Tools for Fueling your Creative Fire

Creativity can be much like the tide with its ebbs and flows. This can be acceptable at times, yet frustrating at others. It can also be a challenge to know where to go at times with this flow. Here are some tools I’ve gathered along the way that you may find helpful in your own creative journey. Take what resonates and leave the rest.

Creative Life Coaches can be very helpful!

I highly recommend Sam at Coaching Creatively. We’ve been working together for 2 years now! In this time, she has helped me to develop my strengths as well as my perceived weaknesses. This has helped me to grow both as a person and as a writer; as a mother, too.

Sam is amazingly supportive. She teaches you how to unlock and access yourself and your own creativity. She also understands the process, as she herself is a poet. Sam walks-the-walk and for me that’s imperative; she gets it and she gets me (which is a rare thing for me to say).

The process Sam uses is unique. It is called co-creative coaching, which means she’s there and “in it” with you. Please check her out. She has a free 1/2 hour “trial” session to offer you. What is there to lose? (well, your fear for one… that beast can be greatly unhelpful with creativity).

Meditation. I know, if you’ve followed me for any length of time, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it!

When we meditate we can hone in and focus our energy. Meditation, contrary to popular belief, is NOT about silencing, stopping or killing the mind. The mind was made to think, much like the heart to beat or the lungs to breathe. Thinking is a sign of life. HOWEVER, just as we don’t pay attention to every breath nor heartbeat doesn’t mean we have to pay attention to every single thought we think….

Through regular meditation, and increased bouts during times of distress, I have seen both my intuition and creativity increase. A tool I absolutely love is the Insight Timer App. There are many free features including countless talks and meditations on a wide variety of topics. Furthermore, if you join, membership has the advantage of granting you access to all of the courses. Definitely worthwhile to check out whether you meditate or not.

READ! When I’m stuck with my writing, I pick up a book and read. Some recent reads that I HIGHLY recommend:

  • Anais Nin In Favor of the Sensitive Man and Other Essays. While Nin was born in the early 1900’s, I was surprised HOW much I resonated with her essays in this book (no, they’re not ALL about men). Years ago, I stopped writing erotica because I felt that it was not in alignment with my spiritual growth. After reading some of her essays, I now see that this was a grave mistake on my part. Nin has helped me to see that erotica allows us to explore beyond our present reality. I’m still in resistance here, chipping away at that old salt block piece-by-lovely-piece.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I missed the train on Eat, Pray, Love (maybe I’ll catch it one day), however, this book has been an absolute gem. Gilbert has SO many counterpoints to ALL of the areas where I have found myself getting trapped, and ones I didn’t even see as traps. Just about every page or two has a new idea or view, most of which I agree, some of which I do not. HOWEVER, in reading this book (and I’m 80% through it) I am approaching my writing and my life completely differently.
  • Debbie Ford The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. This book is about looking into our shadow aspects, which are not all “bad” aspects; as hearing the word shadow may imply. My analogy here is that seeds sprout in darkness, which is also where our creativity is borne. I have overcome SO many self-limiting beliefs with this book, and since I’m still using the tools I’ve learned, I’m still counting more unsupportive beliefs undone.

Your Creative Genius. So I just started reading Big Magic last week! However, I “fell in love” with Elizabeth Gilbert by seeing her TED talk several years ago called “Your elusive creative genius.” In this talk she discusses the early Western concept of the creative genius being outside of ourselves. This concept can really help to unload a great deal of pressure and greatly free our creativity.

Follow your curiosity. In this podcast, The Curiosity-Driven Life, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses here how not everyone has a set and specific purpose in life. This really spoke to me, as I am more like a hummingbird, flitting from flower-to-flower following my varying curiosities. This is compared to how Gilbert describes herself as a “jackhammer.” Though I will say, based on her body of work, that she has both qualities. While she knew she wanted to be a writer, her body of work is quite diverse.

CREATE! Sometimes, we just need to create for ourselves, and actually, I write more often to understand myself than anything. It is then that I sometimes feel called to share my discoveries.

I’ll also add that sometimes switching the creative medium can also help get the flow moving. Allow yourself to be imperfect and make mistakes as a painter if you are a writer, or vice versa. It’s not about the outcome as much as it is the process. PERFECTION and the need for it are self-sabotaging. I find the fastest way to kill my creativity is in “looking for something deep and meaningful” to say. Furthermore, I find I lose my audience when I dig too deeply with my memes on IG.

Be in Nature or drive. Some of my best ideas ‘come to me’ when I’m driving or hiking. I feel like I read somewhere that driving and being in nature activate the creative aspects of our brains.

Be willing to make mistakes. Again, this is the perfection thing rearing its ugly head. Instead, I often find “happy mistakes” often lead to greater creative genius. So much of creativity is really about allowing.

