The Value of Space in the Creative Cycle

Friday 22 May 2020 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

Right now I’m consciously choosing to take a creative pause and immerse myself in the space of pure potentiality.

Of course I’m continuing to honour my regular commitments to the coaching and mentoring clients I love working with, but I’m holding fire on planning any new projects.

Instead, I’m stepping ever more deeply into the space of “not knowing” to see what comes to greet me.

The Feminine Approach

I always find that when I create internal and external space with a clear intention to remain open to whatever arises, new possibilities soon start to appear on the horizon.

Having released the conditioning to “make everything happen”, I’ve shifted into living the reality of allowing, receiving and remaining alert for the next golden thread(s) I feel inspired to follow to be revealed.

This feminine approach enables new ideas and opportunities to take the shape they need to take and gradually come into full view without being pushed or driven or made to fit some intellectual concept of what they “should” be.

The Creative Cycle

Space is one of the most overlooked aspects of the creative cycle.

Yet from many years of personal and professional experience, I’ve discovered that it’s essential for original insights and authentic ideas to emerge from the realms beyond the filters of the conditioned mind.

In fact the way I teach it, the creative cycle begins in stillness, silence and space. It’s a bit like the winter season providing the right conditions for new seeds to germinate and grow the following spring.

Sometimes the space required is just a brief pause.

At other times, a more extended immersion is required before the initial sparks of fresh inspiration breathe new life into you and draw you towards your next creative adventure.

Courage and Trust

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the momentum of life and forget the importance of creating space simply to “be” as a significant factor in experiencing an abundant flow of insight and inspiration.

It’s immensely hard when there are endless tasks and continual commitments with barely enough time to see them through.

Plus it takes courage and trust to step willingly into the mystery – and then to remain there for as long as it takes.

Immense Rewards

For many people this realm of being is something to avoid as the habit of doing feels more familiar.

Yet the more you engage with the unknown as the space of infinite possibilities, the easier it gets to let go and embrace it fully.

The rewards of doing so are immense.

Deep insights combine with delightful surprises when the habitual patterns of everyday auto-pilot release their grip, and before long, clarity emerges from the fog of incessant activity and your next steps are spontaneously revealed.

Creating Space

Creating space when life already feels crowded is certainly a challenge, and there’s no single solution to fit all circumstances.

Ideally you start with one small step, and gradually build on that to create your personal blend of inner and outer space in a way that works for you and your individual situation.

The inner space includes:

  • Emptying your mind on a regular basis through meditation to calm the “chattering monkey” and/or journaling to download your stream of thoughts onto the page.
  • You can also visualize an inner space that is peaceful and creative and available for you to “visit” to enjoy some internal respite when the external noise gets too much.

The outer space includes:

  • Claiming at least15-20 minutes for yourself each day, and more when your schedule allows.
  • And gradually moving towards having increasing amounts of time and space to focus on your highest personal and professional priorities until it becomes the new normal.

Validating Space

Validating space as a significant part of the creative cycle – and for all aspects of Conscious Living – comes from a mix of motivation, intention and action.

You may not want or need to take this recommendation to the same degree that I do; I’ve always had a tendency to explore the depths of the proverbial rabbit hole and I’m perpetually drawn to the “edge”… and beyond!

However, if you take the principle on board and apply it in a way that suits where you’re at right now, you’ll undoubtedly refresh your perspective at the very least, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you didn’t experience exciting new possibilities arising as a result.

9 Comments

  • Once again this post comes at just the right time for me. I really need to fully immerse myself in winter to fully come back to myself. rest to reset myself and the patterns of pushing and striving I am so accustomed to using. It was indeed scary and I needed to wade into it, but I am beginning to get the hang of it and I am determined now to see it through. until light and lightness and eagerness return.

    As always, thank you for the inspiration and in this case, I take it as validation I am on the right track.

    • That’s great to know Yvon! I honour you for staying with it and not being put off by the initial scary feelings. You most certainly are on the right track and your determination to see it through will undoubtedly support you ultimately to embrace this as a natural part of the process.

  • Thank you Julia: yes, so true! Great to hear this now! I am stuck in a place near the end of my first novel, I have been letting something essential come to the surface for some months now, however, now I guess I need to turn to the pages again and probe a bit for what has probably been growing underneath the dead leaves…and let the sunshine back in 🙂 Will make some scheduled time when I get back to the faroe islands from this nursing job in Norway, leaving tomorrow. All the best to you! Love Liv Baianstovu

    • Hi Liv! I love the way you describe that you’ve been letting “something essential” come to the surface… and now it’s time to “let the sunshine back in” It is important to remain alert when taking a creative pause to ensure that it doesn’t become an opportunity for some kind of creative resistance to creep in under the radar! It sounds like that moment has come for you to get back in the creative arena, so I wish you well for exploring what’s been growing under the leaves; it may well be just what you need to complete your novel! Julia x

  • Good for you Julia, I also am on the same path now. Working on my next book,
    “A Practical Guide to Living Fearlessly.”
    Thank you as ever for the inspiration and for the Conscious Writing & Living Process!

    • Good for you Susan, and thanks for your patience with my response to your comment; I’m in soul sabbatical mode at the moment!

      It’s great to hear that you’re working on your next book. I reckon the title will resonate well with people right now, and I wish you every joy and success with it.

      I receive your thanks gratefully… and return them to you thrice-fold for your on-going commitment to Conscious Writing & Living (and Leadership by example) as well as maintaining our connection through commenting on these blog posts!

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