Our creative genius – Where does it lie? Is it mere fiction? Do some of us have it, and some not? How can we access it? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your intuition and to the state of Flow. Welcome to your unblocked, unbridled creativity.
Intuition and the Creative Flow State
As I mentioned in the previous post, That Pesky Old Artist’s Block: Learning to Focus in the Digital Age, many of our decisions around our creative pursuits and the creative process itself are often hijacked by fear-driven emotional flotsam that we are unaware of. Learning about how our monkey minds work – namely, how the thinking monkey mind stores emotions in the body – can really help us unblock ourselves creatively because we can then learn how to uproot the hidden thought-emotions that are standing in the way of our creative pursuits.
In my experience, the majority of creative blocks we encounter as artists can only be dissolved by dealing directly with the monkey mind, through aligning with our higher Selves, through understanding the mind, and ultimately through wisdom.
With a thorough understanding of our monkey minds, along with a more centered way of being in the world, we have easier access to our higher state of mind, a kind of guidance commonly known as our intuition. Our intuition can guide us past any creative blocks that come up. Through it, we can understand the unresolved issues that are fermenting beneath the surface of our conscious minds – we can more easily ascertain the hidden source of the fear that is blocking our creativity, and then uproot that fear – because, as I mentioned previously, ALL creative blocks are born from some kind of fear.
When we are in our creative Flow state, fully aligned with our being, we have easy access to our intuition, which can come in the form of a bodily feeling, or a thought, or just a simple urge to do or say something. I would even say that when you’re in the Flow, you are being guided by your intuition, by something unnameable that lies beyond what you normally call ‘you.’
The elevated Flow state is the essence of creativity. It is the greatest, most magical, beatific state of mind available to you while creating in this human body. It’s the state of being that is completely unblocked and open, where the creative waters flow like a whitewater river, and the egoic mind is gone from view. It’s the blissful state where the monkey mind works for us instead of against us, obediently following the directive of the Flow state instead of trying to control the outcomes of our creative or decision-making processes. Put simply, beyond the thinking mind is where our creative genius lies.
An Easy Way to Access Your Intuition
One very easy way to access your intuition, or higher guidance, is just to sit still, close your eyes, and become aware of the entire body at once. When you do this repeatedly, and get really comfortable with doing it, you’ll start to notice that the thinking mind is no longer really there, or it’s in the background, and there is an awareness of being, a kind of presence, that comes to the foreground. You can repeat the phrase, ‘I am,’ to bring yourself back to this state if thoughts start to come in.
In this state of aligned, focused attention on the body or on the ‘I am’ presence, lies a knowing quality that you now have access to. You can ask questions, such as, “Why am I not able to do my creative work?” If you are quiet enough you will hear or see or think an answer that comes up quite automatically. This is your direct access to your intuition, to your higher guidance. (Personally, I just imagine a screen in the mind’s eye, and then the words, as text, pop up on the screen as if typed by someone else that I presently cannot see.)
Keep in mind that this method takes practice for most people, so give it time, and be gentle with yourself if you don’t get it at first. With sufficient practice, it will become second nature, and you’ll be able to access your intuition in any moment, not just in meditation.
Exercises for Using Intuition and Mindfulness to Dissolve Your Artist’s Blocks
There are a few different meditation-based exercises in my book, The Infinite Artist, that use our intuition or awareness/mindfulness to come into alignment and uproot negative emotions for artists who are creatively blocked. However I will explain here the general gist of how I do it. One thing to keep in mind is that all emotions are stored in the body. And it is the emotions (the fear-based emotions) that block our creativity – not our circumstances. I repeat, our creative blocks DO NOT come from our external circumstances! (Should I say it again?)
As with any meditative practice, give this some time to work. If you don’t achieve results at first, keep with it, and you’ll soon see its profound effects.
A Simple Method to Unblock Your Creativity
- Sit with your back straight, in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, or on the floor with your legs crossed without hurting your knees. Relax your whole body, starting with your head down to your toes.
- Close your eyes and feel your whole body at once, for about 60 seconds, as if the body is just one thing, a unified whole.
- Then feel around the body for areas that feel uncomfortable or out of place in some way – pain, or tightness, or heat, tingling, etc.
- Go to one of the uncomfortable areas inside the body and hover your attention around it, holding space for it, gently. Feel its temperature, its shape, and its volume. Feel whether or not it’s moving, and what texture it has. Really get to know this area of pain or discomfort, for a couple minutes, just allowing it to be as it is without wanting to change it in any way.
- At this point, you can ask your intuition what the discomfort is about – what is the event, or memory, associated with it, and why is it here? (This is a very deep, detailed process that I only explain in detail in personal artist coaching sessions, but suffice it to say that your intuition will tell you the source of the discomfort and also help you to let it go.)
- Then ask this area of discomfort if it wants to leave the body. If it responds with a Yes, then let it dissolve and leave on its own. If it says no, just let it be there without judging it. Or if it leaves only partially, just stay with it for awhile without any judgment, just letting it be as it is. Either way, you can give it some love, or a lot of love, to encourage it to go where it wants to go. “Love heals all,” as they say.
- Finally, give yourself some love and appreciation for doing this excellent work. You can even dedicate the practice to others, wanting someone else to be free of their own stuck, negative emotions. This will make you feel even better.
Repeat this process a few times, or until you get tired or there is no more discomfort in the body. Then go back and try it again in a day or two, or in a week. The amount of time you will need for this make a significant impact will depend on the severity of your creative blocks. But the more you practice it, the better you will feel. And once you see the results you may want to do it more often.
This is a simple yet very effective way to dissolve the negative emotions that are at the core of your artist’s blocks. There are other exercises that I use to unblock myself and my coaching clients that utilize awareness and intuition with the creative process itself. I teach these methods along with ways to access your intuition that are easy and very effective. To learn more about my other unblocking methods, become an artist coaching client, or get the book.
…Go here to read the previous article to this post: That Pesky Old Artist’s Block: Learning to Focus in the Digital Age,