Romancing the gift
Imagination is a gift. But it can be overlaid with so much negative energy from a bad childhood, or critical schooling to completely stifle its expression. Other sources of negative energy may come from absorbing some of the anti-intellectual and anti-creative messages from the culture. Messages can range from “stop daydreaming” to “you won’t make a penny from writing poetry.” These messages and others–even worse– can get mixed up with the creative process itself, causing us to pair pain with storytelling.
We have lots of techniques to get rid of these kind of messages, these blocks.
One other way is to externalize the critical voice within me. For example, I imagine another person saying, “You are full of shit. No one is going to like this shit. You won’t make a dime. You’ve wasted two years of your life.”
Obviously I am going to tell that critical person to take a hike.
That technique is one I got from The Untethered Soul.
But once free from that, we can go further by romancing our gift. One of the basic tools that Julia Cameron, In addition to morning pages, She calls it “artist’s date” and suggests we take our inner artist out for a date– to a gallery, bookstore, hearing a symphony, sipping tea in a sidewalk cafe.
It is intentional. I think it slowly rewires our brain until we associate pleasure with our creative drives.
I now take a walk when I get anxious. I used to just plow on through and it wasn’t a good result. I would exhaust myself and it would make my fibromyalgia worse, often causing me to lose a day. But I am getting better at treating myself kindly and it does help me to be more active.
I do want to say something about morning pages. I have been doing them– three pages a day in the morning as you rise– I’ve been doing them for 3 months. It is like meditation and I feel more intuitive and have more energy for creative projects. Cameron has written a wealth of good books about creativity– but the Artists Way should be on everyone’s shelf.