What the Heck is a Creative Block? Tips to Move through it.

On November 15, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

Have you ever had a “creative block”?

(This is a re-post of an article that I wrote in 2007)

“What the heck is a creative block?” I used to think. I had never had one before, and could never relate or understand how it could possibly happen to anyone. It made no sense to me at some level. And that was in part, how my (past) company, CREATIVE NUDGE, came to be.

I believed (and still do) that we are all creative beyond what we could ever create in this one lifetime.

Our levels of creativity truly are, limitless. I set out to help people to discover their innate creativity and to live their dreams, believing it could never happen to me (a creative block, that is).

Well, I had a creative block! Oh my goodness!

How can a Creativity Consultant, Creativity Coach, Graphic Designer, Creativity Speaker, Website Designer, and Fine Fun Visual Artist have a creative block?

I had deadlines to meet afterall. Was this to be the end of my business? What if people found out? Well, now that I am putting it on the world wide web, they are sure to find out!

Anyway, to end the drama, it was awful. What I did try to do during that time of “blocked creativity” was to “practice what I might preach” in my Creativity Coaching practice to others, and to calm myself down, remove a little perfectionism, and see what could be done about this.

Usually, deadlines and creativity do not go hand in hand. At least not in a truly naturally way. If you truly follow your own inner creative process, it really cannot be rushed or forced. It really goes, and creativity flows, in its own pace and time, when it is ready, and not a moment before, and not a moment after.

Things happen in the creative process, exactly as they are meant to, when they are meant to. That is great. But how does knowing that help you if you are experiencing a creative block?

How do you create on demand if it is required for your career, or for your paycheque?Here are a few tips that I learned from my own experience:

  1. Don’t sweat it. Do something else. Don’t try to force it.
  2. Go for a walk, a swim, a workout. Do something physical, to take your mind off of it, and to get the oxygen flowing back into your brain and body.
  3. Look at the big question “are you afraid?” and if so, “what are you afraid of?” and then once you have the answer, go out and do, that which you fear. It really does work.
  4. Check your inner self to see if you have been getting enough sleep, enough rest, enough vitamins and nutrition through your healthy diet.
  5. Practice deep breathing, breath work, meditation, and try making sounds with your voice, vocalizing and singing. We are trying to release stress, and move the energy here, and to open up the channels again, to receive the creative force.
  6. Create in a different medium. Switch tracks. If you are a designer, as many designers know, move to painting, and get off of the computer, to be inspired. If you are a writer, get out that camera and go outdoors and take pictures.
  7. Change your subject matter. Work on something else for awhile. Preferably something of a completely different topic, or even better, pick something that you know nothing about. Stretch your brain in a different direction.
  8. Stop being so responsible. Stop being perfectionistic. Even if only for a moment, or a day. If that is how you put quality into your work, and create respect with your clients, then you do not have to give it up completely, but you need to give it a rest sometimes.
  9. Go out and have some fun! Fun is an amazing creativity energizer and creativity motivator. After doing something fun and having a great time, and by being distracted from your deadline or project at hand for awhile, it is incredible what will show up, in order for you to complete your project effortlessly, and without worry.

My motto and my own quote of the day for today is “When people have fun, more learning gets done. When people have fun, more things get done.”

by Brenda Johima

 

To Think or Not to Think, That is the Question.

On November 15, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

“Get Out of Your Mind and Get In The Flow”

(This is a re-post of an article that I wrote in 2007)

“Creative Thinking” is wonderful topic for discussion. We can ALL think creatively and actually do it all day long.Yes, there is a time for creative thinking and there is a time to not think, to let go of control and to let the creative process flow in the direction it is meant to go.

Do you need creative thinking training?I think not always.

Sometimes we simply need an uncovering of the brilliance that is already there, sitting and waiting to be used to its fullest potential.

Sometimes the creative process actually requires that we not think.Are you “out of your mind?

Yes?Great! I say, Great!

You are not out of your mind? Well then, “Get Out Of Your Mind and Get In The Flow” as I would say.

The ability to think creatively, yes, is crucial in life and in the business world. It is a skill, and can be learned. There are many masters in the field of creative thinking and there is an entire movement globally, on Creative Thinking.

We all know about “Thinking.”

We all think and plan, think and plan, plan and think, and this is sometimes a necessary part of the creative process.

