By: Marnie Dangerfield
“There are increased benefits of spending more time in nature and leaving technology behind such as improved short-term memory, enhanced working memory, better problem solving, greater creativity, lower levels of stress and higher feelings of positive well being.” – David Strayer
At some point or another you may feel blocked in your business. Whether you are stumped for ideas, not sure what or how to express something or are unsure what your next best step might be, in this article I’ll be sharing a few things that help me to get ‘unstuck’ and to feel motivated and inspired. Here’s hoping they help you too.
- Do something creative – When feeling blocked or stuck for ideas or inspiration, I paint or draw. I am not a trained artist but picking up the paint brush (with my inner critic being encouraged to take a break) I engage my body, my heart and both sides of my brain while moving the paint brush. Through this I shift the energy and story of ‘being stuck’ and with kind curiosity I open to possibility at what maybe arising or being reflected to me on my journal or canvas.
We all have a need to self-express and there is no one ‘right’ way to do this. What brings you joy? Cooking, gardening, painting, writing, doodling? Whatever it maybe for you, allow yourself time to do this and see what new ideas may emerge for you. Thinking about your business or feeling stuck will not change things, but a creative activity can shift your energy, your focus and open you up to whole new inspiration.
- Metacognitive drawing – In Intentional Creativity® we have a practice called Metacognitive drawing. It may sound confusing, but in practice it is quite simple. All you need is paper and a pen (or pencil, crayons, paint, whatever you want to use). Think or write out a question you may have…for example ‘what is my next best step?’ Feel into your heart and be clear with your question/inquiry. Then, just allow your pen to flow along the page. You are not trying to draw a specific shape or create a specific image…truth be told these often turn out looking like scribbles (side note, they are relaxing to color in later). After a couple of minutes stop drawing and ask yourself the question again, and then write down what flows… no editing, no thinking, just let the words flow…it could be one word, a group of words, phrases…truly it’s a different experience each time. Don’t forget to bring a healthy dose of kindness, compassion, and curiosity to this experience too.
- Connect with nature – As the quote at the beginning states, there are many benefits to being in nature. Deep down, we know these instinctively, but with so much ‘to do’ it can be easy to prioritize other things over pausing and connecting in nature. I know a successful entrepreneur who schedules nature walks every ‘work’ day. It is her non-negotiable time. She feels revived, grounded, and restored after her walks, and says she gets most of her best ideas on her walks. Now you may not feel you have enough time each day to do this, but I encourage you to start small. How you can you add a reviving dose of nature to your day, especially when you feel stuck? Play with this, have fun with this maybe even add a plant you love into your workspace. This practice can be as simple as choosing to look up at the sky when you step outside (not directly into the sun of course). Connect with that big expanse above you, what do you see? Pause, breathe in, and out and then go about your activity. Even in urban settings you can choose to slow down enough to notice a plant leafing out, or just blooming, or going dormant. Pause and choose to allow yourself to take in the nature that surrounds you and see what opens to you.
Consider this article your permission slip and a gentle nudge for you to pause, slow down and reconnect to nature, to yourself and to your creative power. All these practices (and they are practices) can help you, not only when feeling stuck, but also to help your (and your businesses) overall well-being.
Marnie Dangerfield is a Gardener, Intentional Creativity® and Well-being advocate and guide. Tend, nurture and grow your business, your garden and yourself. You can consciously choose to create for beauty, joy, hope and well-being for you and the planet. If this interests you, please join us in our private group here: https://www.mindfulgardenerclub.com/ or you can connect with me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/marniedangerfield/