More on letting go. I am beginning to see that trying too hard sets up writers’s block.
I do morning pages from The Artist’s Way, which is a spontaneous flow of words. That doesn’t produce very much useful writing. What does work for me is relaxing until I get images floating to the top. If I lightly hold the subject in mind—scene or press release or blog entry—the ideas do appear. I need to stay aware enough to see the images but not drift into daydreams. If I stay relaxed and focused the material does come. I literally see a poem on the page, or the news story printed. It also does not come if I can’t fully relax. And I’ve had trouble relaxing—it wasn’t safe when I was growing up. So I’ve practiced with CD’s with some success.
I have had success with imaging very gentle advisers that I can talk to. They calm me down and shut off the fear system that is hyper-alert given my childhood. The fear system—explained well in Paul Gilbert’s Overcoming Depression– — tries to protect us. But our perceptual field shrinks when we are afraid. Only with relaxation that comes from activating the comfort system does our perceptual field expand, offering us new ways of thinking, creating and behaving.
I also can alert the comfort system by placing myself in a number of safe scenes. I spend time in a Greek temple overlooking the Aegean Ocean. Or spend time in a meadow covered with summer wildflowers. Or sitting by a vigorous mountain street on a camping trip.
Do you have scenes that calm you? Other ways of taking the edge off besides drugs and alcohol?