Night Sky - Image by tookapic via pixabay
Challenge Yourself, Creative Routine Hack, Creativity, Productivity, Realise your dreams, True Stories, Writing

Creative Routine Hack: How to let go of old habits – and live and work with joy (4)

Have you just discovered the Creative Routing Hack Series? Click this link to read the first post.

Our innately creative minds thrive on buzz –  because that’s what they’re for: taking in, analysing, questioning, spinning alternatives, comparing, recombining, turning ideas into actions, making things.

But it’s not the Creative Mind that’s making all the noise. The Infinite Creative Mind is an aspect of Butterfly-Me, and more often than not it works quietly in the background, without us even being aware of it, presenting us with specific outcomes – once it’s ready, that is.

Part Four: Nothing is a problem – a big ‘un

While nothing is a problem at all for Butterfly-Me and the Infinite Creative Mind, our Limited Chatty Minds (in my case the mind aspect of Maria-Me) perceive problems everywhere, and don’t refrain from commenting and lamenting – ASAP and RSVP.

And one of the most difficult and most uncomfortable situations for the Limited Chatty Mind to be in is the void of Nothing: of having nothing to do and nothing to think, nothing to moan or warn about.

I don’t know about you, but for me Nothing was one of the greatest sources of stress. I was fine with stillness as long as I was meditating, and I longed for it when I was tired. When I had an idea, though, my Limited Chatty Mind opened the floodgates and I wanted to get cracking. Now.

So I sat down, ready and eager to start, and what happened? Nothing. Blank. Block.

Night Sky - Image by tookapic via pixabay
Night Sky – Image by tookapic via pixabay

This black blank made me nervous. I wanted to break through that block. I fought, struggled and sought. I applied pressure, for instance by setting deadlines and making detailed plans, or with “I ought”, “I must” and “Why can’t I”.

And when that didn’t work I tried to manipulate myself into action by feverish phantasies about “success”, and – as a last resort – by setting up accountability traps, that is sharing publicly what I wanted to do and by when.

I felt guilty and beat myself up for procrastinating. I traded daytime for nighttime when I was so exhausted from trying to overcome my inability to act that I couldn’t think anymore, and sleep (for several hours, not just the average nap which I love anyway) was the only thing that seemed to bring relief from my whirling thoughts. At night I tried to make up for the lost time.

Nothing is no problem at all

It took me a long time and several severe episodes of so-called artist’s block to accept and understand that the void of Nothing is a necessary and perfectly natural part of the creative process.

There is no such thing as artist’s block. There is nothing that requires a forced breakthrough. On the contrary.

The moment the Creative Mind has an idea, Butterfly-Me prepares to fly – sorting out a desirable and feasible itinerary, gathering resources and clearing the runway.

What Limited Chatty Mind perceives as a threatening block, is simply Butterfly-Me trying to create an environment for communication: In order for Maria-Me to hear Butterfly-Me, the noisy Limited Chatty Mind must shut up first.

Coming next: How to create space – Overcoming blank page phobia

Images by tookapic, via pixabay



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