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Do you know that feeling of getting lost in the music, especially your favorite song? You know every word, beat, hit of the snare, bass line? If you know the song by heart, you might unconsciously sing along or maybe even dance.
This is called conscious creativity.
You might ask yourself, “How is unconsciously dancing or singing to your favorite song conscious creativity?” When we are in the mindset of letting go and not worrying about anything except for being in our bodies, we are giving ourselves the space to explore and grow. I’ve found that an obstacle to unleashing my conscious creativity is overthinking.
We’ve all been there. We sit down, grab a cup of tea, open up our laptops, or get a notebook and pen as we prepare to write. Then we look at the blank screen or blank sheet of paper for what seems like 10 minutes. Before we know it, an hour passes. Or maybe you feel that creative spark and want to draw, sing, or paint but then it doesn’t flow easily.
In my experience, I stand on my yoga mat and think, “What am I going to teach today?” Instead of just letting my body move, I overthink. I have found that overthinking is tied to my image, people pleasing, and a tendency to focus on the end goal rather than the process. When I approach things this way rather than allowing myself to create for the sake of creating, I’ve found that it leads to overthinking so no words come to mind or my movements feel forced.
Some signs that you are overthinking:
- Being overly critical of your first try or your first drafts
- Not giving yourself permission to start over
- Constantly changing direction and not listening to your body’s intuition
As creatives, sometimes we have to allow ourselves to be “unconscious”—allowing whatever movement, words, or actions that come up to be a part of our process. Sometimes this also means being still and resting before acting.
Here’s how to actively combat overthinking:
- Take a moment to find something new that you like—a new song or a poem.
- Pause and acknowledge that you are in your head.
- Tune into your body, and notice what you are feeling drawn to do, observing your impulse vs. your intuition.
- Accept if you cannot continue and need to take a break.
- Once you have a creative spark or an idea, write it down so you don’t forget it. Roll with the idea until your body invites you to transition away from it.
- Last but not least: Don’t pick up your phone for that mindless scroll.
Fortunately, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be in a community with many people who are tapping into their creative and artistic side. My friends continuously remind me that creativity comes in waves. Sometimes we have to hide for a bit before we are ready to try something new, like drawing, sewing, painting, collage making, or dancing. It takes even more effort and bravery to share our art with others. And that’s OK. Sometimes we hit a flow that we ride for a while until it subsides. We must accept that it will abate in order for us to hop on the next wave.
One of my favorite quotes by Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur is: “Quiet down I begged my mind … your overthinking is robbing us of joy.”
Your beauty, power, and ability to create has always been there; it’s up to you to share it when and if you want to. When you do, it will only inspire and spark joy.
That is conscious creativity.
Trisha Fey Elizarde (she/they) is a dance creative, model, and yoga instructor dedicated to nurturing radical resilience and creative expression—and Yoga Journal’s 2021 Live Be Yoga Experience Ambassador. This year our intention is to SPARK JOY through movement, mindfulness, rest, gratitude, and kindness. The Live Be Yoga Experience presented by NOW is sponsored by Cetus, JointFlex, NOW Essential Oils, NOW Supplements, Visit Sun Valley, and Zebra CBD. Follow the 2021 Live Be Yoga Experience and stay connected with us @livebeyoga.