Episode #20 – Creating Anyway: redefining worry and your creative conditions

The world is in chaos right now. And for many of us, creating in chaos is HARD because we’ve set conditions for ourselves that we like to have in place before we create.

In this episode, I invite you to explore your creative conditions and rather than insisting on those conditions being in place before you create, focus on playing and finding joy in your creative process.

For those of us who like our routines, all the changes and fear can be incredibly disruptive and stressful, especially if we’ve set up creative conditions for ourselves. Basically, that means we have a set of conditions that we like to have in place when we do our creative work. So often, we think that we need things to be a certain WAY before we can create.

And, with all of the worry in the way, it can be extra hard to get to a space where we can create, even though that space can be the most healing space of all for us. 

All the worry means it’s EXTRA important that we do step out of the fear, dive into our creative practice, and rely on that to get through these times.

Keep creating. We need you!

In this solo episode, I discuss:

  • One way to step OUT of the worry that I discovered during an incredibly difficult time when my beloved husband was in the hospital for three months
  • Creating ANYWAY, even during this trying time
  • How focusing on your creative process rather than the final product can help get you into your creative zone and a happier place

Links Mentioned in the Show

While I was recording this podcast, a happy moment of serendipity occurred.  Lisa Natoli (my Course in Miracles teacher) sent an email announcing that she’s offering her free 40-day program where she teaches how to watch your thoughts like a hawk, which is EXACTLY what I was talking about in this episode. It’s such a great program.  You can sign up here.

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Hello creatives you're listening to episode. Dear creativity let's play podcast. This week I had planned to release an interview that was recorded a few weeks ago, but we are now in the midst of the corona virus outbreak. And really, the world is changing minute by minute it feels. We're in a bit of a time of chaos and don't know how life will be this afternoon or tomorrow or much less next week, because things are just changing so quickly and so drastically. And I wanted to talk about how to continue with your creative practice in this type of cast.


And as you're listening to the dear creativity, let's play. You may connect with and reignite your creativity, so that you can confidently consistently joyful create whatever that thing is, that's calling to you. It's time to get your creative gifts and ideas out of you and into the world. Let's get started.


For those of us who like our routines, this whole time of quarantining, and kids being home businesses closing can be incredibly disruptive and stressful stressful. Especially if we've set up creative conditions for ourselves. And it means a creative condition is that you've got a set of conditions that you like to have in place before you do your paperwork.


So often we think that things need to be a certain way before we can dive in. For example, you might need a large block of time chores need to be done, you have to clean dad so you have to have your plan and your plot figured out you're a writer, you have to have a certain amount of sleep you don't have the right cup of coffee or tea or a calm or creative state of mind mind be one of a creative condition, and no major worries or fears like a massive worldwide pandemic.


Now with Covid 19 on the loose, you might be thinking I can't write or create, especially, I know a lot of people's jobs are really unstable right now. Or if you concern that you might get sick if you're older, you know immunosuppressed, you're stuck in your house.


And there's so many worries right now about this whole thing and how can you still create your thing or do your thing, when all this scariness is going on.


And even for creating this podcast, I'd like for your business, even creating this podcast to go on as usual But it's not, like I'm putting this out late because I got stuck out of town and I'll tell that story in a minute, but it was far from usual.


And I think a lot of people's ways of dealing with stress are also closing, like my gym is closed or maybe your yoga studio was closed so we're really having to adjust in a lot of ways, in terms of even how we deal with our stress, I know, therapists are closing and going online Even so, even those major stress relievers for a lot of us are changing. And we've been sent home and have been asked to dramatically limit our movements. And our social interactions to hopefully quell this virus and lower the curve I thought her, and this can all feel really scary and make us feel really resistant to creating. It can also feel a bit like an opening, and I'd like to encourage you to view this as more of an opening rather than holding tight to fear and worry. And that's the first big creative condition that I want to address. In this episode, it's sort of the elephant in the room, how can you work on your book or the time different project or do your creative work when the world as we know it is literally changing minute by minute. And I think we do this by recognizing in many ways what worry actually is. And let me explain. I learned a lot about worry. A few years ago, which I'll get to.


