Filling the Well or How to Restore the Creative Juices

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By Julie Oshins – Play It Forward

The other day I found myself playing with music and feeling kind of blocked, and not in the zone . . . it just wasn’t flowing. . . I am in the process of moving, and honoring a bunch of other commitments and felt exhausted and uninspired. Mixing felt like WORK, not like PLAY, like it usually does. I know some of us may relate to Djing as just a job, and others of us feel it is a creative expression . . . an art.

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As I was packing my books, I came across The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. She speaks to this exact phenomenon of the artist block, “In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We’ve got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish- an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem. If we don’t give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant or blocked. Over-tapping the well, like overfishing the pond, leaves us with diminished resources. As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them. I call this process filling the well. “

So, I posed a question to the “creative types” in my community, “How do you restore the creative juices? How do you fill the well?”

If you find yourself similarly uninspired, here are some tips and suggestions to return to your mojo and get back in your creative flow:

  1. Artist Date: This is something from the Artists Way. “An artist’s date is a (weekly) block of time especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness”. I’ve been taking myself on artist dates since 2009. Coloring, dancing, ride bikes, take pictures . . . the possibilities are endless, and do NOT have to cost money!
  2. Restore: Sleep. (this was the #1 response) Meditation. Spa Days. Eating whole and healthy foods.
  3. Connect with Nature: Being in and around nature and paying attention to the details as I walk/hike through, mountains or the ocean, sunsets.
  4. Check out other artists or art forms for inspiration: Read. Go to museums. Watch a movie with intention or paying attention for the lessons. Go see live theater, music, dance etc.
  5. Stream of consciousness writing: This is an uncensored dumping of the brain! In the Artists Way, it’s called the Morning Pages. I usually start with the physical and/or my environment. Very often something I’m struggling with gets resolved on the page.
  6. Do things you enjoy: Spend time with your partner, work out, play a game (cards?) or a sport, spend time with your kids if you have them.
  7. Make Your Environment Creative: Surround yourself with images or possessions that you love and inspire you. If you are stressed about finances, don’t have those bills or mortgage papers in your creative space. To make a creative space we need to encourage appreciation, openness, and acceptance. According to Oprah & Chopra “When we can show gratitude and appreciation for all the gifts that are offered in the present moment, we will have an environment where creative solutions always flow.”

My creativity comes and goes like the tide. I never force it. If it’s there it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. Being super curious is helpful. I constantly seek brand new ways and learn new ways to create outside of my “expertise”. Davinci is a perfect example of what is possible for all of us. Most of us get stuck in one direction. He would seek multiple outlets to let his mind soar. Give it a shot. The worst thing that happens is you learn something new.

 
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