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  • Writer's pictureHannah Marsh

Feeling Uninspired?

Most of us experience fallow periods when creativity and motivation slow down or appear to cease altogether. We may feel we're putting in a ton of effort, but going nowhere. Or the very idea of putting in effort is a struggle in itself, leaving us feeling immobile.

Cat in basket

While the ebb and flow of creativity appears to be universal - a natural part of the creative process - I have found many different ways of working with it. I've wallowed in the ebb, feeling increasingly immobile (not so helpful). I've distracted myself with enjoyable activities (short-term relief, valuable at times). And - as I did today, with no idea of what to write here - I've turned towards it.


Today, feeling uninspired was a source of inspiration. As strange as it may sound, simply noticing the creative ebb, turning towards it with curiosity, may bring out our creative side.


Here are some possibilities:


Notice - Get curious about this feeling of being uninspired. Is there fatigue or sluggishness in the body or loneliness or fear that accompanies this feeling?


Be kind - What if this feeling isn't your enemy? What if it's here for a good reason? Maybe it's telling you something about your fears or high expectations? Or maybe it's telling you that you've been working too hard or need some sleep or a walk outside?


Trust - There's likely work going on under the surface. Remember the times an idea or jolt of motivation has struck, seemingly out of nowhere, in a dream or in the shower - how amazing is that?!


Open - What else is here? Take in what's going on inside and around you. Allowing the world in - the angle of light, the bustling of birds outside, the neglected emotion within - you may be surprised what touches you, or even moves you to create.


Connect - Connect to your intentions. Underneath any fears and expectations, what's important to you about your creativity? Is it a way to connect with others, to bring compassion into the world, to express what's meaningful to you? (Or maybe there's something else that's more important than creativity right now.) Allow your deepest intentions to ground your creative practice and act as a guide when you feel lost. If you don't know your intentions, that's okay - be curious and trust that this, too, is part of the process.


Take care - What do you need right now? Sleep, friendship, exercise, meditation, a rest, a dose of fun? As best you can, offer yourself what you need.


What's true for the creative ebb is also true for the creative flow. Be curious about what a surge of creativity feels like. Notice what conditions lead to this flowing feeling - they might be clues for what to offer yourself during those inevitable fallow periods.


In our January Mindfulness & Creativity drop-in, we'll start to consider these possibilities - mindfully working with the creative ebb and flow through meditation and reflection.

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