Do you rely on your intuition as a guide through the creative process? It’s so easy for us to get an idea and get all up in our heads where we get stopped.
Today, we’re diving into intuition, what is it? How does it impact each stage of our creative process? And how can we develop it a bit more?
In this solo episode, I discuss:
- how to feel into your intuition as a creative tool
- how your intuition impacts each stage of the creative process
- some ways to develop your intuition
Links Mentioned in the Show
Episode 18 – finding ideas and inspiration with some creativity boosters
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Hello, you're listening to Episode 19 of the Dear Creativity, Let's Play podcast, and this week is all about using and actually relying on our intuition as a guide. It's so easy I think for us to get an idea, and then instantly get all up in our heads where we get stopped we kind of stop ourselves. So today I just come on to the dive into intuition. What is it? How does it impact each stage of our creative process? And how can we learn to develop it, and trust it a little bit more?
You're listening to the dear creativity. Let's play podcast. My name is Amy Iseman. I'm a creativity coach, a writer, a quilter, and overall creative soul. I'm here to help you reconnect with and reignite your creativity, so that you can confidently consistently. And most of all, joyfully create whatever that thing is, that's calling to you. It's time that your creative gifts and ideas out of you into the world. Let's get started.
When I talk about intuition I'm talking about that gut feeling that knowing that we all have. It's not necessarily being psychic or seeing things carrying premonitions about the future, though maybe it could be. I don't think of it that way.
I have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will bring other than I trust that the sun will rise and I'll wake up in the morning. But I do know that I am a highly intuitive being, and that sense, really does guide my life in a lot of wonderful ways. And I believe everyone is intuitive we're energetic beings, and have a sense of what to do next or what direction to take is available to us and the whole connection to ideas and inspiration. So to me intuition is a major tool in my creative toolbox that I rely on and work on developing.
I think it's as important as practicing with the tools of your craft whether that's a pen a camera, a paintbrush, social, a laptop with digital art paper. Whatever it is that you use to create. I think we practice with those tools and intuition, can be a tool that we use to guide and work within our creative practice. I'm not talking about that a little bit later in this podcast. So it's kind of back up what is intuition. To me, it's an allowing, it's...think of the word intuition, it starts with -in, so it's not looking outward. It's an inside feeling, it's a gut feeling or feeling in my heart center like. I'll get almost short of breath, kind of, kind of erasing in my heart feeling, it can feel light in my body like a lightening of my body not heavy or dense. And I'll just have a sense of yes or no with something. In terms of living a creative life and doing the work, I think it's really key to become aware of your own intuitive sense and what that looks like and feels like for you.
So when you get an intuitive hit, an idea and inspiration. A thought a feeling, how does it show up for you? Do you feel it in your body? Like, I was just talking about do you have an inner knowing just kind of a sense of something. Do you see signs out and about? Sometimes when I have ideas or I think of things about Uh huh, and then I'll see numbers that have meaning for me at the same moment that I get an idea and to me that's like a little sign. That's a good idea. Note that intuition can also come as just like I said an idea, a thought a dreamer words on a page that come out of your hand as you're doing and you're like, Whoa. Where'd that come from? Intuitive hits feel good to me. It's more like a whisper, or a glimpse kind of ephemeral, but it's light, like it's never heavier dark it's joyful. It's that still small voice of God, right, artists and poets have been exploring that idea for years. Right. And I think, listening to our intuition, and that guidance and those ideas that inspiration can give us answers and insight into our creative work and the things we want to create and put out into the world. So when you get ideas and inspiration and intuitive hits on your work note them. What we often do instead of merely noting these idea letting them kind of compost in our brain, or just following their lead is that we instantly go into rational, logical evaluation of that idea, and we start asking questions like, was that a good idea. Where did that come from Is that right, should I do that should I not. Am I just making this stuff up? is that my ego talking? or is that my intuitive self? and we get all twirly and up in our heads and we stop and heading into that sort of rational brain evaluate shouldn't space is important, with creative work like to evaluate what you're doing, but it kind of kills your intuition. And when you get an idea rather than instantly evaluate it. Note it, explore it and kind of play with it and you can do it. At that moment, or you can do it later, but don't instantly just say no, that's real. If we allow it, our intuition is important at every stage of a creative process or of our creative process just as scissors are important at every stage of creating a quote, when I'm working on a quote, it's a tool that we can use.
