Grieve and Make Peace Before Creating a Fresh Path

creative, creativity, grieving, fresh path, creating a fresh path, Creative Katrina, moon, creativity heals


There’s something to be said for going all in on creating a fresh path. It feels good to leave the old behind and forget how much it sucked or hurt us. To leave things we know won’t work on the side of the road for the trash collector, or to burn in a ring of fire, as Johnny Cash would croon.


A catharsis point like the need to begin again can feel like it’s going to make everything better and stronger. And it can. It can also be a distraction from seeing, grieving, and healing so we can create from a clear heart-centered foundation.


Many of us have creative hearts filled with ideas and dreams that feed us in darker times, offering a way forward to get clear on what we really want and need to thrive.


Along the way we encounter obstacles that stop us in our tracks, or maybe even discourage or block us from moving towards creating them in the way we see so clearly. After several attempts when nothing seems to work, we give up or push so hard we have no choice but to surrender because our utterly exhausted.


This is where we can choose to open up to grief and release, or continue to fight against the emotional flow.

Stepping into Surrender and Owning the Emotional Flow


When a creative path feels blocked our first instinct is to hide for a while. To go over every point again and again to try and mentally figure out what we did “wrong” or why something failed to thrive. Or we jump into “doing mode”, building off anxious energy to create something, anything, so we don’t have to feel disappointed, confused, sad, unsure, disillusioned or “fill in the blank”.


The truth is, when a project, client relationship, idea, or business fails, it can feel as if we’ve failed by extension. It’s where many of us stop and park our focus, getting stuck without realizing it’s happening. This fact alone makes it even more critical to look at how we are feeling, and ask deeper questions to get to the heart of our healing needs before creating a fresh path forward.


Review of emotions is not meant as a way to dissect an experience and how it could have gone differently or “better”. The purpose of sitting with how we feel is about knowing what we still need, while also clearly identifying what we’ve outgrown to set it aside.


When we are stuck in our emotions, it’s easy to label something as a failure or scrap it altogether because dealing with the emotional confusion makes it hard to look at something objectively, or move forward with clear discernment.


Perhaps a path was suddenly closed off because following it would have left us no closer to the goals we want to achieve in the first place. Or, maybe a creative project just needs a face lift, not a total do over.


The annoying thing is, we don’t know what tools to use or what grieving we need to do if we aren’t willing to be vulnerable and give ourselves permission to feel into the insight.


To shift perspective from doing mode into feeling we must be willing to ask deep questions, then leave space for the answers to show up in their own time and form. It’s easy for assumptions and emotional reactions to show up first when we begin looking deeply into what we want to create next, so don’t fall for those as the “answers”. We owe ourselves the space and time to listen and sift through what we hear to connect with what we need; to feel the possible calm beyond the frustration and tears. Then we can pick a direction that makes sense to the mind and heart, not from old fears, judgments, and expectations.

Some sample questions to get you started: 

  • What were the expectations around a project or creative path and why?
  • Is there a specific feeling or emotion that comes up when thinking about something that turned out differently than projected? Can it be acknowledged and/or released? Why or why not?
  • Can the concept of “success” around a project can be redefined, and/or the results seen as a blessing or learning experience rather than a failure?


Stay Curious, Don’t Ignore


When we ignore the grieving part of the creative process, we miss a huge part of what the creative journey has to offer. We also miss the opportunity to peek into what we really need to be balanced and create from a heart -centered space once again.


Creativity heals. It touches us each in profound ways. In some instances, it’s through the process of fighting to create something we believe in so strongly, we finally see why something never fit or grew as expected. It’s also the same space we can face the fact it can never grow to meet our core needs or match expectations.  And that’s OK. 


However, if we jump into creating a fresh path without feeling, grieving, understanding and honoring the self expression as is, we can fall into a pattern of avoidance. This includes avoiding feeling, hearing our heart and what it needs to heal. Without this step, we can continue to block out the real, true call of what’s next.


Before jumping head first into all those mental goals and 2019 planning, do a little honest, heartfelt review. Ask the deeper questions. Get to the personal why’s. Find the healing in the disappointments. Be willing to celebrate the hidden gifts of what didn’t grow as expected, and why, before allowing them to fade into the ether.


Without sounding gruesome, a post-mortem review of an idea, project, or process can be very insightful and healing, when done without wallowing. How can you look at the shell of what’s left objectively and find a way to love, thank, and grieve it, to begin creating a fresh path from a place of simplicity and bare bones clarity?


Drop the judgment, blame and shame. Just be real. Cry. Be disappointed. Feel the anger and frustration. Let it flow through you and do the work it’s meant to do.


Then, begin again by creating a fresh path from a place of honesty and emotional clarity.


Interested in other blog posts on a similar topic? Check out Creative Cycles Are a Window to the True You or Creativity Kick-Start: Release Romanticized Versions of Your Creative Self. Want to connect with me 1on1 for some 2019 goal setting, planning or to get clear on next steps in your creative life? Set up a Discovery Session or an Intuitive Reading. Like podcasts? Check out mine, Flirting With Enlightenment with insights on how to tap into your inner wisdom.