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Creative Witchery BLOG

The Cave of Rest–and the Way to Truer, Deeper Work

I’ve been sick again for the past week–a deep, liminal time of resting, listening to my body, and reflecting. 

I feel like I’ve descended into a cave on a journey of transformation. So much is coming from this experience for me to share. 

At this moment, I want to highlight one thing: the role of rest. 

I used to have an attitude of “pushing through”–after being sick, I’d get up and go as soon as possible, priding myself on my toughness and productivity. 

It was the same constant push-push-push and go-go-go energy that also led to deep issues with procrastination and an inability to do my creative work.

Whether you’re sick or well, the principle is the same. There are periods when your energy is high and periods when your energy ebbs. 

Honoring and supporting yourself through this ebb and flow can make all the difference in your long-term ability to create–and your creative success.

You’ve been through those high energy times: you’re inspired, work is flowing, you’re channeling a golden flow of creative truth.

This happens in the middle of projects–and almost always at the end, when that final exhilarating creative flow takes you through the completion of your novel, screenplay, or painting.

What happens next?

When the tide reaches its peak and begins to withdraw, what then?

When you finish a piece–or a come out of a period of high creative energy–do you push yourself to go on to the next thing? 

Do you grudgingly take a day or two off (spending it on social media or reading the news or catching up on your “to do” list)? Or, do you listen to your body and spirit–and give yourself what you truly crave?

How you rest affects your next period of creative work–and the level at which you’ll be able to create.

When you push through, you drain your creative energy. That can lead to effects like

  • An overall feeling of pushing, scarcity, and need–which makes it hard to receive inspiration (and also subtly repels people and opportunities)
  • “Crashing” and being unable to work–and instead engaging in avoidant behaviors like surfing the web aimlessly
  • Withdrawing from your creative work and other people–and then feeling guilt and shame and fear over not working 

(“Here you are, procrastinating again–you’re never going to get anywhere if you keep doing this!)

  • “Drying up”–feeling uninspired, dried out, unable to come up with good ideas no matter how much you push

On the other hand, if you allow yourself to land gently, to rest, to renew, you refill the well. 

You replenish your body, which is the channel and vessel through which your creative work comes.

By caring for the vessel, you open for deeper, truer creative work.

We, our bodies and minds and spirits–and yes, our creative work, are part of a rhythm. 

Ebb and flow. High tide, low tide. Day into night. Dark into light. Creative breakthroughs, creative rest.

When we trust ourselves to rest, when we trust that rest will once again make way for creative work, we trust ourselves as creative beings. 

We open to a deeper rhythm and we allow in a deeper level of creativity and flow.

Honor the rhythm of rest and work. 

Honor yourself as a creative vessel.

And let the divine flow through.

A note on writing this: I have been in bed for most of the week. I’ve tested the bounds of my energy here and there, doing a call, going out for a bit, listening very carefully to my body. I’ve allowed myself to read and sleep. I’ve avoided the desire to “push forward” and “do something.” And today, the inspiration arose and this message came. It was meant for you.

The Power of You, Living Full Out

Some thoughts from watching women artists at an alumni event:

As I watched these women perform with soul and passion, I was reminded how powerful it is to put ourselves out in the world, full out.

I’m pretty good about facing my fears. It’s a professional standard for me. 

When I transform my own blocks and fears, it lets me hold my clients to the same standard–so they can face their big fears and get big results. 

And yet.

When I saw these women perform, I could feel the ways I was still holding back. 

Subtle fears of failure. Subconscious assumptions about what I can do. Moments where I turn away because I’m afraid of failure.

With these women, I felt the power of passion and boldness.

They weren’t perfect. They were willing.

Willing to step on stage and put their energy out into the world, BIG. Willing to step out in life, BIG.

The same is possible for each of us.

If you’re afraid, if you’re holding back, if you’re thinking “I’m not good enough” or “What if I fail?”, remember this:

There is power in who you are. There is such power in being ALL of who you are. Bold. Proud. Out loud.

