Hay House Radio Episode Recap
- Episode Name: “Breaking Through Resistance: Following Creative Energy”
- Live Broadcast: April 16th, 2019 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Summary Re-cap
How do you go with the flow?
In our second show in the “follow the energy” series this month, we’re looking at the energy of creativity. Why do people get creative blocks? Why do we resist solutions aligned with your highest good? And if you’re a writer or in a creative field, how do you go with the flow, allowing your creative spirit to soar? Whether you feel your intuition is blocked, your creativity is blocked, or you are finding yourself stuck, we will address all the ways to tap into the deep inner wisdom that guides your life, relationships and work. Heather’s guest, author, Story Coach, and meditation expert, Dr. April Wilder will reveal how to unleash the energy of creativity in your life.Special Guest: Dr. April Wilder
April Wilder holds a BS in math from UCLA, an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana, and a PhD in (existential) literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. She is a former James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow from the Institute for Creative Writing in Madison, WI. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals such as McSweeney’s and Zoetrope and she has contributed essays to O Magazine, one of which appears in the recent anthology, O’s Little Guide to the Big Questions. Her debut story collection, This Is Not An Accident, was nominated for the NCBRA Book of the Year Award.
April has taught creative writing at various universities, both undergraduate and graduate, in addition to working with writers one-on-one. In the fall of 2018, she taught in San Diego State’s MFA program as a Visiting Writer in Prose.
April is currently working on a novel, I Think About You All The Time, Starting Tomorrow, and leads a meditation group on Sundays in University Heights, where she lives with her daughter.
Take an online video class with April:
Creativity Is Intuition and Intuition is Creativity
Creativity can’t be forced. It doesn’t follow a schedule and it can’t be told what to do or how to present itself. Just like intuition, creativity is an energy. It shows up when we nourish and support it. And like intuition, creativity becomes stronger and more targeted when you give it the space it needs to flow.
So how do you do this?
Dr. April Wilder teaches that the very same things required to have a healthy life are the steps we need to take to allow creativity and intuition to flourish.
Remove Blocks to Resistance by Showing Up Every Day
“The artist is like a gardener,” April says. Think of the artist tilling the earth – the soil. It’s the artist’s job to create a fertile bed for creativity to flow through. So you till the soil, add your rich fertilizer/compost, choose some really good heirloom seeds and plant them in your fertile soil. Then your job is to water the soil and make sure it gets plenty of sunshine.
“Your job is not to decide exactly how the flower will look,” April warns. This is controlling the outcome. You get a richer, higher quality story if you allow it to evolve organically. The flower will show up, we just can’t dictate how or when. This is what gets in the way for a lot of people.
Many people have learned that it’s only safe to proceed when they have a full-fledged plan.
“Here’s the mistake: you want to write a story and you wait until the story presents itself to you fully before sitting down to write,” April says.
Instead, like the gardener, you’re going to show up every day. Whether you know what to write or not, you’ll sit down to write.
“This may sound out there, but it works!” April assures us.
In fact, this is the process she’s used successfully as a published author and a University professor.
Let’s see how it works!
Steps to Break Through Resistance and Blocks to Creativity
Interestingly, the steps for breaking through resistance, writer’s block and anything getting in the way of creativity are also the steps that help solve problems in life and relationships!
The main goal, according to April, is to quiet the small mind (your logical, left brain – the thinker and problem solver) and access the big mind (your subconscious). If you’ve been around the spiritual block, you know that the subconscious mind is where the power is because it’s the 98% of your mind that lies below your awareness and contains your habits and automatic behaviors.
The subconscious mind, April says, is where you can access your intuition and creativity. It’s where you access universal consciousness. But you have to quiet what April calls your “monkey mind,” the conscious mind, in order to tap into this wealth of creativity. In this way, your subconscious is the writer and your conscious mind is the secretary, typist, and editor.
Now, if you’ve tried silent meditation, you know how the conscious mind likes to interfere on the way to Nirvana. Well, April lays out some tips to create the habits you need to allow your subconscious to shine in your creative work.
Here Are April’s 9 Steps for Boosting Creativity and Intuition:
#1. – Meditate
“This is how you create fertile soil,” April says. Through meditating, you become aware of how the small mind tries to control your narrative. The more you learn to lean into silencing the small mind, you find out how it feels to be in subconscious mode.
#2. – Don’t Have a Plan
Having a plan means you’ll be more likely to force the outcome of your creative process. A character will often be less real, a plot less rich. The best fiction is written organically. Writing organically means you allow situations and characters to present themselves as you work with ideas or scenes.
#3. – Sit Down to Write Every Day, Even If You Aren’t Ready to Write
The act of showing up is like planting seeds. You’re telling yourself and the universe that this process matters, regardless of the outcome. Just like the sun rises every day, you are showing up and honoring the process.
#4. – When You Can’t Write, Ask Questions
If you find yourself blocked and unable to write, ask questions. Write down the questions that you’d like answers to. Then, trust that the answers will come.
