"Magenta Sunset" (One photo from my series of "Beach Meditations".)
Every artist experiences frustrating moments of feeling creatively stuck -- myself included. Sometimes I turn to external sources for inspiration, like going to a gallery or talking to an artist friend. But an ever-present resource lies within us -- our heart, soul and spirit. (These I described in my last post: http://bit.ly/2o2ILl4.)
In my last post I named and promised to describe a few ways we can access our rich interior. Among these are:
- Guided imagery
- Word association
- Dream interpretation
- Spontaneous journaling
- Emotional painting.
In this post I will discuss spontaneous journaling.
We all have inspiration inside us waiting to be noticed. We only have to push the right button to open the sacred door to that inner space and release the precious material existing just beneath the surface. However many of us don't take the time to dig for these inspirational treasures. We say we are too busy, or stall because we are afraid that this won’t work.
To tap into our core Self, we have to believe we deserve an hour of quiet, reflective time, and that it will be worth it. We have to make a conscious choice about the level of importance and then follow through. This isn't easy because it means we have to say no to interruptions and other’s expectations. If we live with others we must tell them that we are taking some time and space for ourselves. Once we have set the stage, it is important to have a positive attitude, determination and self-discipline. It is only in such an emotional/physical space that we can obtain insights.
Have no preconceived ideas about what you're going to do. Only follow your heart and spirit.
Exercise: To begin, find a pleasant, quiet corner with positive energy, to avoid emotional/mental intrusions. Then, consciously get your brain out of the way. If your brain begins to chatter, just stop and visually ask your brain to step aside. It's fun to imagine putting your brain on the bookshelf until you’re done.
For spontaneous writing use a blank piece of paper – that means no lines – and use colored pencils or colored pens. Ask yourself this question: “What’s important for me to communicate with my creativity?” And then begin writing. Just write single words, no sentences, capitals or periods. Write straight across the page, or crooked, and both large and small. Use different colors to express different feelings. Above all, don't censor. When you feel finished, put your writing away and look at it the next day.
The next day read what you have written, but don’t judge what you’ve done. Just see what resonates with you. Then start the process again, beginning with any insights you had and writing from there.
I suggest doing this exercise a number of times, until you have tapped into some new inspiration.
Whatever you do, don't judge the results.
In my last post I invited people to share their experiences. I received an interesting response from a photographer. After taking many photos on a trip, she couldn’t figure out what was she trying to communicate with her chosen images. “From time to time,” she said, “ideas and thoughts would pop into my mind, and I would write them down.” Then, six weeks later, using images that “called” to her, she wrote:
”Today … I went through my notes and clustered them into two main themes. One deals with "unity through opposites" and the other is about "building something from disparate pieces." As I was writing about this, a "flash" came to my mind that they are both about"creating wholeness," which is relevant for my life as well as a photographic theme.”
I loved that she used the word “flash”, for that’s exactly what an inspiration feels like – a flash, an ah-ha moment that seems to come out of nowhere. But of course it hasn’t. It has just been there waiting for you to access it.
2nd Exercise: Try what the photographer did. Take your cell phone, go to an area that you love – city, country, your neighborhood, shops – and photograph anything that pulls at your attention. Don’t judge what you choose. Once you’re home look at your photos and see what was attracting your interest, and find the common factors. Is it color, shapes, mood, objects, people, situations, etc.? Then journal about what you see.
Many thanks to the photographer for sharing her experience. And, the invitation is still open. If you have an experience you would like to share, particularly by using one of the other processes, please let me know. Perhaps I will write about yours.