We all know how good it feels when we are in the flow of creative pursuits. It feels euphoric and takes us to a place closest to our spiritual source. Time and space do not exist.
However, what happens when stress comes up in our life?
Many of the creative people I coach experience blocks in creativity when personal stress comes up in their lives.
For myself, I have experienced family tragedies that have come up while I was working on a project or performing in a show. At the time, these experiences made it very difficult for me to see the relevance or meaning in continuing to be a performer.
Based on these experiences, I can empathize with artists that struggle to be creative during times of great stress, grief or loss in their personal life.
Life is constantly moving forward and there will always be personal issues that come up that can alter creative projects or performances. Eventually, no matter how difficult this is, one must decide for themselves if their creativity matters enough to put the effort in and keep moving forward.
So, how do we stay connected to the spirit of creativity and navigate our lives?
To help, I came up with this exercise. I am using the acronym ACTIVATE.
Firstly, all artists need to come to the awareness that they need to do the work for themselves. I know this sounds like tough love. I also believe whether you have support or not, no one is going to care more about your project than you will. Once you accept this reality, you must train your mind to give your art the attention it deserves. Remember, being in the flow of creativity is connection to your spirit and a way to share your love with the world.
I know it is difficult to create during stressful times so learning to channel the stress and calm down is essential. I recommend physical exercise to get the energy moving out of the body for a few minutes or longer if you have the time. Once you have moved the energy sit down, close your eyes, take some full, deep breaths and live in the present moment. Now that you are calm, communicate through your chosen art form (monologue, song, dance, writing, sculpture).
Schedule time daily for your creative habit and commit to it. Write it into your schedule and show up and do the work.
Whenever I have felt stuck on a character or blocked when writing a song lyric I improvise. Improvisation can help you loosen up and break out of old patterns. Improvisation can be highly invigorating because you can discover things that you did not think of due to over analyzing a script or struggling to come up with the right lyric. Improvisation also means a willingness to write without judgement and exploring out of the box acting choices.
Visualizing the career you desire, the creative project you want to complete, and the necessary steps needed to get there can help clarify your goals. Once you can see and believe that you can do the things you visualize yourself doing, making your work visible is the next step. The decision to Be Visible and share your work with the world is powerful.
Take action steps daily to accomplish your creative project.
Be true to yourself and your art and courageously get down to the raw naked truth.
Do your creative work everyday.