Thursday 6 June 2013

Uninspired? Get your Creative Spark Ignited! By Susan Cadley

I created a real dud of a painting in the art class I recently joined. The painting was muddy and I couldn’t get the perspective of the barn just right. Over time I’ve learned that not every creation begins with bursts of creativity sparks flying. Sometimes there’s a dud in a pack of firecrackers. I acknowledged the initial feeling of disappointment and the inner critic voice telling me “you’ll never get a creative spark again”. “Thank you for sharing” I tell the inner critic and I let her know that I know better. I remind her that creativity is not always an instantaneous combustion of fireworks and ideas. Some creations take time and mistakes and detours create more layers, complexity and depth. I gently confronted my inner critic and suggested that we “play and see what shows up next”.

It’s usually in the “next” that the creative spark emerges. It feels like a tiny firefly flickering it’s light on and off. With excitement I see the light glow, then it’s dark again. I cheer myself on to keep going, creating. When I’m kind and gentle with myself that’s when the creative spark begins to burn more brightly. Then I enter into what I call “the flow” and the glow of creating. In this space I experience fun and curiosity. New ideas drop into my mind like oranges heavy with juicy substance waiting to be shared and savored.

In my creative life, I’ve discovered that when I ease up, play, and let go of expectations, my creativity begins to flow. If I try too hard or become overly logical or critical, my creativity freezes up. The key here is to be kind, yet firm and direct when your inner critic shows up. If you tell her off or threaten her, she may go underground for a while, but she’ll show up later with a bigger fury. If you acknowledge her presence and assure her you’ve got it covered, the voice will quiet eventually.

Last year, I participated in an online creativity class with author and creativity coaching pioneer, Jill Badonsky . Jill facilitated an exercise that involved drawing what our creativity power looked like. I created the following drawing and keep it posted above my computer to remind me what being in the creative flow feels like. Consider creating a drawing that reminds you of what your creativity power feels like so you can draw on this energy if you need it.

If you find yourself uninspired or lack luster in your creative life, just begin something. You don’t have to wait until you feel the spark. In order to create fire, there’s a lot of friction generated before the flame appears. Begin, do, jump in, play….and watch your creative spark begin to glow and grow!

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Soul Coach, SoulCollage® Facilitator and soul proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, SoulCollage® workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.

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