The flow has stopped, the well is dry and your muse? She evidently took a sick day and hasn’t called in to let you know.
The worst thing you can do when experiencing this phenomena called “writer’s block” is to try to force the words to come.
Our natural instinct is to “push, push, push”. To stay there hand with pen on paper or fingers on keyboard and do our best to force the words to appear. It’s as if we are trying to prove the “mind over matter” process and through sheer will power, force the words from some dark recess of our mind.
Perhaps if you’ve done this, you’ve actually pushed through and were able to write something, but I’m willing to bet that when you did, the words you produced were not anything that as a writer you would describe as “your best work”.
Game Changer Alert: Take an action that will feel counter-intuitive the first that that you try it.
Stop writing and give yourself permission to walk away and to not even think about writing.
Instead go find a comfortable position to lie down or sit comfortably in a chair. Your body probably needs to relax because you’ve been so tense trying to write. Take your phone or whatever type of alarm clock you use, and set an alarm to go off in 15 minutes. Now, take a few deep breaths, in and out and let your mind wander. In a sense, you are going to meditate. Not meditate like chanting OM and contemplating the universe, but meditate in the sense of allowing your mind to relax and just be…
Let thoughts come through freely, but if they are about your writing or paying a bill or some chore that you need to do, ignore them, let these thoughts flow by and away, do not entertain them or allow them to linger. Instead, when they come, watch them float by like clouds moving quickly on a windy day. As you relax, continue focusing on your breath and allow happy thoughts to flow in, like how nice it feels to relax for a minute, and how warm or cool you feel today.
Allow yourself to drift, think of some of your favorite things, a day at the beach, the sound of seagulls near the waves as the surf comes in, or perhaps you’re in a cabin with the fire crackling, watching the soft snow fall through the window. Drift, relax, flow from thought to thought to thought, thinking about nothing of importance.
Are You Out of Your Mind?
We often wear out our minds daily with mental to do lists, then we add the guilt of not accomplishing these lists and when we are not focused on these thoughts, we often switch to things we are worried about that may or may not happen.
While it’s important to think about what we need to do on a daily and big picture basis, when we overwhelm the mind with pressures of guilt and worry, it shuts down the flow. The mind doesn’t know what to do with thoughts of guilt and worry, because these bring in the emotions connected with these two concepts. The negative emotions associated with guilt and worry flood the mind, creating a sludge of heavy energy that slows down the mental process.
Wait, the mind says, we are in an emergency situation, the emotions of guilt and worry have arrived and we need to determine if we should panic and prepare to engage in battle.
This fight or flight feeling, causes the mind to stop the flow of when it is operating on a good day in a highly creative process, to hunkering down and preparing for war. It cannot operate in both capacities, it has to choose between these two.
Free Your Mind
When you sit down to write, you may not even be aware of how overburdened your mind is, as you may subconsciously be carrying these thoughts and worries for so long, that it has almost become a norm in your life. Yet when you try to open up to your creative side, you find yourself blocked. When you try to push through, it feels even worse and the block becomes a wall.
This is your mind doing its best to protect you, saying, sorry, we have shut down to prepare for battle, we are not accessible at this time to open up to our creative flow side, all resources must be diverted at this time to prepare for battle.
Can you see how the act of trying to force the mind to write is an impossible task, in this “state of mind”?
Instead, when you walk away and relax and free your mind, you allow the thoughts of danger to dissipate. The mind relaxes with the body, the emotions subside and return back to their normal state and you are entering a calm place of being. The mind notices that those concerning thoughts and worries are still around, but it sees that you acknowledge them and then allow them to float away, as you entertain a new thought of being at the beach or other happy thought. Ok, says the mind, this isn’t as bad as we thought, there’s no danger here, we can relax and return to our normal state of functioning.
Am I More Than My Mind?
While entertaining this concept here, it may also lead you to the question of, Is Kala saying that I am not my mind, but rather I am more than my mind? The quick answer is Yes. This is an ancient esoteric teaching and I teach these concepts to students from around the world in my Academy of Mystical Arts and Spiritual Sciences.
The first nine lessons that students are taught when they study with me, are in my book – 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled. These lessons help you to free your mind and connect with your Higher Conscious Self.
Not ready to go that deep into these thoughts? No worries, just try the exercise above next time you are experiencing writer’s block or trying to brainstorm ideas for a project that you’re working on and see if it doesn’t free your mind and allow new ideas to pour in after this fifteen minute break.
Why fifteen minutes you might ask? I’ve found in my years of teaching this exercise that fifteen minutes is about the right time for a person to take this mental break, before they become so relaxed that they fall asleep. In fact, if your mind is really overwhelmed, you may fall asleep when you try this exercise and so by setting the alarm for fifteen minutes, it will wake you up should this occur.
Either way, you’ll feel refreshed and renewed.