So let's think about this in light of the creative process. So first we had an idea and inspiration and intuitive hit, we have that moment of. Hmm, maybe I want to create a thing or we have a problem that we want to solve and we're really kind of exploring different ways to solve that problem. We note those ideas. We note, the thing we want to create. Next we begin exploring and refining that idea thinking about it expanding it, adding new elements growing it maybe researching filling the well with all the ideas of how does this whole thing come together until we begin we make our decision on what what thething is we're going to create, we take action. And we start to create the thing and actually do the work.
So far intuition has played a role in every step right? The first step we know the idea, the intuitive hit or next up we explore it we get more ideas from maybe this could go maybe this could go. Then as we start actually doing the work or we're checking in on our gut on our guidance like how does this feel? What if I did this? and like checking in continuing to get those intuitive hits to guide us as we do the work, and then the Finally we finish creating the thing, whatever it is, and possibly share the thing again following our guidance do we want to share this as a practicing.
Is it something that is done, do we put this out in the world? Again feeling into that felt sense that intuitive guidance that we got on our work. So intuition is a tool that we can rely on it every step of the process. And the question then becomes how do we use it, and access it and develop it, so it is a useful tool for us. And I think the first step is to really note that when we do get hits to trust them, and follow them and let your intuition know that you're its friend.
So I'm gonna share an example here. When you invite somebody do something and then they can't they're busy and then you invite them again. And they're always busy and you keep reaching out because you like this person you want to spend time with them, and they can't ever do anything with you and finally you just sort of give up you're like okay you know what if, if you want it works both ways right like you call me you stop inviting them and maybe a year later they come back into your life and tell you that they've missed you, and or why you stopped reaching out. You have to tell them it's because you never read they never responded. And this, this just happened with my quilting group I. We used to quilt together really regularly and ultimately, I stopped attending because of work demands. And I missed them, and I was like hey are you guys still quilting. I reached out to them and they're like yeah but you stopped coming so we stopped inviting you and totally make sense right, and since I have gotten together with him a couple times I'm back in the little cool group loop, and it feels really good to have that but I was thinking about that in terms of intuition and renewing my commitment to my quilting which is a creative practice that feeds my soul, as is that time with some dear friends and really beautiful women that I love.
So we've got to allow ourselves that creative time and also keep that door open to our intuition if we constantly tell our intuition we're too busy. I don't have time for this. I'm going to ignore you, because I'm working on this thing over here, then it stops coming right? It stops. Doesn't invite us doesn't interact with us anymore. So, part of developing your intuition is just being open to it, allowing it in, noting it, recognizing it playing with it. Right, honor that when you get an intuitive hit note your ideas note your inspiration, even if it comes in the middle of the night in a dream, have that pad of paper next to your bed.
There are lots of other ways to cultivate your intuition as well besides just knowing okay I am an intuitive person being and I'm going to listen to it. I think we can seek out experiences and ideas related to our work. Live life, open yourself up to ideas that are live good life can allow you, I was, as I was putting this podcast together I love Einstein and I have some of his books and I opened up a book.
And that's what Einstein says about this. He said, he wrote this this he's writing about classic literature. And he wrote this in 1952, "somebody who reads only newspapers and the best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely nearsighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his time since he never gets to see or hear anything else. When a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous."
So I think that's such like from one of the truly most creative thinkers. In the past century that's huge right like he's saying, open yourself up. Fill your well with as many ideas as you can read classic literature read contemporary literature, go to museums, fill your well, right, get the idea so that when you do sit down to create your intuition can say oh we're saying, and pull that in and remind you of it.
Another way I think to cultivate your intuition is to set a creative goal, like, give your intuition and yourself, some guidance. So if I just say "intuition come to me, give me an idea." It's almost too wide open. Right. But if I say, I want to write something or I want to create a podcast or I want to create like some parameters some guidelines that helps it makes it easier so if I say, I want to write something and then the eye drops in, even though that might be super, super crazy for you or something you've never thought of doing that's okay that's your goal, then, and give that then give that refined goal to your brain and ask for help. Again, give your intuition some direction your creativity some direction. You don't need to know how you'll manage to write 75,000 words that somehow work together to tell a story, but only me idea, opening to it will feed you the ideas the plots the characters in your ideas will begin to come and some will be much louder than others. Note them all.