Understand your Enneagram. This can help you to understand your basic motivations, potential potholes and even ways to rise above it all to your highest potential (this is such an amazing system to understand). Most creatives (not all) are “hopeless romantic” Enneagram Fours. I will say that I resisted this initially. However, this podcast “May the Fours be with you” showed me that this is my grouping.

Move your body. Walk, stretch, bike, hike, dance, or just move differently. We get stuck in the same movement patterns, this leads to stagnation; which is anti-flow.

Change something. Drive to work differently. Get up at a different time. Maybe get up earlier to create while the energy is still fresh. Make a new creative space, or just rearrange the one you have.

I know there is a lot of material here. It can take some time to move through it all, again, take what resonates.

May we each find and use the tools that support us on our creative journeys. 

Namaste

 

Unplanned Hiatus

Somewhere I lost my way. It happens to us all at some point. Getting back into the writing saddle has been more challenging than I expected this time.

It was innocent, the loss. Or so it seemed. Until I realized one day there was something missing. It’s as if I left my best friend behind at a rest stop and it took many miles before I saw my friend was no longer in the car. Yet it’s worse than that because I was left with a sense of loss without understanding what the loss even was for some time.

During this time I’ve allowed myself to be distracted and not all in healthy ways. It seems that imbalance is inevitable and when we find ourselves out of balance, how we respond is more important than the actual loss of balance.

I’ve also allowed life circumstances to chip away at my resolve to write and share, having already felt too vulnerable. Yet, I see now where this was a fallacy. It is in writing and sharing that leads to better understanding, at least that’s what works for me.

So cheers to getting back in the saddle! Now to find the sunset, the partner in crime and the horses… 😉 🌅

May we all be well in our journeys, understanding that where we have taken side trails that it is just part of the learning process.

Namaste

Writer’s Block: The Pursuit of Perfection


Words typically flow through my mind like a raging river. Recently, the flow stopped in a way it had never done before. I felt frozen, cold and isolated, as if in a shell. A shell, it turns out, I had imposed upon myself and reinforced.

Breathing through the stagnation, spending more time in meditation and “just writing” were not helping – my usual strategies. My frustration only grew; as did my tendency to catastrophize.

Usually I can walk away from writing if it’s not working. Now that I’ve stepped up my game and started writing a book, I’ve been putting more pressure on myself to produce.


I see how I was pushing against the very thing I desired. The more I pushed myself to write, the less I was able to produce. Much like trying to force yourself to go to sleep; it doesn’t work. Sleep, like creativity, just happens when we allow it to. 

In my pursuit of words, they just ran faster. I also see where I was blocking myself by wanting the words to flow perfectly. I froze and isolated myself with the pursuit of perfection.

Our faith is most tested in the darkness, when we cannot see the light.

Feeling stuck, I reached out to friends for help. I asked for them to see me writing in a warm, sunny and free way. Perhaps this was a lesson in surrender as much as it was in asking for help; something I am loathe to do.

The river’s flow has returned, but in a more subtle way. The words are there, but I must surrender further to hear them.

In taking a step back, I see where I do this in many areas of my life.  Pushing. Pulling. Pursuing perfection. Today, I am surrendering and trusting a little more deeply.

 

Namaste 

bloodletting

the words pour out

like blood onto the pages

pumping never ceases

tirelessly one must

pour more blood in

for the letting

Painter of words 

As a writer I paint words,
replacing brushstrokes
with keystrokes.

Just like Hemingway said,
writing is just bleeding,
except now it’s at the keyboard.

oops! and this post makes 3,
past my quota of 2 max/day.
at least it’s a quick read?!

(C) tiffanybeingfree.com 2016

This Flow of Words


ID-100169894

The words flow

as if from a tap.

A wellspring

which has

sprung.

~~
The more

I write,

the more

easily

the words

flow.

~~

From my

fingertips,

to my lips,

the irritation

if I cannot

express,

or try to

suppress

the words

that flow

from

someplace

I now know.

~~

Last year,

I had to

crank and

crank the

pump handle

to get

but a few

drips.

One

at

a

time.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The trickle

barely enough

to tickle

my fancy.

Certainly

never enough

to wet

my whistle.

~~~

Now like a geyser,

the words rise

up out of me.

I cannot

seem to stop.

Nor do I want

to stop

this

flow

of

words.

Namaste.

Writing is…

My medicine.

The salve for my wounds.

It is my outlet, my inlet.

It gives me insight and perspective.

Through words I connect more deeply with myself and others.

Writing is my gateway to sanity, though I often write insanely.

Writing is my pleasure and my pain.

It is my balance and imbalance.

It is my breath. Through it I inhale and exhale: breathing, panting, gasping. Grasping. Releasing.

Writing is the fire in my belly that burns until expressed through my fingertips – my lips.

It is my passion and my dispassion.

My obsession, my lesson.

Writing is for me the burning embers of my desire; my soul’s truest expression on this plane.

Writing is in my soul. It is there that I connect to the All and beyond.

Writing is …. simply me.

Namaste.

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