You started your business because you want to serve others, in a higher, soul-connected way, right? And I’m guessing you also want to feel good. You want to feel inspired and connected to your work.
And here’s the thing: it can be tricky to balance being productive with creativity. You know you need time and space to create something meaningful – in a way that brings out your best ideas and allows for your creativity.
But if you’re like me, you also need a bit of order and a plan. Trying to create something without discipline just doesn’t work. If I don’t have a plan, things aren’t likely to get done. But at the same time, I know that I create my best work when I’m not under the gun of a strict agenda.
And that’s the tricky part, balancing the two. It can often feel like two forces are battling each other. Which one to listen to?
I definitely have one foot on both sides of the fence. One side of me is an organized, planning, perfectionist MBA. It’s my masculine side. This side of me likes to make lists, and plow through and get things done.
But there’s the other side of me that is a more spiritually minded, soul centered kind of person. Left brained and feminine. This side of me loves to have time and space – to get into the flow and let inspiration take me where it wants to go.
Both of these sides bring different qualities that I totally appreciate. But too much weight on the masculine or feminine side never works for me. I’m either pushing too hard try to make something happen or living in my head and day dreaming, rather than getting things done.
And believe me, I lived almost solely from my masculine side for years, and it does not work. It leads to burnout, disconnection, and disillusionment.
Here’s a huge truth: doing work and creating without spirit and heart falls flat. It’s too easy to get caught in doing mode and lose connection to that deeper level of work.
But the silver lining is this: both sides can work together. You can have a plan and go with the flow at the same time. I’ve found that it just take a bit of mindfulness. Honoring both sides of me and allowing them to exist together. Here’s are some of the things I do to keep both sides in check:
My morning practice – quiet time to go within – is something I’ve done for years now. I spend some time each morning meditating, reading, or journaling. I think of this time as important as my coffee each day. It puts me in alignment with my real self – with what’s positive and true – rather than the ego driven side of me. If i wake up with my mind buzzing, this helps me to get back to a peaceful state.
Use my intuition
If I’m struggling to make something happen, I know I need to take a few quiet moments to check in with myself and ask my intuition for guidance. I’ll ask questions like — What’s this struggle about? Is this just resistance or is this not the right thing for right now? Is there another direction I could go in that would help me accomplish the same thing? Tuning into my intuition always helps me to get back on track and see what’s really important.
Plan, but be flexible
I show up for my work with a plan in mind, but I also make space for things to ebb and flow. If I’m sitting down for an hour to write a blog post, during that time I might come up with other ideas – maybe something I want to share on Instagram or some inspiration about something I want to do further research on. I’ll keep that hour as writing time but also allow my creativity to go in the direction it needs to – noting down new ideas – but also bringing myself back to the task at hand. I’ve found that things don’t always show up exactly as we plan them to, and it’s best to allow the flow to lead you.
Take off the shackles
If I’m feeling blocked, instead of being chained to my workspace, I allow myself to get up and move. There’s something about moving that really helps to loosen stagnant energy. Changing my state always offers me a different perspective.
In fact, I find that my best ideas come when I get up from my desk – shower, walk, do the dishes. If I sit shackled at my desk and attempt to force myself to create something with no margin, it never works. If you’re under the gun to get something done, leaving your work space may seem like the last thing you should do. But I’ve found this can be just the way to get back on track.
Order and planning and creativity and flow really can work together. If your goal is producing that deeper, meaningful work, its likely you will need and want to find a way to incorporate both. If you struggle with this same battle between the two forces, start by becoming mindful of which side shows up more – the masculine “get it done” or the feminine “go with the flow” and slowly add aspects of the opposite side into your work time. As time goes on you’ll soon get into the right rhythm and find the best way to incorporate the two sides into your work.