I used to think my creativity was precious.
I used to think my creativity needed space, endless space, in the form of time.
I used to think my creativity could be activated under a very precise set of rituals (light the candle, wear the scarf, sit at that desk. in that chair).
But now I know the truth—I can be creative under pressure.
As the most valuable lessons tend to occur, this one didn’t happen on purpose, with my willing blessing.
Instead, it happened out of necessity. When I was diagnosed and received treatment for my endometriosis last year, shit got real in terms of my schedule and workload.
Suddenly I wasn’t able to work ten hour days or all-nighters or on the weekends. Now I have pockets of time here and there to create. And when I run out of steam, I have to stop, really stop, and turn off the computer to rest and renew.
What’s so interesting to me is that my productivity is at a level I’ve never experienced before. Now when I get a hit of inspiration or a spark of creativity, I grab onto it and just GO.
One of the wonderful gifts of endometriosis is that I have to be present in my body all the time. I have to listen to what my body needs because my health depends on it.
That’s been such a gift to me. Sometimes paying attention to my body looks like standing up and stretching, sometimes it looks like stepping away from the computer and doing another kind of task. Sometimes it means lying on the floor, closing my eyes, and having a little cry.
I’ve learned how to say “no” to the things that don’t absolutely light me up. The “shoulds” used to suck my time, and actually prevented me from placing a priority on my health and self-care.
And I’ve learned to ask for help. I’ve now got a growing team of strong women who support me and that also leaves more room for creativity.
Life happens. We’re always going to have other things besides our businesses that require our mental and emotional energy. And that is something to be grateful for.
What have you experienced with your preconceptions about creativity and how paying attention to your body affects your productivity? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.