It’s been a while! I hope this new website and new lifestyle will bring me to a discipline with blogging. I have to fill the void somehow. Might as well get productive with things. The website needs to have content on it in some form! This is a blog that I started back in September 2019, but I don’t think I ever got around to finishing it or posting it. However, it does not make it totally irrelevant to myself today…in fact it is remarkably still quite relevant. It is actually a reflection of something I did one year ago, almost to this very date. So let’s begin…
Signs You Are OUT of Creative ALIGNMENT!! (and what to do)
Are you feeling like no matter what you do you can’t get ahead? Treading water? Even if you do accomplish or produce something, somehow it doesn’t meet expectations and it leaves you slightly dissatisfied? It can feel like the mind is racing and the body can’t keep up. When these 2 entities fall out of balance it’s the fire/gasoline combo igniting depression, anxiety, and even just plain old writer’s block. It can fall even deeper into panic attacks or paralysis episodes that kill the motivation to do anything. Though it may feel like we are the only ones experiencing it, this is something that plagues us all from time to time–especially artists trying to keep up in this 2023 world of rising prices and abundant distractions. In this post I’m going to talk about how to combat these situations and how to let things happen in order to right the creative ship. These frantic states are completely normal because it is the case of our mind & body trying to communicate something to us…we just need to have the awareness to figure out what that is.
When we can’t keep up with our minds, we have likely slipped into ‘living in the future’ instead of in the present.
Whether we know it or not, we can be looking ahead and trying to make whatever that vision is into the present reality. Now, most of the time, this falls in line with being goal-oriented and is not such a bad thing, but it can turn into a trap when we slip into fantasizing about what the future will bring. THIS CLIP FROM THE FILM ‘STUTZ’ WITH JONAH HILL talks about the idea of creating a ‘snapshot’ of what the dream situation will be. Though we can tell ourselves that we have this goal, what we likely have is a ‘perfect situation’ that is forever out of our reach. Thus we are then trapped into perfectionism and even hypervigilance in making sure we are doing all the right things in all the right ways to make sure this ‘snapshot’ can become a reality.
Recently, this came up for me as I am trying to put the necessary things in motion for my own entrepreneurship. I’m learning and practicing how to put out creative content in a way that cultivates a following to later start my own creative coaching program. The other day I was learning about the importance of an email list for a newsletter to directly communicate with the folks that I am building a community with. I started feeling overwhelmed…a sense of shame that I haven’t been doing this in the past, along with impatience by wanting to immediately rectify this situation and move forward. I lost sight of the process and honed in on this finish line. But luckily, I was aware enough to understand exactly what happened and step back to articulate what was going on to myself and other folks who are able to talk me down.
But what happens when you’re not able to catch it early and start getting in too deep?
As a daydreamer of a child, my mind has been wandering my whole life. Any teacher I’ve had in the past can likely verify this. Also being a native loner further incites periods of getting lost in my own sauce. At some point, when I get caught in the web of anxiety, it seems like there is a never-ending cycle of preparation. I need to prepare for this and prepare for that…eventually my brain looks like a guy holding all these spinning plates. Without fail, what goes up comes down. Plates crash, distractions creep in, and the chasm of depression opens up to swallow me whole. Dammit–not again!!
At this point, some battles may have been lost…but not the war. WHAT JIM CARREY SAYS ON DEPRESSION opened my eyes to a whole new perspective. When our train of thought derails, listening to what our bodies are telling us is the key. Most of the time our body is telling us we can’t keep up with you, we need a rest. Having this awareness we can then move into thinking…what can we do to get the rest we need? My suggestions here come from what works for me:
Of course, my first tip, if you have the means, is to confide in a therapist–they will ally themselves with your process and validate how you choose to move through these depressive cycles. These cycles will likely always come and go so it’s nice to have any kind of teammate for those future challenges.
Next is finding ways to give your body the rest it needs. Writing down whatever is swirling in my mind puts it at ease–journaling with music on, starting a to-do list for the next few days, or embracing some scattered forms of poetry.
Lastly for me would be to break a behavior pattern. PUTTING DOWN THE PHONE and getting out into nature to write some things, finding some new meditations, or even spending some time with family. But all this would come after that decompressing stage.
I want to also acknowledge that there are severe and clinical forms of depression that are much more difficult to maneuver around, this is another reason why the therapist is my first tip. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and it’s always getting worse, please find the strength to contact a professional. You’re needed here and you are worthy of finding peace.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this:
My 2 obsessions right now are Rick Rubin and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Rubin’s new book The Creative Act: A Way of Being is my nightly read and it is completely eye-opening on how we need to preserve our creative antennas in order to avoid the tunnel vision that society can put us in. If you are looking for some words of inspiration, or are feeling down on yourself, I cannot recommend that book enough. On the other hand, THE WORDS OF MS. LAURYN HILL gives the perspective that allows us to step back and not force our creations to happen. To me, Ms. Hill is the ultimate artist. Her debut record The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is also a daily indulgence of mine at the moment. The combination of these two right now is teaching me this:
Creativity is not happening FROM us, it is happening THROUGH us. Once we understand this perspective and are aware of this PROCESS, we must take care of ourselves in order to be the proper vessel that’s needed for creativity to flow. Our internal state will reflect in our external circumstances. PHARRELL ALSO RECOMMENDS YOU NEVER STOP CREATING!
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Here we are now—a full year after COVID hit the United States and put an entire country in limbo. From toilet paper nearly becoming currency to vaccines becoming readily available, we have now seen the impact of this pandemic from this trip around the sun. I think this may be a good time to really reflect on what life was, what it is now, and what the hell we should do now...
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