First, stop calling it a slump and rename it.
I prefer “Creative Goddess Restoration Period.” That’s what it is, you know.
We are all so convinced we’re doomed when we hit a slump that we’ve gotten used to the label, and it’s attracted a negative connotation. Let’s begin to call it what it really is—a well-deserved break and opportunity to recharge and restore our creative energy flow.
What normally happens when we’re in a slump? See if you resonate with anything on my “Slump List” below:
The mind takes over with a barrage of negativity. We entertain thoughts like, “Everything sucks,” “I’m not good enough,” “Nobody wants to see/hear/read what I create,” “This slump is going to last forever.” (I am sure you can think of more.)
We go unconscious and actually listen to those thoughts, dwelling in our pit of unworthiness for way too long.
We become confused about our mission or purpose—you know, that inspiration that started you creating in the first place? We wonder if we are really meant to do this.
We start doubting everything—our art, our life. What the heck are we doing here, anyway?
We become depressed and do things like eat too much, or stop exercising.
We see the slump as failure, giving it way too much weight in our normally kick-ass, productive, creative life.
We worry the slump will never end and that makes us even more depressed.
We stop making decisions and stop taking action. Who cares anyway—we are in a slump!
Most creative people have been here before. They’ve been doing creative work long enough to know that slumps come in waves and don’t tend to last forever, despite what our convincing minds tell us. Sometimes it helps knowing this. And sometimes it doesn’t matter how long you have been a creative goddess, when you hit a slump all your experience and knowing go out the window and you are sucked into the black hole.
So I’ve decided to call out my slump for what it really is—a Creative Goddess Restoration Period. Don’t you love that?
We’ve gotten so used to labeling our experiences as good or bad, we do it out of habit. Let’s break that habit. Let’s re-name this bad girl and start understanding how a CGRP can be as amazing and productive as inspired, art-making time.
Next time you are feeling “blah” and you recognize the wave is on a down-flow, be grateful—you are about to get a much needed boost.
Here are some things to do when you feel this way—to make the most out of this time and allow it to be a productive, nourishing way to get your flow back:
1. Don’t give a f**k that you are in a slump. Really. Who cares? You have been here before. You know the drill. Be something different this time—be grateful.
2. Go ahead and do a whole lot of nothing. Sit still. Relax. See what comes up for you when you give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing.
3. Meditate. While you are doing nothing, you might as well still your body and mind and call it meditation—because that is what slowing down and being mindful is.
4. Slap yourself awake, out of your negative thoughts and choose better, more healthy ways to think. Practice fierce, disciplined awareness. Don’t be a victim of your own mind. You got this!
5. Breathe. A lot. Again. Now more. Let breathing be a thing you do when you are feeling the low. Just breathe. Oxygenate. Let that be enough.
6. Don’t think. Feel. When you are in the middle of number two, allowing yourself to do nothing and your mind starts to take over again, notice this and clear your mind. Just feel what comes up—fully. Practice replacing thinking, constricting, resisting and judging with feeling, allowing and letting go.
7. Take some time to explore who you are, your self worth and what you really want. Love yourself no matter what you create or produce. Use this “down time” to connect with the bigger source of energy that has your back. Believe in these moments as much as you believe in the super-creative, inspired ones.
8. Exercise. Get your ass out the door and walk or go take a class. Sweat some. Move your body, feel your body, get into your body and out of your mind. Let the endorphins of exercise energize you. Do it even if you don’t want to.
9. Write about it. If you are in a slump and aren’t inspired to create anything you normally love, then get a pen and notebook and write about what you are feeling. Feng Shui your soul by getting it out onto the page. Or go a step further and blog about it. Let us see we aren’t alone.
10. Talk to a trusted friend. After you are done talking, make sure to listen. Let that friend be your inspiration or message. Take her words to heart. Receive the love she has to give and let it fuel you.
A slump is a blessing in disguise.
All we have to do is see it that way. Every athlete needs a rest period to allow their muscles to repair and get stronger. The Creative Goddess Restoration Period is exactly the rest and repair that we need for our souls. It allows us to come out stronger, faster and better—with more clarity of purpose and loads of divine inspiration. It unclogs our flow.
Every athlete also has to train. You don’t become an Olympian in a week. Recognize that you are a Creative Goddess in training and that doing this work, expressing yourself, following your creative flow and healing the world takes a special kind of warrior.
The warrior soul requires training and rest. No more calling it a slump.
Remember, you are the one giving it that name and you have the power to change it.
Author: Laura Probert
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo via Flickr