This year I started my blog series by encouraging you, the artist, to honor your dreams. But what if you’re not clear about your dreams?
As an artist you need your dreams to inspire and motivate you. They bring you in touch with your energy of love, wonder, curiosity, and a sense of exploration. They give you focus and clarity, and open you up to the flow states where deep creation becomes possible.
Do you know what your creative dreams are?
Without access to your creative dreams, it’s hard to know and connect with your artistic vision. If you realize you’re unclear about your own dreams, what can you do to uncover them? Begin with your unconscious.
Internal conflicts within your unconscious can keep you from accessing your full creativity. The deeper within your unconscious your conflicts are buried, the harder it is to know what you want. If you have some emotional trauma around your creative expression that you didn’t heal, face, and overcome, it can be hard to get in touch with your own dreams.
Many different experiences from your past may have left scars on your unconscious mind. Maybe you were the “chubby” dancer who was made fun of, rejected, or bullied by the other kids, despite your amazing talent. Perhaps you’ve been bombarded with ridicule from your own family because you’ll be the “starving artist.” Or, when you’ve wanted to experiment with your voice maybe everyone around you covered their ears screaming “too loud,” not recognizing that your powerful voice just needed a creative outlet.
You may or may not remember those moments that shaped your subconscious – moments when you froze in shame, felt anxious, or alone. And yet, they still affect you and cause you to avoid or refuse to allow yourself to connect with and express your creative energy. Despite how bad you want to create something important, you can’t seem to figure out what you want to create or to commit to a vision.
At times, some lost dream may sneak into your awareness, but you tend to quickly ignore it, not even knowing that you’re doing it. Your dream is pushed back into your unconscious. From there, it still finds a way to get your attention, but in unhealthy and indirect ways. You find yourself stuck and consumed by comparing yourself with others, feeling jealous, empty, and bored. You make yourself busy with useless and unfulfilling activities because you feel unmotivated and uninspired.
In truth, you can’t deny or repress that energy. When you do, you cease to live and feel alive. Conflicts around your aspirations can result in depression, anxiety, and addictions.
How can you reclaim your dreams?
When you find yourself feeling jealous, comparing yourself, empty, and unfulfilled, STOP for a moment. Ask yourself “what do I need to feel fulfilled as an artist? What would actually make me a genuinely happy creative?”
These questions can begin to connect you with some lost creative dream still lingering in your heart – a dream that never had the privilege of your full attention and energy.
If you start noticing some inspiring and exciting energy bubbling up, but also feel so terrified that you want to run away, hide, or freeze into numbness, it’s a telling sign. It’s this combination of being excited and terrified that offers a hint that you’re just about to reconnect with a lost dream.
It’s normal to feel excited and scared when you take on a new dream. Healthy fear can be energizing and motivating. But when behind the excitement hides a feeling of terror, that’s more like a paralyzing fear, not energizing fear. Paralyzing fear, usually covers some unhealed emotional conflicts.
This is a actually good news.
Underneath that paralyzing fear, also sits your potential. It can create an emotional space for you to go back where you got stuck and start developing those emotional skills that will help you achieve your dreams.
What got you stuck back then and continues to cause you to get stuck now, you can change.
You can transform what kept you stuck in the past into new abilities that will help you create your life now, by engaging with your dreams and putting your efforts into accomplishing them.
Once you start putting your energy and actions into your dreams all your old conflicts will show up in the here-and-now. And, this is the good news! You can now face these conflicts and start changing into the artist that can create own’s life.
In the process, you build maturity, character, resilience. You develop new skills. You evolve. These qualities will always serve you well as you breathe life into old dreams and take on new ones.
You can’t control what will happen once you start devoting yourself to your dreams, but you can open doors for your dreams to become reality. And, in this process, you will feel emotionally connected and engaged with your artistic journey, which is always fulfilling and rewarding.
Remember this: the past can be transformed in the present moment. The future can’t be controlled, but you can create it.
So, get in touch with your creative dreams and give them your full attention and energy. That’s the way you build your future. You have access to these dreams, to move through your feelings and access that creativity.
If you have any questions please contact me for a free consultation.
I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creative blocks, relationships, and addictions – to be and live their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives and Performers here.