Burnt Out? Revitalize Your Creative Energy
“…the most influential people who have ever walked among us…have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves.” Albert Einstein
Every morning before I roll out of bed, I reach for my iphone. Still snuggling underneath my goose-down comforter, I’ll scroll for articles on blogs that get my writers’ blood running, like www.writetodone.com.
But today, this e-mail from artist Rob Schwager is what got me leaping out of bed and fired up to get typing on the laptop:
“Hey Maria, have you come across anything good on “getting motivated” ? I’m working 2 full-time jobs. My reasons for being motivated are being able to pay my mortgage and taking care of my wife and 3 kids.
On those rare occasions when I DO have a break, and I AM able to take some time for myself and “do my own art” my motivation levels are usually at an all time low. I’m feeling more and more like a production machine and less and less like an artist every day.”
The answer hit me immediately. It came from my gut, or from the universe, or from deep in the crevices of my little brain from something that I read somewhere once. Here is the simple and true answer:
Relieve the pressure from yourself and allow some time off from your art.
This advice contradicts my previous rants on creating every day. But there are exceptions to every rule. If you are feeling burnt out, your spirit needs a re-hauling, a little rest, and a lot less pressure.
When too many things are pulling you in different directions, your body and spirit breaks down.
I know, this “taking time off” goes against what your mind is telling you what you should do, because you are an artist. It’s in you to create, to paint, to make things. But humans can only focus effectively on so many things at a time.
Just roll with me on this idea for a minute.
I’m not saying that you should put the brush down for good or for long. Just give yourself a short little break, maybe for a month or two or six.
When we are worn out and overextended, the stuff that makes us creative, that inner fire-breathing energy dragon, becomes sick and weak, and it needs to be restored.
To revitalize your energy dragon from within, you need chunks of time doing what makes you feel healthy, joyful, connected to nature and All-That-Is. For some, that means hiking, surfing or taking a walk through the jungles of Manhattan. For others, it’s meditation and reflection or playing baseball.
What I’m really suggesting here is that you TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF OF YOURSELF. We are not in a race, though for some reason we all behave like we are. (I’m guilty of it.)
When you remove the mental requirements you give yourself, your spirit breathes a little easier. And that in itself is healing to your creative genius.
And sometimes, igniting your inner fire first requires taking a break from your creative side and allowing the steam to build up, like a pressure cooker. Let it ferment for some time and allow the energy to build, until it just screams for escape.
Then one morning, after your creative rest, you’ll wake up and you’ll be overtaken with an insatiable desire to paint!
Like a madman-genius, you’ll have a clear image in your mind, one that is begging to be pulled out and stretched like a roll of salt-water taffy and refined and made into a tangible form. It will be a joyful process. You’ll give birth to something that energizes you, and it will remind you of why you love being an artist, and you will feel grateful that you still have it, and the energy will be running through you like a powerful force of electricity.
And then it will dawn on you: you don’t have to try to get motivated. Your motivation, organically grown, has come about naturally, through your rested spirit.
You’ll look around and see that everything is exactly as it should be. You’ll hear the birds singing outside your window, and all will be right in the world.
PS: To my readers, are you feeling a little unmotivated or overextended? How have you dealt with this for yourself? Please, share your thoughts in the comments!
- Stop Striving For Awesome and Give Yourself a Break
- How Meditation Helps the Creative Process
- Being Exceptional is a Sacrifice – Writing that Book is Hard