Life, Art and Creativity: Getting Stuck and How To Find Our Flow Again

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“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” ~ Helena Bonham Carter

Along with art being present in everything we do and who we are, comes the need for creativity, fresh perspectives and inspiration – as it applies to all this day-to-day stuff. Whether we’re plugging away on an assignment at work or staring at a blank canvas with a paintbrush in hand, we need to plug into our creative nature to move forward. But sometimes, we just get stuck.

I can’t possibly recall the multitude of times I’ve sat in front of my laptop, staring at an open Word document, trying to squeeze something out. Just a paragraph, sentence or even a completely random thought, hoping to spark an idea and a narrative thread only to find myself completely uninspired.

But in these cases when we feel like we’re creating something – some concrete form of output – we often assume that these are the only times we need to tap into our inspiration or creativity. But what about the other times we need to get creative and fresh in our thinking?

I was in the grocery store the other day wandering around the produce section when I realized that I’ve been cooking pretty much the same stuff, with the same ingredients on rotation for a long while now. We can often stick to the same old, same old because it’s quick and easy. Couldn’t that use a fresh perspective?

Then there are the times that I bump into a difficult situation with someone. Disagreements and issues are inevitable when we’re dealing with other people but sometimes we get stuck on what to say, how to broach a difficult subject and what really bothered us about it all in the first place. Sometimes we can’t see what’s really bugging us and what we can do to communicate clearly and fairly. Couldn’t that use some creativity?

Here’s the thing though, when we get stuck on something – be that a creative project, a mundane habit or routine or even sticky situations with other people – the more we try to force an outcome or solution, the more we’ll find ourselves stuck.

Inspiration often hits us when we least expect it and when we aren’t replaying details in our head, overthinking every last detail.

We paint the most beautiful pieces of art when we literally turn up the music and get lost in the vibe or find that silence between thoughts where we’re not worrying about things and let that energy take over. We get inspired when we sit back, take a deep breath and just paint, letting the composition reveal itself to us.

We get inspired to change things up when we’re open to it. More often than not, when we set the intention to change something in life, we’ll see things pop up in our days that would suggest how to go about making that change. We might get ideas of who to reach out to, what to do differently and which options are available to us.

We understand how to deal with hiccups in our relationships with others when we step away from a problem and stop trying to ‘figure it all out’. When we gain some distance from our troubles, it’s often easier to see the crux of the issue and get a better handle on what’s what.

Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we open up to possibilities. It happens when we decide to surrender the thinking that we can dig up a solution to every problem as long as we think long and hard enough about it. Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we let go and let inspiration find us.

And sometimes (a lot of the time) getting creative and finding inspiration is about making progress. Sometimes it’s about uncovering a way to move ahead (not finding a way, but revealing it). And sometimes (a lot of the time) progress is about compassion – about being gentle on ourselves and the process. It’s often through this compassion that we begin to move forward and find our flow again.

Painting cred: Patrice Murciano.

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