Feeling unmotivated, stuck or stagnant? Here are some simple and straightforward practices to spark creativity with with your Creator again. (Plus the good reason I haven’t been motivated lately.)
We’re seven months into 2022. My goal planner has laid closed on my desk since March. The ideas I had for this year have mostly fallen to the wayside. (I can’t even remember what most of them were, to be honest.)
There’s a very good reason for my lapse – something wonderful and hoped for, but since it had been so long coming, I’d kind of given up on it. Or rather, someone.
In February, right around the time I signed my very first book contract (that’s a story for another day!), I also found out…we’re expecting our third baby towards the end of the year. A girl.
Currently I’m about halfway through pregnancy, writing a book, and attempting to keep up with social media. It’s been, to say the least, hard. (This Instagram reel basically sums it up.) As with my first two pregnancies, I experienced a lot of nausea, plus exhaustion. Just making it through the first trimester was brutal.
We managed to enter second trimester and, of course! Our family caught Covid for the first time in two and a half years.
Don’t despair! Let me encourage you with three things first:
- Satan doesn’t want us to do God’s work. He’s quick to throw up roadblocks the closer we get to living out our purposes, finding our creativity, and thriving in all the ways. So when things seem to get in the way of your motivation and God’s calling, know that it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily heading in the wrong direction – more like, you might have frustrated the plans of the one whose opinion doesn’t matter anyway. (This calls for discernment, for sure. Sometimes God closes doors, too.)
- Jess Connolly often says through her coaching and writing that we are never stuck in the kingdom of God. There is always something we can do to stay in motion. There’s always something productive for our relationships with God (even if it involves going deeper with him where you are rather than taking new steps forward.)
- We know and rely on the God who gives good things graciously and abundantly. He is infinitely creative, is never short on inspiration, and his plans for us go beyond what we can fathom.
If you’re feeling stuck and stagnant, here are some practices to spark creativity in your life:
In Romans 1:20, Paul reminds us that God’s “eternal power and divine nature” can be found in his creation. All you have to do is step outside to see the details of the universe he spoke into being. They are marvelous to behold. Being in a posture of worship leaves us free to receiving the inspiration he has for us.
I’ve been re-discovering a lot of baby advice now that I’m pregnant again, and one piece of it I can wholeheartedly agree with is that when baby is upset, it always helps to go outside. (Or get them in contact with water. Or both.) Even the youngest among us can find a total re-set in nature.
For me, getting some fresh air and sunshine both clears my mind and opens it up. It refreshes my soul and lifts my mood. Some of my best prayer times have come out of walking around outside, and I often come back inspired.
Quiet your mind.
We can all agree that our current society brings a lot of distraction. Our curiosity can be managed with a quick Google search. You can barely open your phone without a barrage of messages and notifications. We’re usually on the go, off to our next adventure, without time to process. But creativity doesn’t thrive under those conditions. Why create when your mind is fully occupied?
That’s when we get intentional. Turn off your phone. Take a walk. Clear your mind and meditate by focusing on your breathing and a phrase or specific word to ground you.
And pray. Talk to the God who gives abundantly when you’re short on wisdom, insight, creativity, inspiration. He says all we need to do is ask. Some might doubt that God’s promises would included creativity or inspiration, but honestly? If he gave us talents and opened up doors, I’m fairly certain he is quick to supply what we need to accomplish his purposes for us.
Find a space that feels safe and personal where you can create.
Professionals recommend having a designated, dedicated work space, rather than your bed or couch, which tend to have other purposes. It helps your brain get ready to singularly focus on the work you’re about to do.
Maybe it’s an office at home, a favorite coffee shop, a nook in the library, a corner of your bedroom. I’m grateful to have an office space at home (although to be fair, I need to be more diligent about using it). It’s particularly nice to have it styled in a way that’s beautiful and inspiring to me.
Set the mood by focusing your senses.
Getting your senses engaged stimulates your creativity too. Aromatherapy is a powerful way to tune your senses, as scent is closely connected to memory. I like to light a candle to help set the mood. (Certain scents that are known to spark creativity? Cinnamon, citrus, bergamot, lavender, and jasmine. Just maybe not all together.)
Observe your surroundings and, even better, set yourself up for success with sensory experiences that are particularly comforting or inspiring. Maybe use a blanket that’s particularly soft or has a nice texture to it (as long as it doesn’t put you to sleep!), eat a chocolate or peppermint (some practices to spark creativity are yummy!), and turn on music or ambient noise.
Put pen to paper.
Even if you’re not a writer, getting out a pen and scribbling down thoughts, doodling, or even writing a to-do list can jumpstart creativity. The physical act of writing results in more brain activity than simply typing, helps with memory, slows you down, and opens up to more creativity.
There’s a number of ways to do this. Keep a notebook on hand to capture thoughts, use a whiteboard to brainstorm, get yourself a coloring book. Slow down and enjoy the process instead of trying to rush it. I promise the creativity flows better that way.
How about you? What are your go-to practices to spark creativity in your life?
God gave us a number of ways to tap into our creativity and doesn’t let us down when we ask for help. With two babies due at the end of the year (one is a book baby), I know I need all the help I can get. Let me know below what helps you the most!