Are You Present in Your Creative Process, or Creating in Default Mode?

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No matter how well your inner creative process runs, it hits a point when efforts feel more like a “default action” rather than a well-oiled, inspired creative act.


We all operate with certain “default settings” in tow. These settings are created by coping patterns and learned behaviors, combined with the level of freedom you feel to create from an honest, inspired place. It’s not always easy to spot these auto-responders until they are called into play.


Over time, you reach a plateau in the creative process where things move out of building mode and require action. Your vision is supported, clear and the right tools are in place to keep things moving in a self-propelled way. Creative energy runs along smoothly without turbulence or much thinking/reflection required.


Yet, if you spend too long in this space, it’s easy to lose touch with the most important part of creating – being present in the process.


Living Life in “Auto-responder Mode”


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It’s essential to know the difference between a consistent process that supports and grounds creativity into being, versus a stale, disconnected mode of operation that runs on energy stores and ideas from the past.


When life gets busy and fresh creative impulses are low, it can feel like there’s no time or space to fully dive into your creative process. Auto-responder mode is a stop-gap coping mechanism, and it can offer a way to help you maintain and get through a rough patch, for a little while.


The challenge is being able to pinpoint what’s triggering your auto-responder status and why, and making sure you don’t get stuck there indefinitely.


For example, you can “auto-respond” to:


  • Mind, body, spirit needs, basing current self-care routines on old limited approaches that no longer work.


  • Talents, leaving them as natural gifts without developing them further.


  • Ideas about what you are good at, or not – and hold onto those beliefs your whole life, limiting potential.


  • How you approach problems by repeating what you already do in order to avoid feeling the sting of past hurts left unhealed.


  • Relationship challenges by clinging to old grievances as though they just happened, keeping them alive in your mind and heart.


  • How you manage change by fighting it, limiting it’s energy as a transformative force.


  • Negative feedback, holding onto it while ignoring the power of lessons you can gain.

…and the list goes on.


When life has turned into a series of steps with canned, auto-responder replies, that’s when you know you are riding a fine line.


Are your actions grounding your creative process or killing it? Are you willing to step outside of default mode to nourish new ideas that need space to sprout and grow?


Recognize the Default and Open Up to Building the Creative Process in a New Way


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Next time you feel bored or stuck, or react in a way that feels limited or uncomfortable, take a few deep breaths and then ask:


  • Is this my intuition and gut guiding me in a grounded way?
  • Or is this fear, distraction, or disconnection from the inner self keeping me rooted to this very spot, stuck in default mode?


It’s important to check in and really be honest with yourself about how present you are in your own creative process. Are you choosing actions based on past patterns, laziness or irritation with change? Is there a new aspect of your self-expression that wants to emerge, but doesn’t fit the cookie cutter layout so it remains scribbles in a notebook without a roll-out plan?


Embracing change is a force that can start out with subtle creative nudges. It’s not always hoisted upon you as a dramatic bolt of inspiration. The deeper you can look to get to the truth of how connected you are to what you create, the more present you can be throughout the process and what it has to teach, as well as how you feel about what you are creating as you shift though change to something new.


Results are only one aspect of the creative journey. The gift is being able to see when you are reacting or reverting to what’s well-worn, versus honestly assessing what’s needed in a situation and acting from a place of genuine desire and presence.


Remember, silence is your friend! A pause is teller of truths, revealing hidden insights beneath the noise and chaos of life.


Check in, then reflect. Is your creative process flourishing with current tools, or is an upgrade in thinking, skills, tools or attitude required? You might notice some things that need to change right away. You may also notice a need to work through some emotional rough spots to be more present with what can fall away to welcome the new.


Is the creative process still alive within you?


For additional posts on a similar topic, check out Creative Cycles are a Window to the True You.To hear more hands on tips about tapping into your inner wisdom, check out my podcast, Flirting With Enlightenment.