I had a few weeks recently, at least it felt that long, where I didn’t feel any desire to do the things I normally do for fun, relaxation and developing a creative life.
While I’m still working out what I can do in peace, there are a few basic themes that can apply to any activity:
1. Keep it simple and go back to the basics are core principles. Figure out one thing you loved and do it in the most basics way. Such as I love listening to Gurbani Kirtan, though with all the changes happening around here I could no longer focus or get a great feeling from it. So I went back a bit further to Kundalini style Kirtan and it was wonderful. Yesterday I sang along to Guru Ganesha Band in the car! I even went back again to music with a spiritual twist Beautiful Chorus and female empowerment from Ms. Lauryn Hill and Lady Gaga. Sometimes I think you have to go back in time to reignite your soul to come forward to now, musically speaking.
2. Don’t beat yourself up on what you haven’t done, small steps count. I hadn’t been in my creative room to do any form of writing journaling or painting for a week or more, then one day I found myself watching a TV show while journaling like old times, I moved a meditation floor chair into the room, spent 30 minutes free painting and drafted a post for later in the year. I then reflected on what I hadn’t done. I hadn’t done any form of real writing or journaling to show now. I was reflecting on the wrong thing. I’d painted privately, organised my space and exercised my creative writing brain, all brilliant things! It’s true that the small steps get you to the next steps and you can make larger steps from there. I think it’s important not to get caught up in old routines but if they’re healthy, productive and allow you to move forward then do them!
3. As you are finding your way again you may notice certain patterns, adapt and work with them. For me I couldn’t sit and do long meditations or prayer readings so I adapted my routine to include Simran sitting up in bed, yoga stretches, a short meditation and reading something spiritual based. On days where I have more time or am more organised, I will walk and listen/speak along to prayers because my body feels much better on the move.
With creativity, I found great grounding in freestyle writing for 30 minutes, I found questions I had on my mind just spill out and answers too, things I wanted to write about would be drafted in them too (like this blog post). Going to my page to freestyle paint or journal with a 15 minute timer is a great way to start too. All these things, were at the very start of my creative journey, over 10 years ago. This is the power of discipline and habits that serve you.
4. Finally, fill your time with feel good resources and friends. It’s all to easy to watch the latest trashy show on TV for comfort and if it helps for a few episodes, I’m not going to judge, sometimes I’m surprised to learn something abut human behaviour. Listen to feel good music, listen to relaxing meditations, watch films you’ve wanted to for a while, go for walks in nature and catch up with friends who you can really be yourself with and can offer encouragement.