a mental loop, stop and notice where in your body the feelings reside. Are they in your chest, solar plexus or throat perhaps? Breathe into them and just be with the feelings.Don’t try to run away from or suppress them. Notice they are just thoughts and are not who you are. They will often dissipate by just being aware of them.
– Practice self compassion and gratitude -stop, reflect on and acknowledge all that you have accomplished both professionally and personally. Take the time every day to be thankful for all that is good in your life. Practice daily gratitude and always be looking for ways to give to others. You may even want to start a gratitude journal.
– Write it down. In The Artists Way, Julia Cameron recommends you adopt a practice called Morning Pages. Wake up and immediately write three pages about anything that pops into your head–stream of consciousness. This will help create awareness and to free your mind of distractions.
-Focus on your unique creative work and the larger purpose that sustains you in doing it. Don’t constantly compare yourself to others who may be farther along than you. Yes, it is a competitive world out there and doubts will surface all the time, but your work is a unique reflection of you and your voice. Be moved by your inspiration, not by fear. Remind yourself why you do what you do.
-Look at your creative career as a continuum that ebbs and flows along with everything in your life– with both highs and lows, breakthroughs and stalls. It is much easier to experience the joy of all your successes and bounce back from the disappointments when you start to embrace the moment.
What are some of the ways you separate from your thoughts and stay on track creatively? Please share them with us!