the cure for stuckness

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Abstract No.1 - from my just-messin'-around series of small paintings - Susan Black 

“Oh, help!” said Pooh. “I’d better go back.”
“Oh, bother!” said Pooh. “I shall have to go on.”

“I can’t do either!” said Pooh. “Oh, help and bother!” 

A. A. Milne

The cure for stuckness: coaching for creatives

For the first time in months, and I mean months - since August/September of last year I don't have a deadline on my desk. Tuesday of this week was the first day of that deadline-less-ness and my expectation was that it would feel glorious, finally a chance to get to some of those just for me creative projects begun, get back to my roots or try to uncover some new roots. Wowee ! I couldn't wait to see what would come bursting forth now that I had space & time to just let my intuitive creative person rock & roll. Well ... you guessed it.

What came forth was/is a paralyzing stuckness. And I'm far from unstuck. I'm stuck between the devil of intention and the ever elusive muse intuition. Stuck between need (to make a living) and desire - what do I want to do ? what would I want to do if money was no object ? Stuck between financial scarcity and abundance. Stuck between my ego and my heart. It's exhausting watching them all duke it out, while trying desperately to mediate or referee as best I can.

Being stuck, feeling creatively blocked, not knowing which road to take when you find yourself suddenly at a busy multi forked intersection + trying to not make every creative decision be based on will this make me money ? (sad face) are the tres common trials & tribulations of being a creative sole proprietor - the only thing I've ever wanted to be. This stuckness is part of the gig I happily signed up for.

Thank goodness for the gals (sisters) at Braid Creative and their excellent blog & newsletter - sign up for it here & Kathleen Shannon's most excellent series Coaching for Creatives - can I have a freakin' hallelujah from my own personal choir of angels. Last night after what felt like a completely wasted day I went to Kathleen's blog and went back into the archives to begin with her very first few posts in the Coaching for Creatives series and came across this little gem early on - the text below excerpted from that great, encouraging post. 

Ego vs. Heart
I’m very certain that the part of me that wants to fix problems is my ego. Now, “ego” is a loaded word with negative connotations – but it’s not always a bad thing. My ego also gives me drive and is the part of me that gets shit done. My ego lives in my solar plexus – the soft space right above my stomach and just below my chest where my rib cages meet. I know my ego needs some checking when I feel tightness or fire in my solar plexus – and this often happens when I don’t have an answer. My ego can’t stand questions. So what do I do? I move north to my heart.
The heart finds answers in the questions. The heart holds space and endless amounts of compassion and forgiveness for uncertainty and the emotions that rise from insecurity. If I’m feeling like I don’t know the answer I direct the question to my heart – I literally move my thoughts and imagine that they’re coming from my heart rather than from my mind.  And this doesn’t just happen during woo-woo meditation sessions – if I can manage to think from my heart when I’m doing everything from working to cooking I get a lot less wigged out about life.
Try This:
The next time you feel stuck or come against uncertainty try holding space for the issue rather than trying to fix it. Get curious about it – ask more questions – feel free to have pen and paper handy to get some of those thoughts out. Then try holding the question in your heart (and I mean literally imagine it in your chest – wrapping itself around the chambers and valves of your heart) and see what comes from that. Try practicing holding space in your work – with your coworkers and clients – and see what it does for you.
I've signed up for Kathleen's Coaching for Creatives email subscription series a great tool for unsticking the stuck creative.

Abstract No.2 - from my just-messin'-around series of small paintings - Susan Black


  1. I like your just-messing-around paintings!!!

  2. some things to do when you're feeling stuck

    - laundry, wash bedding & hang outside on the line
    - filing, hole punching important papers & organized in the binder you've had forever
    - sort & organize your paper stash by colour/pattern
    - drink tea on your bed with a cat(s) in your lap
    - go to the library
    - go for a walk & walk as fast as you can
    - vacuum (a far too rare occurrence in this furry house)
    - think of 5 creative things you feel really proud of
    - try not to "make" yourself be unstuck 'cause it will just make it worse

  3. I cannot imagine you as being stuck. Have I told you lately that you rock !

  4. Beautiful just-messing-around paintings dear Susan.
    I hope you find some inspiration soon and enjoy the time with no 'deadlines'.
    love to you
    xoxoxo ♡

  5. OMG! Susan: I am CRAZY IN LOVE with these 2 abstract pieces! Rock on, my friend! This is BEAUTIFUL!!!


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