20 October 2014

Guilt-Free Creative Living in the Rhythm of the Seasons



Summer is for living, fall is for reflecting, that is the lesson I learned in the past months. I spent the summer traveling, meeting people, running on hot sands and jumping over waves.

The feeling of guilt for not blogging was following me everywhere I went and the more time passed by, the less inclined I felt to write. Have you felt the same too?

Don't resist
On some days, my head was exploding by the thought that I could not collect myself and write a single post, on others I blamed myself for not taking pictures to update my etsy shop, but I refused to give in to the guilt. Instead, I chose not to resist.

You see, I believe in not resisting; if a creative urge comes, I succumb and try to live it as fully as possible. So, in this case, the urge was to live in the moment. For the first time in three years I stopped blogging and for the first time in more than ten years I left my camera at home. If you are a blogger you will understand what an effort that was. If you are a photographer, maybe you will be appalled.

But guilt has never led anyone to good decisions. Actually, being guilt prone is only ruining your life. Psychologist Guy Winch advises to try to define if the signal of guilt is real or not, then to identify if you are really doing something wrong and if the message is false to ignore it.

With my feeling of guilt identified as faulty, I simply decided to trust the rhythm.

Trust the Rhythm

Trust the rhythm
Trusting the rhythm of my emotions is very much connected to trusting the rhythm of the seasons. I believe that every creative person is influenced by the natural world, and the changing of seasons. So, instead of trying to follow a strict regime of creating – be it writing, painting, photographing or sculpting – you might want to listen to your urges, stop feeling guilty and enjoy a detour on the your creative path.

Summer is a vibrant season. Instead of shutting yourself off from the world, go outside and be part of it. Even if that means you have to stop what you're doing.

Feeling guilty is so out of the question in this situation because even when you are not literally crafting or creating, the impressions and the change in activities will charge you up for your next endeavors.

Trying to follow a routine regardless of season will only make you feel stuck and sooner or later your creativity will perish because of the pressure you put on yourself.

So, you know how everything in nature evolves and follows an up-and-down curve? It's quite the same with us, our emotions and our creativity.

If we accept that summer is the season for living outside, then fall is the perfect season for reflecting on all that we lived through and employing it in our creative process. Then comes winter, when held indoor by cooler temperatures our reflections deepen and we have enough time to create an to live in the virtual world of our thoughts, followed by an awakening in spring and new creative juices.

Don't push yourself, follow the natural rhythm of the seasons and breathe.

breathe

Breathe
Breathe in – breathe out;
work – rest;
create – collect impressions;
day – night...

It's as simple as that. Don't push yourself. Try to understand and respect your rhythm instead, as you do the rhythm of nature. Allow yourself time to rest and time to be active. Keep this dynamic balance alive and your creativity will flourish.

Now it's your turn: Have you gone through long periods of burn-out and how have you dealt with them? Leave your reply in the comments below.