Friday, March 18, 2011

Unblocking creativity

It is normal for me to go for long periods without practicing my violin, particularly if I don't have a performance coming up.  Sometimes it's days, sometimes it's weeks...  I have a set of concerts coming up in Boston next week with Adastra, my duo, but it has been hard for me to get motivated.  I have not really enjoyed heart just wasn't in it like it usually is.  Somehow, I just wasn't connecting with the music, and practicing felt like a chore, without my really thinking about why.  I became a master-procrastinator!

Last night, as I began to practice late in the evening, I suddenly understood in a deeper way something that I already knew: when emotions are blocked, creativity suffers.  Before picking up the violin, I had spent a good, unhurried amount of time thinking through some challenging, personal life issues, and coming to some healthy realizations.  I finally let myself feel some emotions I had been blocking, and I let them move through me, really feeling them with my whole self, without holding onto them or resisting them in any way.  I just allowed them to be there and move through my system with full acceptance.

When I picked up the violin afterwards, my heart and soul were in it, and the love of music flowed through me once again.

What a relief!!

  • When emotions are blocked, creativity suffers.
  • Dealing with "negative" emotions is not a waste of time and energy; blocking them is.
  • Just a little bit of paying attention to our emotions, noticing them and expressing them, can go a long way towards renewing joy.
  • When "negative" emotions aren't expressed, creativity gets blocked.
  • Expressing "negative" emotions (expressing them = getting them out somehow) is healthy, and it can be done in many ways, even alone in silence.
  • When "negative" emotions are allowed to be felt and expressed, they can pass through the system very quickly (sometimes within seconds!), often carrying pain out along with them.
  • A lot of our pain is caused by blocking our emotions, in a futile attempt to either prevent them from being there, or to hold onto them, consciously or unconsciously.
  • Pain can be a positive wake-up sign, telling us that we need to let our emotions flow freely.
  • "Negative" emotions are not always negative.  There is--or at least was--a good reason for everything!
  • Not allowing all feelings to be deeply felt and expressed (let go of) is a big habit that most of us have, and all of us could do better without.

Alexander Technique has taught me to take the time to stop, observe, inhibit (stop doing a habit), and direct myself into a more conscious, constructive direction.  This process has renewed my creativity in so many unexpectedly wonderful ways!!

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