And, creative thinking is not the only way to find creative solutions to business and life challenges, and we must not get caught up only in the mind.

Very often, the best little gems of creative inspiration come from not thinking, letting go, and through entering into a meditative like state, or by just taking action. Some people call this “flow.”

I do not mean that you have to “literally” meditate, although I am a 100% believer in the power of meditation. However, that is only one tool and path on the road to creativity.

By not thinking, for example, when one abstract painter lets go of control and is “in the flow,” the artwork simply effortlessly comes out onto the blank canvas. A songwriter’s lyrics seem to come from some place other than from rational mind. A scientist gets his best ideas while swimming underwater. Others get ideas in their dreams.

Very often great ideas come when you least expect it, when you are not thinking.

This is what I mean by not thinking. Sometimes there is too much emphasis on creative thinking in the field of creativity and innovation, and often what we really need to do is just the opposite … relax, have fun, have a good time in life, laugh, let go of control, get out of our mind, and just let the great ideas show up and bubble to the surface.

“Not Thinking” is my favorite place to find creativity. This is when we trust and have faith, and “let go.” Some people feel very uncomfortable here. Depending on your own beliefs, you might call it prayer, creator, believing in miracles, channeling, a higher power … basically, you are trusting that creativity is coming from a place outside yourself, through you. This requires trust, faith, belief and the willingness to let go of control.

You have to be willing to be in the unknown, to surrender, to let go and to see what happens. See what shows up on the canvas of life and business.

An open mind, an open heart and an open channel for the creative force to flow through you, will always guide you to the steps to reach your personal and artistic goals, to complete that project, to paint that painting, and to watch your business grow. •

© 2007 Brenda Johima. All rights reserved.

 

On Describing The Unseeable and The Unknowable

On November 13, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

When you can’t find a way to describe the unknowable, the unseeable, to those who cannot yet see it or hear it yet …

Stop Trying. It is exhausting. And often, not even possible.

Don’t Do It.

Just Be.

You can simply know what you know in silence, with kindness to self and to others, and for the peace you will then find, within.

If one day you can find the words to express and to teach your wisdom, then and only then it shall be time, and the student(s) who are ready to believe, to hear and to see, will be there.

Love,
Brenda

 

 

Fibromyalgia : A Pain In The Everywhere (part 1)

On November 13, 2017, in BLOG, Fibromyalgia, by brendajohima

Fibromyalgia is, a pain-in-the-everywhere … and if you have it, you truly know what I mean.

Mine began post-trauma, after a car accident that I was in, on June 28, 2000. (a date that I never forget)

While driving, I was rear-ended and pushed into the vehicle ahead of me; so I was hit from back and front. I sustained back and neck injuries, and also a concussion. (post-concussion syndrome)

Little did I know at the time of the accident, that I also got fibromyalgia. I never recovered fully, and yet here I am almost 18 years later, trying to find a way to give back, to share what I have learned.

Prior to that accident, I was a healthy athlete, a runner, and active in everything from sports to daily workouts, to music and performing as a singer.

Recently I decided to write this multi-part post on fibromyalgia since I have been living with it now for 17+ years. Maybe something I write may help someone else along the way.

(* Disclaimer : I am not a medical professional, consultant or expert. This is my own personal journal of thoughts and writings and I’m not providing any recommendations or medical advice. Please make sure you do what works for YOU only and only what is right and safe for you personally. I am just sharing my personal experience at this moment in  time.  Listen to your gut, smarts and heart, and, seek out the professional advice your physician, a medical expert, a registered nurse, a counsellor, psychologist, your local hospital or otherwise. Thanks!)

Alright, now that the legal-babble is done, I am free to speak :0

As far as I know, at this time, there is no known one cause and no one cure at this time for fibromyalgia. There are many theories, which you can research and look up online. I have yet to find a definitive cure. I have my opinions as to which theory makes the most sense as far as the cause, which is neurological, as my fibromyalgia came on after neck and back injuries and a concussion, post car accident; post-traumatic. But who knows? Nobody. Fibromyalgia is a medical mystery.

So what CAN you and I do in the meantime? My first tip? 1. Keep Moving. Keep Your Body Moving.

