Quagmire

Wet, boggy ground, yielding under the foot. A difficult, precarious, or entrapping position. A quagmire (from "quake" + "mire") is, literally, shaky, miry ground. In short, a place that I have found myself trudging through over the last couple of months. Distracted, derailed, and eventually discouraged, I have found myself precariously forging a path through the shifting sand and treacherous mire of doubts, fears, and roadblocks. Julia Cameron in her renowned book, The Artist’s Way, cautions us against these creative u-turns as dangers along the trail, “Creativity is God energy flowing through us…when we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain. When we resist what that energy might show us or where it might take us, we often experience a shaky, out-of-control feeling. We want to shut down the flow and regain our sense of control. We slam on the psychic brakes.”

Every creative person has a myriad of ways to block creativity. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we have our “drugs” of choice to numb, dull, escape, drown out, and sabotage our inner artist. Food, sex, alcohol, television, facebook, workaholism, codependence to friends and family. Upon examination, most all of us can name our poison. “The object of all this blocking is to alleviate fear. We turn to our drug of choice to block our creativity whenever we experience the anxiety of our inner emptiness. It is always fear – often disguised but always there.

Cameron says that blocking is essentially an issue of faith. That rather than trust our intuition, talent, skill, and desire, we fear where our creator is taking us with this creativity. And that as we learn to recognize these creative u-turns, we can slowly and perhaps erratically begin to ride out the anxiety and see where we emerge.

And so I emerge again, still wrestling with doubts and anxiety, and yet choosing to hold on tight for what promises to be a wild ride as I resolve to keep showing up on the page.

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