The one thing missing from all this creativity talk

For a bit of time, I was doing creativity coaching — helping passionate women by giving them feedback and structure of what could guide them to make their creative ideas a reality.

Then, this theme kept occurring over and over in the nearly 20 women I was mentoring during this time:

I’m not feeling creative. What’s wrong with me?

I decided to link this feeling to the dormant feeling of winter – and called it creative nothingness.

Like, when the trees aren’t dead but they appear so…that’s what makes up winter.

You aren’t dead if you’re not creative. In fact, you’re very much alive during the dormant times.

I started to look at life seasonally when I was newly pregnant and was not feeling great. My energy was low. I was sick for months. I kept feeling alone — didn’t women talk about feeling like a goddess while pregnant? (At least, that’s what my instagram feed was telling me). I entered into a two year pause from late pregnancy until my son was almost 2.

I thought I could change my life to get out of this winter of my soul. I’d say: when I lose 15 pounds, I’ll get my energy back. When I get a full night of sleep I’ll feel connected. When I get a solid baby sitter I’ll be more free.

When ______ happens, I’ll feel great.

Did any of this happen?

Nope.

Life doesn’t fit into the blanks.

Why?

Because life isn’t linear. Life is cyclical.

Cycles have always been present for us, like in:

The seasons

The moon cycles

Aging and the life stages

Menstrual cycle

Morning and night

Days of the week

The calendar year   

Circadian rhythms

Breath rhythms

The tides of the ocean

Here’s what is missing from the mainstream creativity chatter:

Your creativity is ruled by cycles.

In addition to the pause around pregnancy and new motherhood, I’ve gone through months upon months not making a single painting, writing a word, or feeling the creative urge. I definitely felt like something was wrong with me. I started to go down the self improvement rabbit hole.

Let me tell you what I learned.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

I came out of this time was through my own connection to others like you. In reaching out and getting guidance, I re-kindled the most important aspect of myself:

Loving my unique cycle and honoring the dark times. 

I’m starting to harvest all that has been dormant for a few years. This season is bountiful and well worth the wait and the pain of surrendering.

If you’ve ever confused by all the advice out there on being productive sign up for Creating with the Seasons – a free resource for a limited time.

This video series is for you if you feel burnt out, overwhelmed, or in general restless about your next steps.

Tell me – what’s your creative mood today? Excitement, confusion, stalled, searching, relishing…something else?

Embracing you. 

R o s e

Thank you to my sisters in the Origin community (founded by Kate Northrup ) for some extra help cycle wisdom that informed this article. Ya’ll are amazing.

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