Recently, I underwent multiple transitions at once, involving every aspect of my life: my job, relationship status, living situation, and even friendships were transforming.
In between all of these things, I had absolutely nothing—just pure stillness.
This gave me some much-needed space for pausing, reflecting, and creating.
For almost three weeks, I lived in the space in between. I embraced it, knowing that things would soon change—as they always do—from empty to full.
This time to go inward and reflect brought a lot of ideas to the surface.
The stillness created space for my imagination to be free, so that I could recreate a life more in alignment with who I was becoming.
Inspiration and creativity came flooding in, and it was too strong to ignore—so I started taking action, excited about bringing these ideas and possibilities to life. I signed up for courses, bought a bunch of books, started seeking fulfilling work, and put myself out there to meet new people.
And now, I find myself trying to keep up with everything I put in motion. There is a flood of overwhelm, and with it, a lack of motivation and momentum to do all of these things.
Life happens naturally in these waves and cycles, ebbs and flows: from total stillness and silence, to running around trying to accomplish all the things that have come through during the stillness. It’s a beautiful chaos.
I go into things full force with all of this fresh, new energy that inspires and moves me to accomplish my goals until all of a sudden…I hit a wall.
There are tools I can use to move through this:
My perspective can change in order to navigate these feelings, instead of trying to force myself against them. These feelings are bound to come up, but they don’t need to get in the way. We all go through a rise in inspiration that sometimes plateaus to a lack of motivation. As soon as the initial excitement fades and we get into the work, momentum and drive decrease.
I realize and remind myself that life has a cyclical nature.
This cycle can even be found each month as the moon shifts and changes in fullness and brightness. It flows from quietness, emptiness, a void—like the pause after an exhale, or the essence of winter: slow, reflective, and inward. The dark moon, about to be new again. Then there is action, movement, and even chaos; it’s the inhale that’s full of life and energy. The brightness of the illuminated, full moon.
This rise and fall in the natural world also occurs in all of us.
The moments where I am connected and aligned are when everything—my ideas and inspiration—come through, almost like a clear channel. They are always attached to my purpose and passion.
When I shift my perspective to acknowledge each change in the cycle, I stop resisting and going against the current. Both the still times and the time for movement are life’s yin and yang. Every pace and rhythm of life we find ourselves in has a purpose. We can embrace these two polarities, and navigate them with ease.
At some point, during my moments of action, I start to lose my momentum and doubt my ideas. I stop feeling the creative force work through me to accomplish my project. Returning to stillness again helps me reconnect to that place where the idea came from in the first place.
“I fear our modern world does not honor our need for stillness in the midst of nonstop busyness. Can we learn to be still enough to embrace the inner self and all it contains? The inner self is calling for balance. Can we practice a wholeness that allows for silence, nature and breath? My hope is yes.” ~ Genevieve Mitchell
Going inward during the chaos can also help us realize other reasons for losing momentum—we can pause and reflect.
When the inspiration starts to wither away, it is not lost; it’s hiding beneath the fear and doubt. It requires self-love and confidence. It requires a place of stillness. A returning to center. Reconnection to the body, and to breath. To purpose and intention.
I’ve personally realized that it’s usually my ego and my fear of both greatness and failure contributing to my lack of motivation. They pull me down, trying to lower me back to a level where I don’t stand out, where I can stay small, and where my ideas can’t fail. It’s like I’m trying to move forward through thick and dense molasses. Putting myself out there is scary, as it opens the door for rejection. It’s a vulnerable place to be.
Acknowledging why I start to slow down is a huge step toward overcoming the block that stops me from still feeling inspired. I can work through it in a way that feels helpful to me.
This can snowball into considering other things affecting my lack of momentum. What is my relationship with abundance? Do I feel my ideas are worth sharing? Do I feel worthy of success?
I am abundant when I am able to freely share my passions without restriction. Life seems to feel more effortless. When I stop the flow of abundance, things feel like “work.” My relationship with abundance changes the quality of my work, too; I have to believe that the work is worth sharing, and that my ideas are valuable in order to have the energy to accomplish them.
And so, every “failure” has turned into a lesson. Every rejected idea has helped me refine what works and what doesn’t. The biggest step is to take a deep breath, put the idea out into the world, and release fear and expectation.
These questions can only be asked with an open heart and a willingness to grow beyond them.
If we are connected to our highest truth, it will likely be received well. We can choose to be patient with ourselves, and know that our unique voice is worthy of being heard, and that our ideas are worth sharing. We just have to keep reconnecting, again and again, to truly listen. We’ll know what to do from there. And we all deserve to be successful.
Let art emerge from the core of your being. Like dharma art—genuine art—as explained in True Perception by Chögyam Trungpa:
“…art that springs from a certain state of mind on the part of the artist that could be called the meditative state. It is an attitude of directness and unself-consciousness in one’s creative work.
This is what works for me, but everyone is unique and we’ll all find different ways to connect to our higher selves. In times when I lose motivation, I remind myself of this inner space, and reconnect to it every time doubt and fear demand my attention.
I remind myself, gently, to come back every time I drift away from it. I find the stillness within the moments of chaos. I slow down, practice more yoga, reflect, and journal. I seek counsel in those who can hold space and listen. I remember where the ideas came from, and notice why my motivation disappeared
If I live and create from my center, and my truth, I can keep igniting the spark that drives me to move onwards with my goals and visions.
Thoughts are powerful, and something as simple as a change in perspective can re-spark my motivation.