Creating Does Not Always Mean Thinking
“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.” -Eckhart Tolle
I’ve had a personal experience of this recently. I was experiencing a lull in my content creation habit. “Writer’s block.” Although writers block doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t come up with anything to write, as many people think. Often times it shows up more as a lack of enthusiasm or energy for writing, rather than a lack of ideas. Writer’s block is just another form of resistance.
When we are struggling with something, our tendency is to want to try harder, think harder, work harder. However, in this case, that is often not the most effective route.
Sometimes, what we need is not more thinking, but less. It may seem counter-intuitive, but cultivating stillness of mind makes space for creativity, for new thoughts, new connections to be made. It is these things that facilitate inspiration. It cannot be forced. It can only be invited in by making space.
There are many ways to make space in your mind in order to invite greater expansion…
I try to make meditation a part of my morning routine, and I recently recommitted myself to the practice. It is a wonderful tool, not because I am able to achieve perfect stillness for extended periods of time, or experience pure enlightenment. On the contrary, I find it is a good gauge of how “busy” my mind is. There are some days when it is a hopeless battle, and at least I am aware of my state. Other days, quieting my mind comes more easily, and I am able to tap into a much deeper place, if only for a few moments.
For me, the practice is all about getting a little better each time. Building a better awareness of the state of my mind and being able to say “Excuse me, could you be quiet for just a little while please? Just hold that thought, and I’ll be back.”
The benefits of meditation are countless, and well-documented. I enjoy the Chopra Center’s meditation tools and information. They have a free meditation series going on right now, if you are interested.
Sometimes quieting our mind is as easy as quieting our devices. Turn off your phone, computer, tv…
Step away from the screen!
Pico Iyer explores this in his TED Book “The Art of Stillness: Adventures In Going Nowhere.” He is a travel writer who has been to all corners of the world. But he, too, found power in the pauses.
In fact, the more we are connected through technology, the more important it is that we consciously take some time away from it as well, to refuel ourselves, stay connected to our own source of energy and creativity.
Do Something Mindless
Today, I was supposed to be having a creative day, writing and building a new program. Instead, I decided to paint my sons bedroom. We moved into a new house recently, and there are many areas that need organizing and projects to do. It was weighing on me, and I decided to take on one of those rather than my creative work. Something mindless, yet active.
It was amazing! My mind needed more than just a 15 minute meditation to sort through everything that was going on in there. I needed several hours to refocus and reconnect to my passion and inspiration.
Plus, I completed a big part of one of the projects on my list!
You might think, “who has time to ‘clear their mind’ for several hours!?” But I would argue that there are many things you could do that are “productive” but could also be rejuvenating.
When you need to create content or have a creative project, how can you make space to invite something new to come in?