Yes, I know the previous blog listed seven ways to chug through inertia creatively. Why did I not include gratitude? It is THE powerful foundation for unleashing creativity. Gratitude deserves an entire blog dedicated to reflections and links.
When I hit a block in creativity, I am not thinking of options or possibilities. My imagination is veiled by a dark blanket. Thoughts circulate around not being inspired, not achieving or completing a project and that skill I have not mastered. Consequently, I focus on the mass of ‘knots’ in my mind, which then fuel my fear, anxiety, lethargy and a mindset of scarcity.
No one can get into our heads and choose our mindsets. Sure, we can be influenced but ultimately, we have the free will to choose. When asked the classic question: Do you see a glass half empty or half full? What is your answer?
In this excellent post, David Rogers discusses optimism and pessimism as it relates to creativity. He presents a compelling argument that it’s the optimist who embraces adversity, persists to the end, and is resilient. He ends by saying:
You know very well that if your thoughts are pessimistic–if you’re “off”–your commitment to action is not 100% and your spirit and energy are weak. You don’t feel like working; you take the day off. But when you’re optimistic and know what you want and are confident you can get it, you’re able to devote yourself to it with a powerful singleness of purpose. When you’re like that there is almost no way of stopping you from any success you dream of.
The moral? Maintain an optimistic mindset. If you need help maintaining optimism, see Rogers’ seven strategies as outlined in the post. Ultimately optimism is rooted in seeing awe and wonder. It’s perceiving and appreciating people, places and situations for their strengths. Optimism is congruent with gratitude.
When I turned 60 my brother’s partner gifted me two notebooks that I decided to dedicate to beginning a daily practice of gratitude journaling. I read up on suggested strategies and found after practicing both morning and evening journal entries I prefer writing evening gratitude entries. Four years later, I haven’t stopped and overall, it is a habit that has enriched my life. How? On those evenings when I might feel pessimistic, the journal entry helps correct the negative perspective and I go to sleep with a more joyful heart, leading to less worry or restlessness. Presumably, this helps cultivate a more restful sleep.
Remember the saying, every cloud has a silver lining? Or the, What is good is bad parable? If we choose to look for the positive (sometimes it means ‘hunt veraciously’ lol), we are on our way to being thankful. The next step is expressing that appreciation in thought, word and possibly action. It requires a pause of thought and engagement. As this article by Courtney Ackerman mentions it triggers an emotion which is selfless and unconditional. It actually releases a shot of dopamine and serotonin! There are psychological and physiological benefits! We are setting the stage for optimistic possibility, hence opportunity and creation.
In summary, when you need to jump-start your creativity battery, first look around with gratitude. You will be amazed how your body and mind will shift into a relaxed and joyful state. Next, I suggest that you might follow up with the seven strategies I presented in the previous blog and the perils of wisdom offered by the suggested takeaway links. Let us celebrate imagination and the world of possibility!
Gratitude & Creativity:
Mary Catherine, thank you for reblogging my post on optimism. You might also be interested in another post of mine about self-confidence of writers and artists
https://davidjrogersftw.com/2015/01/19/self-confidence-of-artists-and-writers/ The two kind of go together
I love your approach to creativity in your posts. I am sure it is very usful and encouraging to your readers.
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