And here's the key to setting a goal when we decide we're going to go from where we are to another point say point B. Remember that that's not how creativity works we think we have point B clearly defined in our heads, but then we get to work. ideas come. Intuition comes, we pivot. We change, we get a feeling in our gut, that our, you know, creative nonfiction piece of writing might work better as a novel or vice versa, or novel might be actually much more interesting as a nonfiction piece or a memoir, so we dive into that so it's really about allowing for that and you don't want to pivot or change so much that you don't ever get the work done. But, remember that creativity is a spiral it's not getting from point A to point B, we started a, and when we open to our intuition and follow it and trust it. We might have a B. Or we might end up at at right like after spiraling and like oh going over here and exploring this and then expiring over here and getting this thing.
The key is to do the work. To start, and explore and step into that creative process. So you can allow your intuition to flow and guide as you do the work. So doing the work is the most important step here, I guess is my point. Eric Maisel is a pretty renowned creativity coach. He's written a lot of books about about creativity in the creative process, and he calls this idea of following your work. So letting your work take the lead. And this might mean taking a break to study whatever it is that you're writing about, to go on an artist state to meditate and fill your well and feed your creativity so your intuition has the raw material, with which to work and give you those creative heads. So follow, follow the threads.
I have an example from my current novel, maybe a month or so ago I was writing. And I, something happened that I did not see coming. There was some violence in a marriage in a relationship in the story. And I wrote it in I was like oh that I didn't see that coming. And I trusted it and just wrote it thinking oh my gosh this is adding a whole other layer I don't know if I want to go there. Is the right thing? But I tested it, I feel it and oh, even talking about this I can feel it in my, in my heart right now. And when I sent my writing pages to my writing partner she was surprised she wasn't expecting that I was like wow that's kind of a turn of events you hadn't mentioned that at all and our brainstorming sessions. And I said, I know I don't, I don't really know where this is going, but I'm just, it's there now. And as it's turned out it's been a key piece of a plot that has sort of solved some of the other plot problems I was having. So trust it go with it. Who knows. You know, I don't know if this situation will make it into the final draft, but for now, it gave my main character, some needed direction for her character arc and her story. And that was a total intuitive hit, as I was creating as I was writing. It was not in any notes any point any anything, it was like this happened. Okay, interesting.
I'm sure sometimes we'll crash and burn our brilliant intuitive hit will turn out to be a big lesson right? Which doesn't work rather than the masterpiece we're thinking it might be that maybe we need to throw in that lesson maybe we need to do explore that area and it'll, it'll help us out down the road. We never know.
One of the important steps in developing your intuition is to really allow it and follow it. And to do this you have to be able to get into that creative zone that flow state where you're just in it and you don't necessarily know what's coming next your fingers are falling over the keyboard you're, you're painting you're doing the thing without overthinking every word you're writing or every stroke you're taking. We don't question it we don't review every sentence that we just wrote and evaluate it and decide it's crap and throw it away. And then stare in you know utter pain at the blinking cursor, waiting for another strike of inspiration. That's like slamming the door over and over and over on both our creativity and intuition. So, you kind of got to let go here, and to let it flow and step in and say, Okay, take me where you will finally I think really to develop your intuition, as a creative, give yourself that quiet time, whether that's just daydreaming or journaling soul writing meditation breath work some of the creativity boosters I talked about in Episode 18 really quieting yourself so you can feel into and hear and get those intuitive hits, super important to opening up to your intuition and allowing those subtle hints and ideas to flow, and to come to you.
In terms of your creativity. Your question is not are you intuitive. The question is do you listen to open yourself up to follow the intuitive guidance that you are getting and are you trusting it, and inviting it back in, regularly trusting that it will make sense in the end, and doing the work, even when you don't quite know where it's heading, it's kind of thrilling that's the fun part of creating right. I love it. We don't always know if it's right at first, and don't get into that evaluation brain right and instantly oh is this right. Just trust it.
Allow yourself to open up into the creative process, turning that creative process from, you know, Step a step B step C, D, you know, following that process into the spiral and allowing the idea that you don't know where this might end up but that's really part of the fun. I think the adventure of creating.
So I hope you enjoyed this episode on intuition and allowing for that opening to guide your creative process, have a super great week. I will be back next Wednesday with another episode. And as always, If you've been enjoying this podcast I would love it if you head on over to Apple or whatever platform you listen to your podcasts on and gave it a rating and review.
And if you're creating share your creations with me on instagram tag me at me has been creative or use the deer creativity hashtag I'll check it out. You can also follow me on Facebook, and I put a lot my page over there. Okay. Have a great day and see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai