This week, we have a guest contributor to the blog – the lovely Julie Van de Wyngaerde from the US. I loved reading her article when I first received it, and I hope you do too. Over to Julie….
It happens to the best of us, and it seems to happen even more, to those of us who fall into the category of right-brain, creative thinkers. Our minds race, confusion sets in, we lack clarity and we have a feeling of all-around overwhelm.
No matter what we do, we can’t seem to take the next step towards our dream, our desire, or the next thing on our to-do list. Often times, because we’re not even sure what the next step should be.
It’s a classic case of entrepreneurial-ADD, creative mind-block or just plain ol’ feelings of paralysis.
Yes, we all get stuck sometimes!
Whether we forget what we intended to do, forget why we were doing it in the first place, or just can’t seem to get our creative juices flowing and make things happen, we feel stuck. So, when this happens, what can you do to turn it around?
Here are 3 Simple Steps to get back on track and heading in the right direction towards your dreams and your to-do list.
1. Stop and Purge
As the saying goes, “if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” and in this case, it’s truer than true. If you don’t stop and take a time out, you’ll continue to “spin” in your mind and continue to get nowhere fast. Rather than collecting your thoughts, begin by letting them go. In other words, this is the perfect time to clean your slate.
The way that you do this is to begin with a clean pad of paper and begin to jot down all of your ideas, to-do’s and anything thoughts that are swirling around in your mind and keeping you from your creative focus. Don’t worry what order these thoughts come out in, just jot them down on your note pad, until there’s nothing left in your mind for you to worry about or to cause you confusion.
Once you’ve purged all of your thoughts onto your notepad, set it aside. You can now relax and feel confident knowing that those thoughts will be there when you return to them. Often what you’ll find, is that you don’t need most of what you wrote down, once you’ve completed all three of these steps.
2. Reflect, Meditate and Pray
Next, you want to spend some quiet time alone. Find a favourite spot where you enjoy peace and quiet. For me, I love the outdoors, so I spend my best reflective time walking or hiking in nature. Take 30-60 minutes either sitting, walking or hiking.
Don’t force your thoughts or feel as though there is an agenda that you have to follow. Just breathe deeply and allow yourself to experience the beauty that surrounds you. Focus on the things that you are grateful for, and begin to connect with your inner self. If you have a spiritual belief system that connects you to God or Spirit, take this time to make that connection.
Say a prayer and ask God for the clarity that you desire, and then take time to be still, so you can listen for the answers. If any of the thoughts that were previously spinning around in your mind, return, put them aside, knowing that you can attend to them when you’re done with your reflective time.
3. Mind Map and Journal
Lastly, you want to write down any inspiration or creative ideas that come to you during your quiet time. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel a sense of renewed energy and will have much more clarity than you did before.
Creating a mind map is a good way to get all of your new inspiration onto paper, so you can keep your mind clear for more to come in. Spend some time journaling about what you experienced during your prayer or meditation, and what answers you may have received.
You can now go back to the original list that you created before you took your quiet time. Go through that list and mark off anything that no longer seems important. Order what’s left on your list in the order of importance, and allow yourself to focus on only 1 – 3 items on your list per day. Any more than this is likely to put you right back in that overwhelm state.
Using this simple, 3-step process on a regular basis will help to keep you from venturing into that out-of-control, unproductive, spinning mind-set. In fact, when you make this practice a part of your daily routine, you’ll find that you have more clarity and your creativity will expand.
Article written and reproduced with kind permission by Julie Van de Wyngaerde.
To find out more about Julie and read more of her brilliant blog, visit http://www.julieunplugged.com/