Last week, so I actually made the probably not wise decision to travel midweek before everything began to shut down. And then, due to a snowstorm the roads were closed so I couldn't get home, which was a little unnerving. In light of everything going on and honest I got a little panicky. So I did actually make it home last night, and I'm on a self imposed quarantine right now because my biggest fear is that somehow I picked up this virus, and I might spread it. I feel fine I feel great, but I have no idea of how to come into contact with that so I'm being careful, but I'm not worrying about it. And I mentioned a minute ago that I become good friends with worry, a while back, and about five years ago, my husband had a major health crisis and he ended up getting terrified, out of our small rural community two times he ended up ultimately spending three months instead of 300 miles away from where we live, I was working, teaching at the time. And commuting to the hospital he had, I think a grand total of 24 trips to the operating room over, I 22 in that time period and the grand total over a course of I think 15 months.


And during that time people kept asking me Are you worried Are you worried Are you worried. And my mother in law, who I adore was there with me, she would get really worried, but if What if this happens, what if this happens. And I couldn't go there, if I went there, I would, I learned that I would explode like I couldn't handle that stress it would make me physically ill.


So what I would do is I would just sit and I would look at my husband in the hospital bed and he was breathing.


In this moment, everything was fine. People kept talking to me about all the what ifs it became very clear to me that what worry is, is making a story in our heads about all the bad things that could happen, and then having an emotional reaction to that story that we've just told ourselves, and we can get ourselves into a state of pure terror.


And it can happen very quickly. And I did it, a lot during that time period until I realized that I was literally I mean even talking about this I can feel it in my heart I can remember that fear and terror and having to step back and say no. Right now, everybody's Okay, everybody's breathing, visualize and, and hold on to that. I got a whole pair his hand and his skin was warm and he was there he was, it was.


And I thought about what could happen.


That's when I have an emotional reaction. And that's where the fear came from and the wording from, but none of that would actually happen. It was only my imagination and all these wonderful things were going to happen where I was finding out oh my god want me to do something out you know.


And then I realized that wasn't helpful that wasn't helpful for anybody to to worry about and have this Difficult emotional reaction to something that wasn't going on.


And granted right now things are going on, things are going on that are scary but at this moment I'm sitting in my house and healthy. I'm recording this podcast. That's the only thing I can control right now in this moment, I'm okay, I'm alive. And I have to live from this place. And it can be a heck of a challenge to stay here, I get that. I study A Course in Miracles. And one of my teachers that I follow Lisa Natoli always says that it takes watching your thoughts like a hawk you have to stay vigilant and really pay attention to what you're thinking, and not falling into that worrying that state. And when you find yourself ruminating on the fear, and the what ifs change your mind. Change your thoughts, stop thinking about it. It is not easy, but with practice. You can get better at it and it works. So, starting on the blessings of this moment right now. It is shiftable. I've done it. I've sat in the ICU for months and done it, and again it's not easy but it works. And that's what I'm doing right now.


Right now in this moment.


Things are okay, I have a roof over my head and I've got a warm cup of coffee.


That's how we get through this moment.


As we move into this time like right now I am creating my podcast, This brings me joy. This is fun, the writing the planning, the research. It's joyful for me so open that up. And I think shifting your mindset from worry to one of gratitude right in this moment life is okay, is key to letting go of also a lot of these self pre imposed creative that you might have set for yourself to this era of the virus. So, if you're quarantined where you're like oh my god, I can't do, I can't do it that thing because I have these conditions and the world is chaos right now. I invite you to think about your creative conditions. Do you have a list of creative conditions that have to be placed in order to create or do the thing that you enjoy?


And if so, what are they, and I invite you to shift your thoughts, away from the fear and and move into the idea that creating a playing right now is vital to your well being, to everyone's well being and to shifting yourself out of that state of Oregon here. So, play in your creative process to not especially at this time wait for the conditions to be perfect for you to create, because right now with them change so rapidly outward is changing so rapidly. We don't know what they're gonna be, and it's like the definition of resistance in action and procrastination.


