If you dream of sharing a piece of your heart with the world, then you probably know the perils and pleasures of a creative life — it's inevitable that you've experienced both.
The invitation to create anything at all is utterly paralyzing AND wildly exhilarating.
We can be scared of what we’ll discover about ourselves and equally thrilled to see what we’re capable of.
Whether it’s an artistic expression, an elaborate meal, childbearing, or a business venture — the creative process is an unpredictable and uncomfortable pursuit.
Somedays it can feel like we’re drawing a blank or that our creative juices have completely dried up.
Say hello to the precarious world of creative block!
I can certainly wave my hand on this one.
Here’s what creative block so often looks like for me.
I’ll have an entire morning beautifully laid out for my creative pursuit, and suddenly, every shelve, cupboard and drawer in my condo is getting a makeover.
For the life of me, I just can’t sit still!
Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all and it can manifest in different ways for each of us.
In today’s post, I want to share with you 3 common types of creative block, how to support them, plus some insight on how your menstrual cycle plays an important part in your creativity.
What is it
Mental block is what I like to call brain overdrive. Our inner critic finds fault in every idea and stops us from trying any of them. Instead, we distract ourselves with anything and everything else. Mental block can manifest as anxious energy and multitasking.
Get out of your head by moving your body or engaging in some form of exercise. Yoga can be one of the best forms of movement for mental block. Deep conscious breaths regulate the nervous system and help reduce feelings of anxiety. Certain yoga postures like inversions (downward dog, headstand or handstand) allow increased blood flow to the brain and can be super effective for clearing a busy mind.
What is it
Emotional block is when our emotions get in the way of our creativity. It can feel like a heavy heart, tightness in the chest, or irregular breathing. This can manifest as an overwhelming sense of fear, doubt or worry.
One of the best things we can do for emotional block is to access the intelligence of our heart. Did you know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the other way around?
According to the Heart Math Institute, when our heart rhythms are erratic and disordered, the neuro-messages from the heart to the brain have an effect on our brain function (and therefore creativity). Research has shown that when we shift the rhythms of the heart, brain function improves.
Mindfulness meditation can be one of the best things to help restore your heart energy. Sit quietly for 10min with one of your hands resting on your heart. Take deep breaths into your heart centre to help reinforce positive feelings and emotional stability.
What is it
Physical block relates to the chemical conversation of our endocrine system. Did you know that the overall progress of a creative project can be influenced by our hormonal rhythms? Knowing when in our cycle is best (and when’s not) to produce high quality creative work can better support our creative journey.
Give the most amount of attention to your creative projects in the follicular phase (especially during days 5-14 ) of your menstrual cycle. During this time, your planning, organizational and higher level thinking skills are on point.
An experiment led by psychologist Rosemary Krug found that women’s creativity was improved during pre-ovulation, when estrogen levels soar. Basically, your follicular phase is a time of creative girl power —not only for baby making but for your creative projects too!
Track your menstrual cycle. Make note of when your menses ends knowing that you’re about to move in to the most creative part of your cycle right up until ovulation.
Did you like this post? If so, share it with a creative girlfriend.
In efforts to support your creative life, I’m so excited to share with you the new LADYFLOW website.
LADYFLOW is an artisanal line of menstrual care products that help you join with your menstrual cycle as the foundation to your creative potential.
Always remember, your creativity is necessary, it’s important, and it’s valued.
Whatever it is you so dearly want to create, your creative expression matters.
Much love and lady flow care,
Elaine Clark, nutritionist, writer, women's health pioneer, and founder of LADYFLOW. Elaine is creating a movement of women living in sync with their hormonal wisdom and creativity. Elaine works with health conscious women to feel at home in their body and awaken to their creative feminine potential. She offers a variety of tools to help women balance their hormones through her workshop offerings, online programs, and health products.