Let’s do it.

The Key to Breaking Out as an Artist

Wouldn’t you LOVE to get past being an “emerging writer”… and finally emerge? 😉 

Or stop being an artist with so much (unrealized!) “potential”–and have success instead?

Wouldn’t you rather be the songwriter with a breakout hit or the author with a Pulitzer prizewinning book?

So here’s my belief about breaking through:

You might think you need more talent or technique or time working on your craft…

…but maybe what’s REALLY preventing your breakthrough is some dynamic within you.

Maybe your internal desire for harmony keeps you from bringing out the drama in a story–so that you write beautifully written books that don’t compel your readers.

Maybe your avoidance of failure keeps you from taking the big creative risk with your music or art.  

Maybe your intellectual approach to life keeps you from diving deep into the heart-searing truth… so your films appeal to professors but never pull in big audiences. 

(Do you tell yourself you’re not a “commercial” artist and that true art doesn’t sell? The truth is, there are plenty of artists who are critically AND commercially successful… so if you wouldn’t mind big checks coming in, read on. 😉 )

The truth is, when your creative career is still in the same place despite years (or decades!) of honing your craft and technique, there’s almost definitely something bigger at play: a persistent dynamic within you.

Think of this dynamic as a rock inside you. 

It’s built up over time because of your beliefs, emotional patterns, family or cultural stories, ancestral trauma lodged in the body, or vows carried in your professional or spiritual lineage. 

These are the “ecosystem” and landscape that created this rock inside you.

Unless you change the ecosystem that created the “rock,” the underlying dynamic (your lack of success) will continue. 

And unless you change the ecosystem itself, it doesn’t matter how many insights you have in therapy or how good you feel after a workshop: whatever keeps you from breaking through as an artist will reassert itself.

(You’ve experienced that, right? You’re alight with insight, your mind and heart blown open. You’re at the top of a mountain, breathing clear fresh air and seeing so far. Then a month later… nothing much has changed.)

But it IS possible to change your internal ecosystem–quickly. 

One of my clients was having trouble creating, dealing with a lot of self-doubt and procrastination. 

In a one-hour session, we completely shifted that. She let go of what was holding her back and connected with her “creative edge.” 

Just based on that one session, she started producing much more–and getting published regularly in The New Yorker. A year later, her book came out. It’s been over five years now, and she’s still going strong.

If you want to finally break through as an artist, the Creative Witchery Success Activation is designed to help you do just that.

It reveals why you’ve unknowingly plateaued or blocked your creative potential…

…transforms the core block that keeps you from doing your highest level work for more profit and recognition,

… and opens you to channel the work that leads to the big publications, prizes, and money.

I’m running a special on the Creative Witchery Success Activation ($200 off until 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday January 15), so grab yours now.

I can’t wait to celebrate your breakthrough success with you!!

P.S. To get $200 off, put in SPECIAL as the coupon code. It’s good till Wednesday January 15 at 11:59 pm ET. After that, the rate goes back to normal. 

(Still an amazing deal, because a big artistic breakthrough is worth SO MUCH… but wouldn’t you rather have $200 off? 😉 ) Book it now.

Mud into Magic: Mining Last Year’s Failures for This Year’s Success

I’m excited to let you know the Mud into Magic ritual is back on the calendar! It’s happening Monday, January 13 at 1 pm ET.

Here’s how Mud into Magic was inspired: Every new year, so many of us start out with hopeful new goals, and then as we get pulled into the stresses and busyness of their lives, we fall into autopilot and start to lose momentum and hope on our big, ambitious goals.

Recognize this? 

Maybe you even feel it already. Nine days into 2020, and you feel the slowdown of your momentum towards your big goal.

You WANT this to be the year you…

…Publish the novel that wins you the industry awards and changes your career. 

…Get exhibited in the galleries you dream about.

…Write the song that takes off virally.

But, things happen. You get an extra assignment from your client. Your son needs help with a project. You get an awful cold.

