May 31st, 2006

Ozma Read

How Fear Blocks Creativity

A friend sent me this from "The Daily Om", a newsletter ... it's something that very much applies both to writing and to why we're so open with our internet friends, I think:

Protecting Your Flow
How Fear Blocks Creativity
To understand how fear blocks creativity, take a moment to imagine yourself telling a story. First, imagine telling the story to someone you love and who loves you. You probably feel warmth and energy as you fill in the details of your tale to your friend's delight. Now, imagine telling the same story to someone who, for whatever reason, makes you uncomfortable. The wonderful twists and turns, the fine points and colorful images that unfolded in your mind for your friend probably won't present themselves. Instead of warmth, energy, and creativity, you will probably feel opposite sensations and a desire to close down. When we feel unsafe, whether we fear being judged, disliked, or misunderstood, our creative flow stops. Alternately, when we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower, without conscious effort.

Knowing this, we can maximize our creative potential by creating the conditions that inspire our creativity. In order to really be in the flow, we need to feel safe and unrestricted. However, achieving this is not as simple as avoiding people who make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we can be alone in a room and still feel totally blocked. When this happens, we know we have come up against elements in our own psyches that are making us feel fearful. Perhaps we are afraid that in expressing ourselves we will discover something we don't want to know, or unleash emotions or ideas that we don't want to be responsible for. Or maybe we're afraid we'll fail to produce something worthy.

When you're up against fear, internal or external, ritual can be a powerful-and creative-antidote. Before you sit down to be creative, try casting a circle of protection around yourself. Visualize yourself inside a ring of light, protective fire, or angels. Imagine that this protective energy emanates unconditional love for you and wants to hear, see, and feel everything you have to express. Take a moment to bathe in the warmth of this feeling and then fearlessly surrender yourself to the power that flows through you.
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Four Friends


Post Chosen: This is the very first of my series of small stories about Four Friends: two underused minor characters from Buffy and Angel, a beloved Buffy icon, and a young slayer of my own creation, who takes a quiet moment here to think about how far she’s come in a short time. Thanks to my beta, Ainon. With the exception of young Kara, I own nothing.

NOTE: These stories appeared in chronilogical order on, but for some reason I missed putting the first four up on LJ, so I'm correcting that now. This takes place just a few months after the events of "Chosen", when the girls who will become friends have just gotten to know each other. Now that I look back on it, much of this chapter is a retrospective to put the reader in the right place and time.

Four Friends: Card Game

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