How To Get Into Your Element After Having a Creative Mental Block

Saturday, 25th November 2017

4am — My trusty iPhone alarm sounded off.
I looked a the phone, saw the time and then I switched it off.
I went back to sleep.

5am — My trusty iPhone alarm sounded off.
I looked a the phone, saw the time and then I switched it off.
I went back to sleep.

6am — My trusty iPhone alarm sounded off.
I looked a the phone, saw the time and then I switched it off.
I went back to sleep.

Finally, I woke up at 9:03am
I sat up feeling drowsy, tired and lethargic.
Immediately I know what was wrong.
This wasn’t the first time I had gone through this episode.

Having been a creator of content both online and offline and having lived a life of being a Coach, Consultant and Communicator — I knew I was burnt out. And when this would happen — I also knew that no matter what I would do — I wouldn’t be able to get myself in what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called as the State of Flow — A state where everything you like, love, think and enjoy are seamlessly moving effortlessly in one direction with a total sense of creativity, positivity and joy. I would describe this state of being able to hold your little baby in your arms and watch it laugh and smile with joy. It is a priceless moment of total joy and happiness.

However, right now — I was feeling, to mildly put it — like shit. Super duper heavy f**king sh*t.

I took a deep sigh as I got up from my bed. My chirpy, happy, beautiful Thai wifey happily came jumping into the room to give me the morning huggy-wuggy and once tell me once again (for the 100th time) how much she loved me and once again ask me (for the 100th time) if I loved her.

She is my 24 year old Thai wifey who is not only my wife — but a bit like my little kid whom I have to pamper and take care off. So I gave her a smile and told her “yes” as usual. And though I hadn’t even brushed my teeth — she as usual gave me a few kisses. And then like a happy rabbit hopped near the bed for us to start our normal morning routine — a routine we have religiously followed since the day we got married — 15 minutes of meditation, followed by 15 minutes of deep breathing, followed by 15 minutes of any ‘easy’ exercise to wake up the body.

However, today, I told her — today we would skip this because I was feeling tired. My wifey looked at me worried as if I would fall down and die — and she cautiously asked me if everything was okay. I told her I would have a shower and then I would tell her the plan for the day.

So as she normally does — she hopped like a happy rabbit and got my towel and the bathroom ready for me to go in for my shower, while I, as I normally have done — kept my bed prim, proper and tidy.

After the ice cold shower, getting myself dry and ready — I gave my wifey the surprise — today I am not going to do any ‘office’ work rather today me and her were going to do something different.

My wifey once again hopped like a rabbit and asked me what would we be doing? (she loves doing anything and everything with me as long as I am doing it with her). So I told her today we would clean up all the books in the house and sort out all the book shelves.

Now, before you try to imagine how ‘easy’ this task may seem — let me give you an idea about this project. We are talking about a book collection spanning 25 years, encased in 16 large sized book shelves. And if in case you still haven’t managed to visualize this — let me make you understand by giving you a picture — if I were to put all my books in a box — it would take over 100 large size boxes.

And if you factor in — my style of cleaning involves not only dusting each and every book individually, I also ensure I clean the cupboard with polish, ensure the there is anti-fungal spray & anti-insect spray put to keep my books from getting eaten by the insects & fungus growth of the forest.

My wife as usual was happy as there was something new to do in the house. And so we started. I put an audio book to play in the background so that I could listen to something educational, while me and her started to sort out all the books in the house.

So around 11am this is how my house looked like…

Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at 10am
Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at 10am
Image for post
Image for post
Around 11am
Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at before Lunch
Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at 1pm
Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at 3pm
Image for post
Image for post
Selfie Time at 5pm
Image for post
Image for post
Books Sorting out at 7pm

Finally at around 11pm we finished cleaning up the entire house and we both were totally exhausted. Seriously exhausted. But we both enjoyed our moment together doing something else other than thinking about Creative Work or Business or Making Money. All we focused on was doing something together as a family.

While we were at it — we cracked jokes, we kissed and fooled around, we ate snacks, chocolates, tried new ways of positioning the books and just tried to change things around. I even asked her to suggest some ideas — something I normally never do where it concerns my stuff. And she was more than happy to recommend a idea or two — which I implemented without hesitation to see what we could come up with.

Oh and in between, as a break — I even did something I normally never do — I took my wife to have dinner at the local Indian Restaurant — a place where she loves to eat and dine — and where I normally just have a few bites to eat — since I cannot eat much especially after my bariatric surgery. And boy was she happy.

At the end of the day I was not only exhausted, but sleepy. My body was aching a bit because of all the lifting (haven’t exercised in 3 years now) and given my lack of being physically active — well kind of revealed itself to me.

And so — I went off to sleep.

***************

Sunday, 26th November 2017

4am — My trusty iPhone alarm sounded off.
I looked a the phone, saw the time and I got up.
My body was aching a bit due to yesterday’s session but I was in the zone alright. I was angry, pissed off and in rage that yesterday I couldn’t do any creative work — work that I loved doing and considered as my passion. And because I couldn’t do any of it — I was really really angry. And that was good — because now I was getting into the zone.

And so, after completing my morning routine, I sat down on my trusted chair, with my super strong black espresso and started to complete all the work I had left pending yesterday — from reading my quota for the day, studying one page of educational materials, answering business emails, to creating articles for my website, to giving my clients solutions, to answering fan emails & messages — I went through them all like a breeze.

And it felt good. Really good to know — I was in the zone. I was in my element. I was ready to face the world.

Right now it is 3:02pm as I type this article. I know I have gotten my Creative Mojo back. I know I am in the zone. And I know I am in the Creative Element — The Flow as I call it.

Sometimes you need to try something new, something different, something that totally involves all your senses — physically, mentally, emotionally and fundamentally so much to the extreme that you do not think about anything else other than that one task.

This is my way of ‘switching off’ from the task I normally do and love — the things that I am passionate about and those that feed me and bring food to my table. And it helps me get recuperate, regroup and refocus myself. Because if you are to constantly look at something, hear something or experience something repeatedly — at some point it numbs your ability to analyze, decipher and give value.

And when you supplement a task that involves:
1) Keeping things organized
2) Removing the excess clutter
3) Going through each and every aspect of the environment that surrounds you
You suddenly get back into your zone.

So the next time you get stuck in a rut or reach a sticking point or you find yourself having a mental block — try doing something totally out-of-the-blue, something different and something totally spontaneous but something you know would add value to you.

You never know what the outcome of the new task would be — but when you wake up the next day — you will get back into THE Zone, the state of flow and yes, into your Master Element.

Image for post
Image for post
My Creative Zone This Morning
Image for post
Image for post
My Creative Zone This Morning

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store