The lovely Leila Buffery asked a few questions around how spirituality is linked to my creative practice. Enjoy!
What's your best advice for getting yourself out of a creative slump?
I would question if the work you're doing is fun and exciting. When you get that buzz of excitement from an idea that's the thought you want to hold onto while you're creating the work. If no ideas or inspiration are coming through, chances are you're standing in your own way by having fear based thoughts. These could be around money, around a deadline, around not creating the 'perfect' or 'right' piece, the fear of acknowledging a creative slump and worrying how and if you'll get out.
So, what I try and do is take a step back and loosen the reigns. Ask yourself what's the worst that can happen? I say to myself "You're okay, you've got this far in life already."
I start reaching for a thought that feels better, like "I've created before, I'll do it again, it's okay if it's not today."
Another good tip is to 'Fill the well' as quoted in 'the artists way'. This is a fabulous book by Julia Cameron. It's good to work through as a series of exercises, or just dip in and out of.
Remember to look at everything. Look at poetry, photography, nature, listen to a conversation, anything that stimulates that flutter of intrigue.
Allow yourself to feel lighter, more playful. That's when the ideas can flow in. Do something for you, that's fun. Don't feel guilty if it's extravagant. Give yourself permission and whole heartedly enjoy it. An idea may pop into your mind when you're not expecting it.
As a very openly spiritual person, when do you feel most connected to source energy and a higher power?
I feel like the answer should be when I'm painting! But funnily enough it's when I'm running! At the moment, there's lots of boundaries and fears I'm breaking down with my creative practice which is really exciting. I feel connecting to a higher energy and letting it work through me into the artwork on a more conscious level is where it's headed.
That said, when I run I get a real sense of clarity. Lots of intuitive answers flow in and I get that tingle all over my body like goosebumps. Then I know I'm onto something good and the universe is working with me.
How do you think your spirituality links in with your artwork?
We are all spiritual beings and the artwork very much feels like it's moving towards being another means of communication to others. I feel on some level we can all connect through visual art, or sound in a different or even deeper way than language. I feel more and more I am allowing myself to be guided towards what to create, there's a sense it will touch the right people at the right time and hopefully resonate their truth.
How do you know how to value your work? I know this can be really difficult for creatives (myself included!) as it requires a bit of a business brain.
Yes, it definitely can. I think creating work you love and pouring your inspired energy into it immediately makes it feel of value. I think it's common to have a hangup around monetary value. It can flag up all sorts of challenging feelings. For example, giving things away for free some how represents being virtuous and noble. Putting a hefty price tag can feel greedy.
However, these are only our built up beliefs around money. As soon as money is viewed as a form of resourceful energy and neutral energy without the attachments of good or bad, we can see that it's purely an exchange of energy. If you truly value your work, other people will too. Easier said than done, I know!
There's always opportunity to give, and sometimes it does feel appropriate. Other times it feels good to receive, which is equally appropriate. This keeps that natural flow of energy moving.
Finally, how do you overcome self-limiting beliefs?
A good way to test this is if the thought I'm having doesn't feel good, then It's not coming from my higher self. It's invariably fear based.
Before that fear totally consumes every ounce of your being, acknowledge the fear, feel the fear, and question it from an observational point of view, as if you are watching yourself.
This helps you regain your power and understand what the fear is saying, then, you might be able to laugh at it! If the limiting thoughts have run away with themselves, I find it's better to just stop, rather than power through with forced action. Once the negative thoughts have got some real momentum going, even stopping is a challenge at first. So, I try and stop, break the momentum. I meditate or go for a run and clear my mind. This acts as a re-set button, from this state more neutral or even positive thoughts can get a look in. I then hold onto those more positive thoughts and keep thinking them over an over, before you know it there's an energy shift. Stick with it, any new habit takes time!