Sometimes all the inspiring sources in the world are not enough. You could look at the most beautiful painting, listen to the most moving aria, or read the most eloquent writing, and you feel... nothing. Or maybe just a bit depressed that you could never create anything that beautiful. The direction and passion you previously felt has faded, and nothing has come to take its place. You have half a dozen unfinished projects, but none of them is calling to you. What do you do in these times? I am asking because I am stuck in a creative void right now.
I am reading 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, and an entire section of the book is dedicated to "Surrendering to Creative Cycles". Here is the beginning of the chapter:
Experienced creative women know that their creativity moves in cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. Surrendering to the cycles instead of fighting with them is a skill of the creative warrior.
So what to do in the meantime? How can we nurture ourselves while we wait in the in-between? While blog surfing at Live Creative, I read about Yoga Journal's 21 Day Challenge. I was inspired to commit to practice yoga every day for 21 days. Sometimes it was just 20 minutes of relaxation yoga before bed, sometimes it was an hour long class of Hatha Flow. But each day, I did something. And I know I needed to do this, because throughout the creative streak that marked the previous seven months I was completely neglecting my body and spirit.
Now that I have completed the 21 day challenge, I am going to try alternating yoga and creative time every other day, to bring things more into balance. I can't say that I am any closer to getting through the void, but at least I am more flexible;) And through my yoga practice I have realized that I want to return to my studies of Carnatic music, a classical Indian music style.
Surrendering to the creative flow and trusting that this is all leading me to where I am supposed to go next is challenging. And yet, what choice do I have but to surrender? Life is a journey, and each phase of that journey has something to teach us, something to offer.
I recently spoke with Amber Strocel about creativity and motherhood for her e-course Crafting My Life. I will be taking Amber's course in May, and maybe that will provide some further clues as to where my journey is taking me. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. What do you do in the in-between?
P.S. You can listen to my conversation with Amber here.