#5. – Honor Your Dreams and Downtime
It’s when you go to sleep that you access the unseen – your subconscious mind. Your brain has a chance to process complicated ideas and often, produces creative solutions. This may seem simplistic, but indigenous peoples have had a practice of honoring dreams as a source of answers and wisdom for eons. The more you practice this technique of asking questions and paying attention to your dreams, the more you’ll find it works for you!
#6. – Trust the Process, Even If You’re Blocked
April tells us that resistance or creative blocks may be the creative process at work, even if it doesn’t look like it! Remember, our job isn’t to control the flower, the timing, the exact process…our job is to be the gardener. To take the steps each day. Sometimes, blockages are part of a natural process. This reminds me of trees in winter. It looks like nothing is happening and that can seem discouraging. Yet underneath the surface, some of the most incredible, science-defying growth is taking place. April asks: what if, during the blockage, something is happening under the surface and your subconscious mind is gathering everything it needs to write?
#7. – Write Your Journal Entries and Stories by Hand to Activate the Primal Mind-Body Connection
April described a time when she used to write all her stories with a computer and one day, decided to try writing by hand. It made such a difference in feeling connected to her creativity that she tried switching hands to write. Right-handed, she’d take extra time to write with her left hand to see if that activated a different part of her brain.
“It’s hard to describe what was happening, but I could feel as if a different environment was created when switching hands to write,” April said.
#8. – Experiment With What You Think Might Work For You
Try new things to open the flow of your creativity. Maybe you want to write by hand or write with both hands. Maybe you want to sit in a new spot in your home, office, coffee shop, or out in nature. Perhaps putting your feet up, lying on your stomach, or facing a different direction works. Some people love using music that supports their focus. Others take a walk, letting everything go and allowing the subconscious to process, then come back to writing. Have fun with shifting your approach and finding out what works for you.
#9. – Brainstorm With a Coach, Partner, Colleague or Friend
The best and most successful writers often work with a coach or mentor. In my own life, I’ve worked with a coach to move me through blocks in my work and life. I was amazed at how often my coach spotted limiting beliefs that, once reflected back to me, we could easily break through. Having the support gave me the courage to try new things that felt scary to me at the time.
When it comes to writing your story – whether it’s a new story of your health, your story for your business or the book you’re writing – having a writing coach can help tremendously as well. Not only will you get great feedback on the quality of your story, but you’ll also gain insights and inspiration to take creative risks.
Feedback can feel scary, but let’s face it, any time you do creative work, you put yourself out there. This vulnerability alone can create resistance or blocks. Getting feedback from a trusted friend, coach, or mentor can ease the process and build your courage to share your work with publishers and the world.
The Book Medium: When Your Intuition Also Supports Others
Over the years of writing, teaching, and coaching, April found out that as she became a better gardener in her own life, she was able to better support others in tending their gardens.
In her last experience working with a talented group of graduate students, they started telling her she was psychic because her coaching and guidance was so spot-on. It was as if she’d learned to quiet her small mind so much, that she began tuning in to the creative flow and purpose that her students were working to attain.
Here’s the thing though…creativity is an energy and experimentation is part of the key to finding what works. This is what April emphasized in her work as a coach and professor. She always encourages her students to lean into the experiments that allow them to find themselves – so that they can become master gardeners.
As you develop your creativity and intuition, you may find your intuition grows to support others in your family, community, or workplace. Remembering to encourage their own journey allows them to become masters as they follow the flow energy in their lives. This kind of guidance is the best kind because it honors the journey and empowerment of each person.
Becoming a Master Creative-Intuitive
A master creative or intuitive is not a magical person who is always full of the best ideas, insights or art. A master is a person who’s willing to show up for the day-to-day small steps that create a rich, fertile ground for your art to flow.
We see a lot of examples in books, films and TV shows about creatives living volatile lives. It almost makes it seem as if being creative is difficult, moody, and challenging. Think about it for a minute. The same could be said for those who are highly sensitive, intuitive or psychic.
Any time you open yourself up to the flow of energy, you are working with a higher power – higher consciousness. Learning to work with this powerful energy, which can often ride in on waves of emotion, is key to enjoying the journey as a creative-intuitive.
And don’t think you can escape these challenges by leaning on your left brain! Even scientists and mathematicians (like Einstein!) who become masters in their field grapple with creativity and intuition guiding their work.
The small steps of a gardener creating a rich soil, planting and tending seeds, and showing up daily, are exactly the keys to creating a kind of grounded foundation necessary to surf the flow of energy that carries us into our the art that guides our lives.
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Tune in Next Week
Tune in next week to 21st Century Medicine Woman, when I am joined by Chinese medicine expert, Lorie Dechar to reveal how to listen to the subtle messages of your body, including your heart and gut. Find out why your heart has 3 internal guides to support it, how critical your small intestine is when it comes to “listening” and how to engage in full body listening.
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