Losing Creative Confidence + Doing Your Best to get It Back: Thoughts on the Ebb and Flow of Fighting Lyme + Forgiving Yourself When Moving Forward Takes Longer than Expected
Warm yellow light streams through my window, a fresh bouquet of flowers sits beside my computer, a photo of my mother holding a young Chloe looks up at me from the corner of my desk; I'm surrounded by goodness, by uplifting reminders, by things that should give me everything that I need to take whatever today brings by storm...
But my motivation dissipates as my eyes linger on the unchecked boxes and mind fixates on the number of weeks it's been since I've been able to properly execute an idea and follow through with the pending ones. Why haven't I asked them about this, reached out to them, written about that, finished those projects, spend more time on this while focusing less on that? It's endless and draining, serving no purpose other than to take jabs at my confidence and do its best to halt all passion driven pursuits.
Even now, I'm taking longer-than-normal pauses between each paragraph, staring blankly at nothing in particular, doing my best to dissect this icky feeling brewing in my gut, making its way into what feels like every corner of my body, my thoughts, and how I act towards myself. How could I possibly think those things? Especially after working so hard to counter those negative and damaging thoughts with ones that encourage and motivate me.
Now, before I go any further, I would like to take note that as this is being written, I find myself fighting the urge to drop my head to my chest, hand my thoughts over to "the dark side" and toss in the towel for the day. I would also like to take note, that recognizing this is what brought me to this place, hands determined to stay glued to the keyboard while I do my best to wrap my head around the heaviness that I feel.
Hello heaviness, and hello doom and gloom!
You're here, and I understand that you'd like to stay, but the thing of it is, there's ideas to be thought up, connections to be made, and projects to be completed, and I'd rather not spend all that much more time with, well, you. So, that is why I'm here. I'm here because I decided to grab hold of that little flicker of "I think this could really help you" and run with it. Giving it room to explore it's surroundings, sit with the uncomfortableness, and ultimately, figure out a way to remove the rubble and move forward in way that works, for now, because we all know that time has a way of jumbling things up again.
Alright, now I feel as if I should do a little more explaining as to why this is so important to me. As to why creativity isn't something that I can simply forget about or allow to collect dust at the back of the shelf. True, it might not always be at the forefront of everything I do, but it is considered a vital piece to the healing process and living a life that I'm excited and passionate about.
Hard to hold onto sometimes? Absolutely, but that's simply the ebb and flow of things, and it doesn't mean that we should work our darnedest to get it back, again and again.
As you take a look at the list below, think about times in which you felt a lack of drive, maybe even a dullness to life. Now try and remember what filled your days, was it simply getting to the end of it so you didn't have to carry the weight of it all? Or did you have little projects, ideas, books, even people that sparked your imagination and allowed you to get lost in the day, losing track of time and realizing that it is possible to live a life more than? It's also quite possible that you didn't fall anywhere on this spectrum, and that ok. Sometimes (ok, more than sometimes), you aren't entirely sure where you find yourself in this moment. In that case, give yourself plenty of time to sit with the idea that you don't need to have it all figured out right now, after all, almost no one I know does.
The Importance Of Creativity:
+ Empowers you to push through the harder moments, even the ones you thought would be impossible to let go or move through.
+ Connections with new, amazing people, or old friendships that have always motivated you to keep at it, stay curious, and discover what gets you excited about life, if you don't already hold that close.
+ Gives you a reason to wake up and be excited for the day, and if not excited, simply a reason to keep hope close when other aspects of your life might seem a little unhinged.
+ Opens the door for a shift in the way you see and feel things. Going back to the doom and gloom scenario, if I am able to remove even a little bit of the rubble with something that inspires me (note, this can be extremely difficult, but oh so worth it), like writing this or creating a video about that, then slowly but surely, and maybe without even realizing it, my mood changes and the weight lifts, and there I am, a little stronger and braver than I was just moments before.
+ A sense of calm when difficult situations arise.
More on the above can be found in our previous Real Talk, where we touch on all things regarding the act of gaining creative confidence, but for now, I feel it necessary to bring up the idea that Lyme or no Lyme, these ups and downs are normal.
They're normal and something that most everyone experiences.
Can they be heightened by a chronic illness? Completely! And that shouldn't be taken lightly, but we can also find comfort in knowing that this is normal. That feeling these lows are the very thing that encourages us to make our way back up. To keep our mind active, soul fed with goodness, and thoughts on the bigger picture, rather than dissecting every breathe taken and difficult moment that arises.
So, give yourself time.
Give yourself time and know that if you put in the time and effort, you will once again build up that creative confidence, and every time you feel it slipping in the weeks, days, months, and years to come, your grip will be a little stronger and better able to hold on.
Tools that I use to re-inspire and re-discover my creative confidence?
Here You Go:
+ Getting outside
+ Making sure I'm spending time with those that I love
+ Giving myself space, and lots of it, to feel what I need to feel before taking a step this way or that
+ Making a list of what inspires me, whether that be a favorite Youtube artist, Blog, book, recipes (and this one!), or something of the sort, and spending plenty of time with what drew me to them in the first place, and why I keep circling back. I find this kind of inspiration to be so powerful, no matter what emotional state I find myself in.
+ Moving my body, even if that simply means stretching for 10 minutes, in order to get new blood flow and fresh ideas back into those areas that can often grow stagnant (putting my feet up the wall is a real winner! Try doing it before you fall asleep and when you first wake up). Really, anything that helps you see the strength that you already carry in and with you.
+ Making another list of all the things that I have done that in that moment have motivated me to try something new or keep doing that same thing, even if it's slightly terrifying. This could be anything from writing, painting, taking a yoga class, starting a blog, discovering new recipes, reaching out to someone that inspires you...
Goodness, there is so much to be said on this topic! But I do believe that that's a good place to start. However, if you have any more questions or ideas regarding this right now, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Because swapping ideas, stories, encouragement, support...it helps immensely when the world seems to weigh a little heavier than normal. So let's spend time on this, shall we?
Let's give ourselves every reason to keep on keepin' on.
All my love to you,