Do you want to express something creatively, but feel something stopping you? Believe it or not, your first step to remove that block is feeling safe to create. Here we’ll explore why and share ways to make sourcing your sense of safety easier and even a little bit fun.
Here’s how it works. As a creative being, one of your primary needs is support. Because you may not always feel this support from others and your surroundings, removing your creative block begins with finding the support you need within yourself. This begins with sourcing your own sense of safety.
When an area of life is blocked, it’s often because the blockage provides a false sense of safety. Creative blocks are often linked to core negative beliefs, and many of them are negative beliefs about artists. These beliefs may have come from your parents, religion, culture, or fearful friends, and they feel threatening to your inner artist.
Some common blocking negative beliefs are:
- Everyone will hate me.
- I will hurt my friends and family.
- I will go crazy.
- I will abandon my friends and family.
- I can't spell.
- I don't have good enough ideas.
- I will be alone.
- I will never have money.
- It's too late.
The good news is that all of these blocking negative beliefs can be replaced with counteracting positive beliefs. This practice was suggested over 2,000 years ago in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, one of the fundamental texts of yoga. In the second chapter verse 33, Patanjali suggests:
"Upon being harassed by negative thoughts, one should cultivate counteracting thoughts."
Put this practice into action for one week, and watch as it soon becomes a fundamental part of your life. To begin, notice ALL of your negative internal blurts. And turn each one into a counteracting affirmation. Here are some creative affirmations you might work with. In time you may find your own.
- Creativity is the creator’s will for me.
- My creativity heals myself and others.
- I am allowed to nurture my artist.
- Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
- My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
- My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
- There is a divine plan of goodness for me.
- There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
- As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
- I am willing to create.
- I am willing to learn to let myself create.
- I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
- I am willing to experience my creative energy.
In working with affirmations and blurts, notice as any old injuries or monsters from your past swim back and have more negative blurts for you. Just notice if they do, and then add these to your list as they come up. Work with each negative blurt individually. Turn each negative into a positive affirmation.
Now for some fun. First, get embodied. Practice yoga, dance around, play an instrument, or even sweep the floor. Let it be something you enjoy and can get lost in -- in the body! Here's a simple embodiment practice with Danny, artist, yoga teacher, and occasional blocked artist.
Now look over the following time travel exercises. Yes, you get to time travel! Sense which time travel exercise feels most appealing and sense which feels least appealing. Do these! Leave the ones you feel neutral about for . . . another time.
1. Select and write out one horror story from your monster hall of fame. You don’t need to write long or much, but jot down whatever details come back to you—the room you were in, the way people looked at you, the way you felt, what your parent said or didn’t say when you told them about it. Draw a sketch of your monster.
2. List three old enemies of your creative self-worth. Be as specific as possible. Your historic monsters are the building blocks of your core negative beliefs. This is your monster hall of fame. More monsters will come to you as you work through your recovery. It is necessary to acknowledge creative injuries and grieve them. Otherwise, they become creative scar tissue and block your growth.
3. List three old champions of your creative self-worth. This is your hall of champions, those who wish you and your creativity well. Be specific. Every encouraging word counts. Even if you disbelieve a compliment, record it. It may well be true. Maybe write it and decorate it. Place it somewhere inspiring.
4. Select and write out one happy piece of encouragement. Write a thank-you letter. Mail it to the one who have you the encouragement, yourself or to the long-lost mentor.
That’s all for now.
Keep practicing! And see your creativity flourish more and more each day.
If you enjoyed this and want to dive in deeper, join a supportive community of artists and spiritual friends for a 12-week Yoga The Artist’s Way workshop blending yoga along the artist’s way to remove blockages and allow your creativity to flourish.