Whenever I talk to a new client who’s come to me because they’re suffering the pain of blocked creativity, I start by drilling down into the values that motivate their creative life. In other words, the reason they want to be creative or have more creativity in their lives. Through this exercise with my clients, I’ve found that most of the time this remains a general, vague sort of idea to people who feel called to be writers or artists. We know we want to connect with our creativity on a deeper level, but when we examine why that is, we have a hard time coming up with answers.
Almost every new client who comes to me is interested in improving their creativity. And by that, I mean they want to be more creative, spend more time on creativity in their lives, and finish creative projects they’ve put on hold for months, sometimes years.
When I ask them what they think the problem is they give me a variety of reasons. “I don’t have enough time.” “I don’t know where to begin.” “I feel overwhelmed by the steps involved.” However, when we begin to dig down into the underlying emotional causes, we find that all those little reasons evaporate, and we’re still left with the big ugly problem: blocked creativity.
Every INFJ or INFP I have ever met seems to suffer from anxiety, and the more I’ve studied this phenomenon, the more I see that it’s related to us being out of alignment with our intuition. In the first video of my 3-part video series on INFJs, INFPs and intuition (Are You an INFJ or INFP Suppressing Your Intuition?) I explain exactly how this anxiety manifests and I also give a quick exercise anyone can use to begin reconnecting with suppressed intuition. However, right after INFJs and INFPs do this exercise, another question (or rather, big fear) tends to come up:
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from INFJs and INFPs is about suppressed intuition. It seems that so many of us shut down our natural intuitive gifts in childhood or early adolescence. This happens due to a variety of reasons, ranging from a narcissistic parent who never allowed us to truly be ourselves, to peer pressure in school from other kids who thought we were weird, or even teachers who couldn’t understand how we operated.
These experiences are extremely common for INFJs and INFPs, unfortunately. Most of us grow up feeling that something is wrong with us, something is “defective,” and so we try to go in the opposite direction and make ourselves into something different in order to fit in with the mainstream population.
Today’s guest post comes from Ritu Kaushal, the author of the memoir The Empath’s Journey, which TEDx speaker Andy Mort calls “a fascinating insight into the life of a highly sensitive person and emotional empath.” Ritu was recently awarded the silver medal at the prestigious REX awards, instituted by the United Nations & iCONGO in India, and given to people creating social impact through their work. Ritu writes about highly sensitive creatives on her blog Walking Through Transitions. Her work has been featured on Sensitive Evolution, Tiny Buddha, and Elephant Journal, amongst others.
Last year, my book The Empath’s Journey was released. As someone who has had significant creative wounds, the process of birthing the book was full of labor pains. Because it’s a memoir about being highly sensitive, the writing process felt full of landmines, some of which I successfully avoided and some of which I walked right into.
To say the least, it was a difficult birth.