Rhythm and Patience in Our Creativity

March 16, 2012

As creatives it can be difficult at times to maintain a rhythm and keep working. At these times it is important to step away and actually create a peaceful space for yourself to realize that the rhythm is part of the creative process. According to Gail McMeekin in her book the The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor “Experienced creative women know that their creativity moves in cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. Surrendering to the cycles instead of fighting them is a skill of the creative warrior.” So how do we begin to surrender to the cycles if we have never done so before?

We need to learn to be patient. Learning to be patient through these periods is an essential element and driving force behind our own journey. If we rush or we begin to be stressed over our process that may not be occurring to our liking, it becomes more and more difficult to find our way back to what we are creating. Gail McMeekin interviewed Marilou Awaiakta in her book who likens this part of the process to nature. “Nature always reminds us of the natural order of both dormancy and blossoming”  So this natural order is something that we should embrace rather than push away or be afraid of. She also calls this period “lying fallow – resting, reassessing, and waiting for my new work to take root.” Being in a state of readiness and listening rather than panic will produce an answer more quickly thus allowing the creative flow to begin again.

Below is a poem that I received this week from Tara Sophia Mohr that talks specifically about this rhythm and how to find it in yourself. She was gracious enough to allow me to share it with you today.


In any creative feat
(by which I mean your work, your art, your life)
there will be downtimes.

Or so it seems.

Just as the earth is busy before the harvest

and a baby grows before its birth,

there is no silence in you.
There is no time of nothingness.

What if,
during the quiet times, when the idea flow is hushed and hard to find
you trusted (and yes I mean trusted)
that the well was filling, the waters moving?

What if you trusted

that for the rest of eternity,

without prodding, without self-discipline,

without getting over being yourself,

you would be gifted every ounce of productivity you need?

What would leave you? What would open?

And what if during the quiet times you ate great meals

and leaned back to smile at the stars,

and saw them there, as they always are,

nourishing you?

There are seasons and harvest is only a fraction of one of them.
We forget this.

There is the rhythm that made everything.

The next time you stand in the kitchen, leaning,

the next time a moment of silence catches you there,

hear it, that rhythm, and let it place a stone in your spine.
Let it bring you some place beautiful.

Tara Sophia Mohr, from Your Other Names: Poems by Tara Sophia Mohr

So what if you trusted that your well was filling and you had the patience to allow this flow to occur and you listened and were ready? What would you go and do? How would you feel about what you were creating?

Have a great day, everyone…

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