This is for the days when you’re feeling stuck, unmotivated, and trying to find some inspiration to get your creative juice flowing again.
It happens to the best of us. Because we’re human, and our nervous systems aren’t designed to be ‘on’ all the time.
Your nervous system has a range from fast to slow that it moves through. Both are necessary. Both are good. It’s just that we often idolize the fast and resist the slow.
Consider that the feeling of ‘stuck’, could just be that you’re going through a natural season of ‘slow’. And maybe the best thing you can do is just let slow be your flow.
Other times though, you might have been ‘on’ for too long, and then crash into burn-out.
And sometimes, the to-do list feels so stressful, staying stuck in the safety of ‘off’ seems like the best thing to do.
Your nervous system can be creative in how it tries to take care of you. And, when you work with your nervous system, you can get the creative juice flowing again. Here’s four of my favourite ways.
1. Move your Body
Your creative juice, life force, your inner spark… where does it live? In your body! So when you’re feeling stuck, you can literally shake things up and make some room for it. Go for a walk, do some yoga, put on some music and let your body move to it. Sometimes its as simple as this: breathe. It doesn’t matter if you end up moving fast or slow. You will need one or the other depending on what’s going on with your nervous system. So check in with what intuitively feels good for your body. Trust that instead of just following what your thinking mind says you ‘should’ do.
2. Make Art
Because sometimes you just gotta go do the thing. That great idea you’ve been putting off because it feels like such a big deal? It will continue to feel overwhelming the longer it sits there. See if you can take just one little step towards it. A tiny one. And then let yourself stop. Like when you first learned to walk, let yourself get excited that you took a step. Do the one little thing and then check, how does that great idea feel now? It may not feel so big and overwhelming anymore. See if you can keep chipping away at it, one baby step at a time. You might find that, the fact that you followed through on what you wanted to do, like a snowball rolling down hill, builds momentum to take your next step. Baby steps for the win!
3. Find your People (and hang out with them)
Besides accountability, having people to work alongside with takes the edge of the loneliness, and the lack-luster energy that can come with doing something in your own. Being with people who ‘get it’, who offer support and encouragement and feedback laced with love, helps put your nervous system at ease so you can be more brave and just do the thing. Having just one other person you can co-regulate with around what’s brewing in your heart can make a big difference. Who are they for you?
4. Tend to your Heart
This one’s for the shoemaker’s kids; us humans who are so focused on do-do-do, we forget that the input to our work comes from our heart. We forget to take care of our heart after putting it to work. Taking action means expansion, and after we expand there’s a natural instinct to contract. So permission to take a nap, watch a movie, call a friend. Slow things down and give yourself the support you need. Julia Cameron talks about how your inner artist and your inner child are kinda one and he same. So be kind to that little one in you that just needs a break from being the adult all the time. Let her play and she’ll show you the way. Let her cry, and soon enough you’ll be back to blue sky.
Getting your creative juices flowing isn’t a linear process (it’s creativity after all), and each time you are feeling stuck you might need something different. So maybe you do these in reverse order, maybe front to back, maybe start in the middle and go from there.
Give them a try though and see what works for you. Let me know when you do!