When you have fibromyalgia, all movement can be painful. Does that mean we get to stop moving? No. In my opinion, that’s the worst thing to do; to stop moving. YES, we must rest and need to rest. There seems to be no way around that. However, EVEN when the pain of fibromyalgia hurts, I keep on moving, and at  minimum, I walk. Walking is free, and I can make it as short or long a trip as I can tolerate each day. (which varies day to day) Plus, even if in pain, my (and yours) heart and lungs need the exercise, and my mind needs the mental stimulation of being outdoors, and the social and spiritual aspects of doing exercise, well, you get the gist; crucial.

(and yes, I have been right there with you if you are at the beginning of your fibromyalgia journey, when during some times in my life, I was not able to move much at all; I slept and rested almost all the time, every day, 7 days per week. There were times that I thought I would never improve. I am here to say that change is possible. I am not yet cured, and there may be no cure (yet) but your body can definitely heal, and over time you can do more and more, even while living with this syndrome 24/7)

Please keep coming back to this blog, as I will post once per week for a few weeks on this topic of fibromyalgia and what I currently use and things that I have done in past, to try to come to peace with it, and also to gain some comfort from the relentless, ever-changing 24/7 pain … in the everywhere.

My second tip? 2. Don’t Give Up. Never. Give. Up.

Keep on trying anything and everything. As many of you who have it know, fibromyalgia pain changes from day to day, and often, from moment to moment. The toughest part of the syndrome to deal with is that you wake up and never know what you are going to get each day. It is totally unpredictable, mentally, emotionally and physically. That lack of predictability is  hard on the sufferer and very confusing to those who love and work with them.

That’s it for now, and I leave you with a little humour, hopefully a smile, with a photo of my standard poodle Teddy. He (also known as Dr. T.) makes me smile every single day, and he is one of the ways that I cope, and take my mind off of the pain.

Loads of Love,
Brenda

 

 

 

When Stress Hits

On November 13, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

No matter the time of day or night, when stress hits, there’s always something you can do to help your mind and body feel better.

3AM insomnia lead me to get up and first do some stretching and then to start juicing and to turn on positive affirmations in the background on YouTube for an hour.

A commitment to do whatever it takes, no matter what.

Then, some writing, and back to sleep, feeling more in balance.

Always Love,

Brenda

 

When Life Feels Like This For Too Long

On November 13, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

We all go through rough patches in life. Sometimes those rough patches can last for a long time. We do the best we can to change, to get out of it and onto a new track, always chasing the light.

And yet sometimes, there are people, places and things in our lives, careers or situations, where it just never gets better no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try … nothing shifts … or worse, things head in reverse and go downhill.

Knowing when to let go and to say goodbye isn’t easy, but it brings peace.

So if your path starts to look like an uphill struggle for too long, is it time to find a new trail?

Sometimes it’s better to bushwhack into the unknown, to travel less travelled roads, to surrender and to take the chance to let go, than to stay the course on the rough and bumpy uphill struggle where you can keep on tripping and possibly even risk falling, getting nowhere but backwards.

Always Love,
Brenda

 

phoDOGraphy.CA

On November 13, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

Dog photography and Puppy photos. Did you know that I have another website?

phoDOGraphy, I started in 2010, offering dog photos and puppy photography, then took a break for many years and started up again in 2017. You will find my portfolio here : phoDOGraphy.CA

Thanks! Look at these cuties!
Brenda

 

Write Even If Nobody Is Listening

On November 11, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

Write, for you, for your own healing, wellness and self-expression. Write, as if nobody else is reading or listening.

In Silence.

Write.

Make art as if nobody else will ever see it.

In Silence.

Make Art.

Make music as if no one will ever hear it.

In Silence.

Make Music.

Make photographs as if nobody will ever see them.

In Silence.

Make Photos.

Herein lies true creativity from the soul without influence from others, without distraction and free from expectation ..: and there it is … that you find … your … SELF.

Always Love,

Brenda

( all of my nature photos below have been taken while enjoying nature on beautiful Vancouver Island )

 

Melodica and Breath

On November 11, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

Melodica / melodion is a wonderful instrument for healing, for breath work, brain and wellness. I’m currently experimenting with melodion as a total beginner, using it as a meditative tool, to focus on the breath and to take my mind off of other things. So far it’s working well.

Always Love,

Brenda

 

Music for Healing

On November 11, 2017, in BLOG, by brendajohima

My last ukelele had a little glitch, so this is try number 2.

So far I’m in love with the yummy mellow sound.

Always Love,

Brenda

 

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