I recently came across Dr. Mihaela Ivan Holtz through a blog post that she authored on the topic of being a more fulfilled artist. I posted a link to her blog through SoCreate’s Twitter account, and it remains one of the most clicked article links that we’ve ever posted. As a psychotherapist who specializes in treating people in film, TV, and performing and fine arts, she had a unique viewpoint to offer on breaking through creative blocks. Her approach wasn’t one that I’d seen before on screenwriting blogs, which mostly focus on how-to guides, interviews with pros, and formatting rules. It goes deeper than that, and I knew I wanted to share it with the screenwriting community.
So below, you’ll find a guest post from Dr. Holtz, and a meditation that she graciously wrote and recorded specifically for you, screenwriters. Both focus on accessing your creativity and connecting with your emotional, creative space. Take a deep breath and enjoy!
Access Your Creativity with Meditation
As a writer, you have your own emotional, creative space. When you’re there, it feels like everything’s meant to be. Your ideas unfold and reveal themselves to you. You experience an organic connection to your creativity.
And sometimes, something quite miraculous happens. There’s a moment when your ideas and inspiration suddenly meet your talents and skills. Your heart and your mind become one. Your story starts taking shape.
Now, you are fully present with your writing, and nothing else can get your attention. You enter into a timeless space where everything is possible; everything is connected; everything flows. You see and feel the images, the characters, the story. There’s no doubt that you’re in the right place. It’s like you’re at home with your creativity. You feel so clean, strong, and connected with what you create. You trust what you’re writing. You know your story will speak to someone.
In that place, nothing can stop you from merging with your raw emotions and imagination. You’re grounded in your talents and skills. All you want is to express, play, and see where it all might take you. There are no fears, doubts, or insecurities. Your curiosity drives you forward. You’re fully focused on discovering your story. You don’t need to prove anything. You create with everything that you are.
But you’re not always in touch with your creative energy in this way. Many factors can take you out of your emotional, creative space. Life as a creative can be challenging. You move through a world filled with unknowns, rejection, and competition. Maybe you feel like you’re under pressure. Perhaps stress, depression, anxiety, or unhealed emotional pain get between you and your creativity.
So how do you get back into your emotional, creative space, and reconnect to your creative energy?
While your conscious mind holds some of your creative power, it’s only one small aspect of your full creative potential. Your conscious mind may be a great editor that knows how to organize your story but to write something meaningful, you need access to your true source of creativity, your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind holds the treasures of your imagination and your authentic creative potential. Everything you’ve experienced, all imbued by your raw humanity, lives in this part of your mind. All your moments of joy, wonder, or awe. All your moments of struggle, fear, or disappointments. Your subconscious is a limitless creative reservoir.
For you to access your emotional, creative space, your conscious and subconscious need to work together. You need to be able to quiet the noise and distractions of your rational mind so that you can access the deeper and most powerful parts of your imagination.
When the streams of your subconscious become infused with a sense of open, mindful awareness, you can be in your emotional, creative space. This is when you find your most original, authentic, and human stories. These are the stories that impact people and make the characters come alive. You’re able to inspire your audience to moments of laughter, surprise, suspense, terror, mystery, love, or action. Here, you become the most powerful and effective as a writer.
Meditation can be a healthy and reliable path to your emotional, creative space
As an artist, you naturally gravitate to your emotional, creative space. Sometimes everyday human experiences open that gate to your creative world. Love, exercise, driving, flowing water sounds, or walking in nature can get you there. And, sadly, as so many creatives have discovered, alcohol and drugs offer a route there too. Drugs and alcohol can harm creativity and one’s emotional and physical health, sometimes irreversible.
One of the most organic, real, and powerful ways to consistently access your creativity is through meditation, mindfulness, and visualization. These activities quiet your conscious mind so you can open and focus your subconscious mind. Thanks to meditation, you can more easily navigate your way toward your emotional, creative space.
Meditation allows you to be in touch with your subconscious. At the same time, it strengthens your ability to be with and tolerate what may be revealed in your unconscious. It enables you to be present and aware of the deeper layers of your mind and do so with a sense of equanimity. “Equanimity” comes from the Latin meaning “equal spirit.” It means being “OK” with in-the-now experiences, regardless of what that moment brings.
In this meditative mind state, you can allow your subconscious to emerge into the conscious present moment. You find your emotional, creative space at the intersection of your in-the-now alert conscious mind and your subconscious rich experiences. You can see the deeper layers of your mind, as well as life experiences, thoughts, and feelings without being trapped or controlled by them. In fact, through meditation, you can connect these aspects of your mind and use all parts of yourself to help you create.
I created a short meditation that includes elements of mindfulness and visualization to help you connect with your emotional, creative space. It’s most helpful to listen to first thing when you wake up in the morning or as you fall asleep at night. However, any time is a good time to meditate.
If you find yourself anxious, agitated, or emotionally triggered while experimenting with this meditation, you might be coming up against unhealed emotional pain. You may consider psychotherapy to heal these lingering issues.
Dr. Mihaela Ivan Holtz founded Creative Minds Psychotherapy, a transformation journey for the unfulfilled creative or performer. She helps creative people and performers with personal and professional challenges, relationship blocks, creative blocks, anxiety, depression, and addictions. She has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and is also certified in psychoanalysis through The Wright Institute, Los Angeles. Her training in psychoanalysis, the neurobiology of psychotherapy and interpersonal relationships, meditation, family systems, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, solution-focused techniques, and positive psychology allows her to get to the root of what is not working while moving a person toward making changes in the present. Learn more about her at CreativeMindsPyschotherapy.com.