Facing the Dry Spell
by Alexa Francisco
“When we do not trouble ourselves about whether or not something is a work of art, if we just act in each moment with composure and mindfulness, each minute of our life is a work of art.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
Overthinking... I’m completely convinced that it is the universal turn-off switch. That there’s no faster way to dry up the well in which all your creative juices flow from than to think something into a migraine.
And there’s no way to completely prevent it from happening because, you know, we’re human and it’s impossible for any of us to be “on” all the time. But I believe if you get to know yourself a little better and work on your listening skills, an overactive mind can become more manageable than not.
Typically, the dry spell begins when we’re trying to better ourselves at our chosen craft or attempting to express or accomplish something through a particular action. It matters to us, and then the process in which it needs to be done gets complicated. A writer gets writer’s block, an athlete faces a physical plateau, a painter can’t get a good visual... Pick your poison and bear with me for a second.
“I’ve spent my life trying to make things simpler. Because I find ultimately that complicated doesn’t reach the heart.” -Hans Zimmer
Step inside that moment- when things are complicated. Your head is pounding, you have a counter to every semi-reasonable thought racing through your mind and you’re so exhausted from figuring absolutely nothing out you don’t know which way is up anymore... If nothing positive is coming from it, you need to get out of there. Here’s how-
Ask yourself one question. What do I need to give myself right now to keep moving forward?
Then give it to yourself, no more questions asked, and I bet that headache will go away.
That’s because the question consults your heart, not your head, and that is where the creative flow is housed, no headaches allowed.
The hard part is listening to whatever answer pops up because it might not make any sense. The heart doesn’t run everything through a logical filter as the head does, it just feels what’s right and often that can’t be explained. Sometimes all I need is a short break and a beer, sometimes I need to push against the wall no matter how badly it hurts and then there are times like last weekend, where I felt like I should take a road trip to Georgia.
After a week of not being able to write anything and overthinking everything, I asked myself what I needed and a trip to my good ole’ granny’s place in the boonies was the answer I got. So I went, and it was exactly what I needed. A long drive, fresh air, and words of encouragement from my badass granny who is one of the grittiest women I’ve ever met. She put me back in touch with the things that really matter to me and from there I was able to figure out exactly what I needed to do this week to continue putting that out into the world.
“Always trust your heart. It knows what your head doesn’t.” -Unknown
It always comes down to stripping away the complications that are caused by the mind and getting back to the heart. So the next time your head is about to explode, take a breath and try it...
What do I need to give myself right now to keep moving forward?
What do you have to lose?
by Alexa Francisco
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