Pathways Blog

A flow of insights and practices to inform and enhance your pathways to creative well-being

How to Develop Your Creative Flow

Creative well-being is coming to you now: this is not an affirmation, but the statement of truth.  In every moment you are on a continuum between allowing connection to your higher self (source) or setting up barriers of resistance to the flow of well-being which is coming to you at all moments. Consider with me that there are several steps in the process of allowing creative well-being to be your natural state at all times. And consider with me also that these steps can be taken consciously at first, but then merge into one step or no step at all. It is simply a state of being.


The process of allowing well-being to flow within you operates in this manner: first, to come into an understanding of the truth of the dynamics of energy. This understanding requires reflection, review and affirmation of the truth of it. Let us say that you have a desire to express and to create and to bring forth that which is within you. Something of beauty is ready to emerge and you are excited about the possibility of allowing this to come forth.  For example, if you are a writer, this is your primary creative expression. It is the primary language and the intended big outcome of your creative work. You know what this is for you. And so you try to line things up in your life and in your day that will allow you the opportunity to let this thing come forth. You need to get that chapter written, or that speech, or the perfect flow of thoughts and ideas for a live negotiation later in the week and so on.  The first step in the process is to stop and ask how do I feel? Do you feel good? Do you feel exhilaration and anticipation and the emerging energy of wholeness and well-being that is flourishing and generating enormous rhythms of elation? If the answer is no, you feel something much less than any of those words, then the first step is to get into that state of okayness. This is inner work, and it indicates there some form of resistance or blockage in yourself.  There is no shame or guilt associated with this state. We are all in a balancing game of falling in an out of the state of perfect well-being.  This first step is neither difficult nor draining at all. It feels good to stop, go inside, and cleanse the inner self and get into a state of wholeness well-being and equanimity. There are many practices and activities that will allow you to be nurtured. And I have spoken about these and other places and will again many times.  This is the first step.  Do not begin your big work, sit down to write or do any task toward your primary intention until you have first gone inside and reestablished rapport with yourself.


The second step is to set the intention as to the direction of the creative flow in the current moment, and it is what I just described above.  It looks like the first step, but it's not.  It is the primary reason that you're engaging in the endeavor of self-care. It is your big work and you probably know what this is. If you do not, or you're in the process of exploring new modalities, than simply making a choice and stating an intention, you set free the dynamics of creative flow. This process feels good. Your unconscious mind needs direction. It wants to know where to flow energy and where to place its enormous power.   For example, if you're a writer, the primary outcome could be any form of language production (writing or speaking) which of course can take the form of scripts for TV or film, poetry, fiction, or narrative content for an article or book.


Other production modalities could include the generation of music, sculpture, painting or drawing, or any other art form whose generation is not primarily the written word or a language-based artform in the strict sense.  These processes are effective no matter what your primary line of work happens to be: if you are a real estate agent, an attorney, person in the health and fitness, mental/emotional practitioner, coach, the benefits are available just as for anyone. Your "work" will be the perfect formation of thoughts and phrases at the right moment with appropriate syntactic emphasis, designed to generate some positive outcome.  How wonderful. That is later.  Those are outcomes.  Set all those thoughts aside for the moment.


The next step is to provide a natural pathway for the flow of this energy.   The goal is to open up the flow inside, and there are so many wonderful ways to come along side yourself.  Any number of pathways are available to you, and the choice between them may depend on the intention you set. A skillful practitioner will have a number of modalities available at any given time.  A creative wellbeing coach knows how to facilitate the process in a natural way. One of the primary areas in my coaching practice is forming, training and nurturing these pathways, one-on-one personally for my clients.


No matter what your intended outcome or the form your productive creative expression takes, it is the strengthening of your creative channels using adjacent pathways that gives you flow and resilience. So, for example, if you have the intention of completing a book or script, and that is your intended form of expression, it may not seem obvious at first that an adjacent practice such as folding origami or meditation or some other mindful practice will help loosen the words and open the flow of creative expression. But this is exactly the case. By combining a range of creative practices and expanding into new ones from time to time, you give yourself the best opportunity to keep the creative flow moving and your mind engaged. The precise opposite of this flexible freedom to move in and out of different modalities will feel like stagnation or a rut, in which you either choose only one kind of warm-up exercise or none at all, and yet still demand productive output in your primary language.


Consider another area of your life such as health and fitness. The hardest, most strenuous activity during your day should be the exercise you engage in: running, swimming, brisk walking, a gym workout and so on. The most demanding physical activity of your day should never be getting up and sitting down, going to and from the car, navigating stairways and so on. It is the strengthening in the non-primary activity of physical fitness that gives you the stamina and well-being to navigate your everyday life with strength and ease.  Apply the same pattern in the generation of your primary creative language.


The final step in this creative process--and please recall there are no steps at all, so learn to think sequentially and then to forget the sequence--I describe as integration. To return to the health and fitness metaphor for a moment, after a vigorous exercise routine (running, cycling, yoga etc.) do you immediately switch to your day-to-day activities?  Is there an intermediate step that occurs?  You might shower and dress in fresh clothes.  You might close your eyes and sense the benefit of the improvement in your body. You stretch and massage your muscles. You drink water and feel a sense of satisfaction and gratitude for having the opportunity. It feels good to have completed a hike in the wilderness. All of these steps help you to integrate and appreciate. In a similar way you experience an ongoing and intermittent joy in completion of adjacent pathways to well-being.  On any given day, the results may be only an inner knowing that all is well.  There may be nothing external to celebrate.  On other days, there may be. You may display the beautiful poem you have created, placing it on the refrigerator. You exhibit an origami model you have folded for your enjoyment for several days. You may engage in some other form of integration and appreciation that helps to acknowledge the flow in the process without regard to the outcome.  But in all cases, inner changes and movement has occurred. New neural pathways are formed. 


By engaging in an ongoing pattern of conscious engagement with pathways to creative well-being, you establish and nurture rapport with yourself, walk through a gallery of creative pathways and appreciate and choose from among the many beautiful forms of expression, and try on the feeling and the flow of energy moving through your body and mind. It brings enjoyment, love to yourself, and strengthening of the inner artist who is ready to open up your mind to infinite potential, ready to flow in your life in your primary language of expression. So it is with forming an interdisciplinary approach to creative pathways. I will return to this topic for more exploration and I invite you to begin now incorporating what resonates so far.