You don’t do what you said you would, and you start to feel bad. Will this year be like every other year?

One reason we don’t reach our goals: We haven’t truly dealt with the failures and regrets of the past year–and the dynamics that caused them. 

Maybe you did some journaling–listed your failures, your learnings, and what you’ll do differently. 

All this is great, but it’s not enough.

Unless you energetically come to terms with–and let go of–what led to failure and regret last year, your new learnings stay on the mental level. 

You know what you “should” do, but when fear, self-doubt, or stress come up, it’s easy for you to fall into “autopilot” and react in the old ways. Over time, this means you don’t reach your big goals.

In Mud into Magic, we’ll truly release last year’s regrets and failures… so you can open up for success this coming year.

That success could be whatever you want.

Making enough money to let go of your day job and JUST do your art. 

Finishing the breakout film that goes on to win awards. 

Getting on The New York Times’ bestseller list.

Mud into Magic: Mining Last Year’s Failures for This Year’s Success

Mon 1/13 at 1 pm ET

This circle will be livestreamed from the Artist in Action Facebook group, so to be part of the circle, join the group now.

“I finally did it!”

“I finally broke out of the commercial work and did my real creative work!”

“I thought was too old… but I finally finished my novel–and it will be published this year.”  

“After years of trying, I finished my TV pilot.” 

“Last year, I only finished two pieces–this year, it was twenty!”

Do you want to look back on 2020 and say these words? 

You can–even if you’ve tried heroically to reach your creative goals… but haven’t succeeded.

The truth is, you CAN turn your creative visions into reality.

There are just a few reasons people don’t reach their creative goals:

#1: They don’t know what to do or how to do it.

For this one, all you need is information and guidance–someone to listen to what you want and help you lay out the steps. (Sometimes this lack of knowledge is the problem and you don’t even know it—you just feel intimidated or uncertain, and you’re holding back.)

#2: They can’t get through the blocks

There are basically five kinds of blocks that can stop you.

* Physical blocks, like not having enough time, money, energy, or space to do your creative work.

* Emotional blocks, like fear, anxiety, or self-criticism.

* What I call “energetic blocks”—not having the courage, determination, passion, or “fire in the belly” to get it done.  

* Mental blocks, or beliefs like “I can’t do it,” “I can’t be an artist and a good parent,” “It’s impossible to make money as a writer/musician/artist,” and “People will laugh at me.”

* Spiritual blocks: Not trusting yourself to make decisions, or not knowing how to listen to your inner guidance.

All these problems can be solved.

They can seem overwhelming when you consider them all at once, but for each problem, there is a solution.

Even the blocks you’ve had for years, the ones that seem like octopuses with so many waving tentacles, are things you can get through. Truly.

#3: They don’t have the right support—someone who can guide them through the blocks and help them keep going when “stuff comes up.”

Support is the #1 factor that separates struggle from success.

Personally, I could not have gotten where I am (in my creative work, business, and life) without a LOT of support. These days, I work with at least one coach/mentor, and often up to three or four at a time (because different coaches have different strengths, and I’m a big believer in getting all the support I need).

I’ve spent well over $100,000 on my own personal development and training, and I attribute a huge part of my success to that.

Without coaching support, it’s easy to get stuck in your own limitations. We all have them, and unless we identify them and find ways to grow beyond them, we tend to repeat the same patterns over and over, with the same unsatisfying results.

I’ve been helping people do their creative work for years, and I can assure you of two things: 1) you’re not alone, and 2) you can get past what’s blocking you.

The truth is, what blocks you is similar to what blocks everyone else—and these blocks are things you can get through.

(Yes, what gets in your way is yours alone because you’re a unique person with your own individual history and soul, but all blocks have common elements—and solutions.)

Other people have gotten through obstacles like yours. They’ve started doing their true creative work—and thriving. And you can too. You just have to decide—truly decide, like a commitment to your soul—that you will.

P.S. Want to create your breakthrough masterpiece this year? Email me and ask about the CREATE! Mastermind.