A guest post from Petrea of arttherapist.ca. A big thank you for sharing herself with us. Please be sure to check out her site listed below.
Creativity is something that can be quite elusive. There are many things that can get in the way of our creativity. One of the biggest obstacles to creativity can be one’s belief. Beliefs about creative potential or ability, beliefs about the importance of creativity, beliefs about what being creative should look like. These ways of thinking interfere with our ability to listen to our inner muse.
I use to believe that I was not creative enough, that I lacked the skill or talent to create something worthwhile. So I put it off, avoided it. When I did begin to create I kept it safe, never going beyond what I believed I was able to. As a result I didn’t create as fully and didn’t feel as connected to my art making. I was a creative underachiever, afraid to make a mistake, to really let loose.
I use to not believe that being creative was a priority, so guess what? I never made time for it; instead I told myself I did not have enough time.
Luckily this began to change when I embarked on my career as an Art Therapist some 20 years ago. I began to see the power of unleashing ones’ creative self to heal self and to enrich ones’ life.
I began to see that many of the blocks people experience, which keep them from moving forward in their lives, have to do with the way they think about the world. Creative blocks are no exception. You see, if you believe you are not creative, then you are not, why bother trying if you have convinced yourself otherwise. Or if you feel you can only create in certain circumstances then you have boxed yourself in and are unlikely to experiment. If you believe that being creative has to look a certain way, once again you have boxed yourself in. If you believe all those messages you heard growing up about yours and other peoples’ creativity, well your creativity is likely limited to some extent by those beliefs as well.
If you want your Muse to come out of hiding here are some suggestions:
Stop being so serious:
If you want to engage your Muse then be prepared to loosen up a little and stop being so serious. If you find yourself making excuses not to create then yes you are being too serious! Your Muse needs the freedom, the room to be playful. She doesn’t like to be confined to restrictions and expectations. Don’t scare her away with your serious face. She wants to have fun, throw those rules out the door
Stop judging yourself and your muse:
Allow yourself to have fun with your creativity. Your Muse can be very sensitive she doesn’t like to feel judged. Be gentle with her.
Give yourself the time to be with her:
If you are always rushing about busy with other more important things she is going to feel snubbed and likely she will feel like she is not important enough. Be sure to set aside some time to play with your muse regularly.
Make creativity a priority:
Trick your brain into thinking its important enough to do by scheduling it in you make it a priority. If you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled- you go right?
Schedule the time in your calendar. Don’t’ just say you are going to paint or play with your art materials when you have time on the weekend or maybe some other time this week. Actually schedule it in and make it part of your routine – like you would brushing your teeth. Start with a small amount of time and work your way up.
Set up a station where you can access your art supplies easily. It can be in an old desk, a portable toolbox with supplies and a plastic drop sheet. If you don’t have art supplies, it can be as simple as using magazines, a glue stick and paper for collage.
Stop the drama:
Identify the messages that have others said to you in the past or present. Which ones have become the stories or excuse you tell yourself that keeps you from letting loose and creating fully?
Replace these old scripts with new ones:
Remind yourself the other benefits of your creating, how do you feel, why is it important to you, what do you like about your creative process when you are in the flow?
If you would like to discover more ways that you can engage your creative muse, join me online for 5 weeks of exploration and adventure with Painting with Your Muse.
Petrea Hansen Adamidis R.C.A.T. is a Registered Art Therapist, a mom, artist, & an avid nature nut with over 18 years of experience working with children, families and adults. Join her at ArtTherapist.ca where she offers a free e-course “Free Your Inner Child” plus other creative resources to draw the self out.