So how do you do this? How do you create anyway? And step one is what it just really said recognize your own conditions, what do you tell yourself must be in place before you do that thing that you'd like to do, before you dive into play with your creative process right now. Maybe right now, you can't work on your novel or something that takes a little bit more planning or brainpower, but you could get that poem out of your heart just start journaling.


Whatever it is, but think about your conditions, what are they? Perhaps it is perfect health perhaps you need your kids at school, perhaps you need large blocks of time, and no worldwide pandemic. Maybe list them out and become really aware of what those conditions are, and then use those conditions as a jumping off place for your creative work maybe they become the beinning of a poem or you write them in your journal and you paint over them, destroy them, smashbook style.


So, work through them and open yourself to a new set of creative conditions. But first any recognize that they're there, and move past them. Let them go live in this moment right now. And what can do in this moment right now, and step into that creative process, I think right now is also not the time to focus on the end product, the thing you are creating rather step into the creative process and play and find that joy you feel they're doing that thing that you love to do.


Think of the process as the goal of your creativity. I think so often we get this whole idea that the goal of this thing that we're doing is the end goal the final product and we get this when we get this thing done. It'll be good. Let me just get through this let me get the words down or whatever it is, but rarely is that the case because we have your next project right that you tied into especially as creatives we always have projects so there are so many projects there are so many ideas so really think about this time as playing in your creative process and that's the goal. The goal is not to finish the thing, the goal is not to put a perfect product out there. The goal right now is just to play and shift your mindset and get into that creative space where you really don't let everything else go and be in the moment where you're, you're fine. Everything is good. Okay. I also get, I think, one of the things the blocks that has been coming up for me right now is oh I should, you know I should be doing something useful right something productive in light of this crisis. And I've shifted that a bit and really the most thing I can do right now is to do my creative work and to guide others and doing theirs.


That's what brings me joy. So that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna finish this episode, and I'm gonna go work on my book. I believe that finding your joy, focusing on your creative process of creating rather than on the end product is really the most useful thing, right now, that we can all do as life is changing. And that's what I'd like to offer you the invitation to the story as much as you can, to recognize and loosen yourself from any creative conditions that you wouldn't have had prior to this time, and really play in the creative process. As we deal with all of the unknowns of the world, and find your joy there.


Embrace your own practice I'm thinking of this really as an adventure.


I'm actually excited to see what kind of creative work this whole thing spawns. I have zero doubt that beautiful work will come from creatives who take this time to let go of their creative conditions. And instead, really go deep and create as they work through this time of worry and fear, in spite of this time of worry and fear.


So what are you going to create?


I really really want to encourage you to rely on your creative practice and process to help you navigate this time. I think anything we can do to raise our spirits and our energy is honestly the most useful thing that we can do.


And if you'd like a little support this. I'm starting a big group on March 31 to work through the artists way together. If you're not familiar with this. The artists way is a 12 week program created by Julia Cameron, and the subtitle of the book is your spiritual path to higher creativity, and oh my gosh, if that's not what we need right now. I don't know what it is. So we will be kicking off this off with an introductory session on March 31, 2020. The link to register for this is in the show notes which you can find amyisaman.com/podcast/episode20, and together we will work through the book and have weekly live zoom sessions to discuss our progress or challenges deepen our creative practice and also probably be a pop up Facebook group, probably there will be a top up Facebook group going fast. I will be limiting to 12 people. But I will also be offering a couple scholarships. So, shoot me an email if you get the most time again if you're worried. If you want to qualify for one of those scholarships, let me know. That would be great. I will be putting everybody's name into my baton ball and the drawing one out for scholarships, so I think came together. Right now, online, written in a creative and collaborative circle that supports our creative practice will be healing for everyone. If you got any sense about it you can email me at amy@amyisaman.com And I'd love to see you there. And again, you can check out the show notes for that link.


So breathe.


Relax, and create anyway.


Have a great week and I will see you next week, same time, same thing.

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