The music stops. The paintbrush goes dry. The writing instrument stalls.
Nothing is cooking on the stove. Nothing is being designed, or being built, sculpted, filmed, sewn, drawn, edited, produced, danced, photographed, or created in any way and the garden, once beautifully manicured with well-orchestrated rows of colorful blooms simply dries up and dies.
You may think what you are about to read is about pure artistry in the classification for which you are most familiar. Surprise! Nope… YOU ARE CREATIVE and creativity exists WITHIN YOU.
However, this is the very reason why I am writing this… creativity does not always come in the familiar form you think.
Your everyday life IS a work of art whether you think of yourself as a creative or not.
When the vigor is not there and the vision is not there, this can be alarming for anyone, not just ‘artists.’
What is this called? Creative block.
Anyone can have a creative block on any given day, even for those who do not think of themselves as creative by label or name, however the ‘art of doing’ and the ‘art of being’ exists within every human soul.
This is life… it happens.
When your life encounters the death of a loved one, sometimes the creative process dies, too.
While most creative types who define themselves as artists might thrive upon sadness or grief, do their best work, and channel all of their energies into making something spectacular, it might come as a shock, if it doesn’t.
For those who never even think of themselves in these terms, can also have ‘the block’ where the zest for creating simply fades.
What happens when a death halts creativity completely?
What if your livelihood is reliant up on being creative or if one of the top joys of your life is doing creative work?
For those of you, who missed Part 1 of how to deal with this, get caught up watching my video here:
The blog follower who asked me this question did NOT say his livelihood depended upon being creative again. However, he DID SAY/mention he was creatively blocked from picking up that guitar because of the loss of a loved one and the memories he had attached to being creative.
This was part of his regular everyday life.
For you and your regular everyday life, there are things you do whether it is work or school, taking care of loved ones, doing purposeful things, which produce some sort of result for others in what you do. There are also things you do for yourself as part of your self-care, sanity, and part of creating your own safe haven in the form of outlets, hobbies, and self-expression.
That self-expression does not always have to come in a form the way most people believe it to be so in traditional form of creativity.
The point I wanted to create with PART DEUX with the "overcoming" part of “Dealing with Creative Blocks Linked to Grief” is that both everyday life and livelihood can be affected, even if you are not dealing with creativity in the pedestrian terms of what that means.
Grief does not always have to come in the form of death of a loved one. It can also come in the form of the loss of __________ (anything/anyone) and that is inclusive of windows of time, opportunity, or application of being authentic in the most meaningful moments of your life.
When we close chapters in our life, it is usually the creative outlet where the human soul finds a coping place of solace. However, what if that temporarily pauses, too?
The creative cylinders in our brains find creativity in everything from problem solving, strategic planning, dreaming, developing our imagination, sense of adventure, exploring life and having the energies to exert into the things which tickle our interest, curiosity and wonder.
Recently, I did some business coaching with individuals who felt ‘blocked.’
Unlike “Lavon” mentioned in the video above, there was no death of a loved one, there was no guitar involved, but the creative blockages were still there in a corporate setting.
Creativity exists in being able to visualize communication, conversation, and solutions to overcome obstacles within conflict – both externally and within one’s self with one’s truth.
These individuals had lost sight of being able to see that there was conflict “within” and instead only saw the conflict outside of themselves, utilizing the external as a scapegoat in lieu of owning inside what was happening. They were not realizing they had the solutions within themselves to overcome most of it…they just had to tap into their ‘creativity bank’ of understanding HOW they approach any situation and that there was possibility for solution.
Grief can exist when hopelessness takes over, clouding insight because you are now FEELING EVERYTHING and your brain wants to logically process things mechanically.
However, when you are dealing with humans and not machines, solutions in finding that creative navigation through the blockage requires deeper examination.
When the ‘mechanics’ take over, sometimes this creates a deeper creative blockage, because thinking becomes linear.
Let us remember, emotions are NOT linear. This is the problem.
SOLUTION: You can also evolve through the blockages it IF you allow yourself to FEEL everything and process it…. which of course is a rollercoaster at times, but if you ride through it, you will see the light afterward.
Many prevent themselves from SEEING the solution.
Most humans put up ‘walls’ or ‘shields’ and ‘shut off’ the flow of feeling because it is uncomfortable. However, the more you shut yourself down or shut yourself off from FEELING, the worse it will be because things have a tendency to build in your cell system memory and become a ‘trigger point.’
You can eliminate both your creative blocks and your grief, if you develop the patience with yourself to go through the actual process. There is never ‘the right time’ to do this, so do not convince yourself you’ll “feel” later or “grieve” later – this will only create more problems.
As I suggested in the video, we need to compartmentalize our problem-solving (one of the creative processes, which you may feel is dead within you).
· List your feelings by addressing every single one of them. This may sound ‘weird’ because we humans do not do this. However, if you SEE what is going on in your head and heart it is easier for you to accept it, acknowledge it by looking at it, and then allow yourself to come to terms with it to address it to FEEL IT. You can give yourself permission to “FEEL” it once you see it to understand it.
In the video, I address two other columns as they specifically relate to the questioner’s individual unique situation, your two columns can be and will be different depending on WHAT (situation/loss) or WHOM (it can even be your ‘lost self’) you are grieving, but the application is still the same.
Once you allow yourself to go through the process FULLY, you can then begin to chip away at your own creative blockages, where the energy can flow freely once again.
Remember, even if the loss is permanent, the present feeling of grief does not have to be overwhelming to where that becomes permanent, too.
Instead, if you allow yourself to go through the period of grief and fully release it, you will be able to return to your creative processes once again. Perhaps they (the processes) may even become stronger once you do, because you will have taken yourself through the arduous trek of overcoming, which will ignite a stronger sense of self and spirit to execute in the creative self-expression of your life.
Above all, do not fear that this block is a ‘forever block.’ Look at the ‘block’ as something that is challenging you to evolve and know that it can be worked through, but you have to give yourself permission and patience to do so… it is YOUR RIGHT TO FEEL.
You need not be ashamed of declaring that for yourself, nor do you need to backburner or shelve it for ‘later.’ You are allowed to claim this time ‘to feel’ so you can fully purge what has been building up in grief. It is normal, it is healthy, and above all, it is for your own well-being to create mind, body, soul, and spirit wellness IN BALANCE.
When we return to this balance from the erratic process of what grief represents upon owning it, by experiencing it, it is here the blockage no longer hinders and we can find the flow once again.