Techniques to unblock the creative flow – Meditation teacher and author Dr Lesley Phillips shares her secrets

Guest Post
by Dr. Lesley Phillips

Let me start by confessing that I am a relatively new author, and I did not suffer from writers block at all when I wrote my first book “The Midas Tree.”

Although I do teach people how to access their intuition and creativity through meditation. Writing a novel was a new experience for me, but allowing my creativity and intuition to flow was not. I attribute my success in writing “The Midas Tree” so effortlessly to the meditation techniques that I use every day to keep myself clear.

My hope is that I can share some of this knowledge with you and that you will find it useful if you ever hit the common bump on the writer’s path, known as writers block.

By-Pass Your Intellect
The intellect is the highest accomplishment of the human body. Yet we are so much more than a body. Our creativity exists in a timeless, limitless place outside of physical reality. Meditation allows you to connect with this non physical reality, which is the source of your imagination.

It can be important to draw on practical knowledge and research, but taken too far this becomes a limit. If you are focused on “getting it right” then you limit your creative vision. If you delve down into the details, the minutiae prevent you from perceiving larger possibilities.

Throw Away the Rule Book
After I had completed “The Midas Tree” I attended a writers’ conference and was astounded at how many rules there were about writing. I met people who attended the conference every year in the hope of learning how to become a successful author. These aspiring writers enrolled in numerous classes and workshops to learn the “correct” way to structure and write their book.

I was so glad I had not attended this conference before I wrote my book. If I had I would never have gotten of the ground. There were rules about when to introduce new characters, what to include in the first thirty pages, what was OK to do and what must never be done. These rules and guidelines; as well as what people commonly do today or have done before in writing are limits and we should pay no attention to them.

Don’t Listen to Anybody Else
There were an abundance of experts at this conference; publishers, editors, agents, authors. They were idolized by the aspiring writers who would do anything to bask in their glow and receive tips on how to be successful. These same writers met weekly in their writers groups, for feedback on their writings.

I am not suggesting that successful people don’t have good tips to share; if that was the case this article would be paradoxical. Yet it is important to stay centered and connected with your own creative source. If you are awash with the views and opinions of others, you will not to see the proverbial wood for the trees; you will not see clearly and will not know your own mind.

Let Go of Limits
If you never cross boundaries, how can you ever break new ground?

When I wrote my book I was excited to create. The first thing I did was meditate. I grounded and centered myself, then tuned into my higher consciousness. I set the intention that I wanted to release blocks to knowing what to write, and let go of limits to my creativity. After several hours of meditation the floodgates opened. That night I didn’t get any sleep, as the contents of my book were pouring into me in a great surge of creativity.

By morning I had met all the characters of the book and had a complete outline, including the chapter headings and a title The Midas Tree.

Step back from yourself
When I wrote, I entered a meditative state where I was able to watch the book unfold like it was a movie. I could stop and restart at any point. The only limiting factor was my time and availability. I did not question what I saw, engage my intellect or wonder where the story was leading. Instead I was fully present and acutely observant. I simply wrote down what I saw.

It turns out that what I created was a spiritual adventure novel that teaches truths about the nature of reality through an allegorical fairy tale. The book also includes the meditation techniques that I teach in my classes. It is written a way that makes the information available to children and adults alike.

I hope that sharing my creative journey has given you some helpful tips. To learn the meditation tips I used in my creative process, visit my website of pick up a copy of “The Midas Tree.”

Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Before becoming a teacher and a writer, she was a biotech business executive. Her book “The Midas Tree” was published in November 2012. Learn more about Lesley at her website.

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13 thoughts on “Techniques to unblock the creative flow – Meditation teacher and author Dr Lesley Phillips shares her secrets”

  1. Hello Dr Lesley from Brian in Gore, New Zealand.
    When I was ten years old a priest, Father Walsh, tall,frightening in his black cassock never left my inner consciousness. He became the inspiration for my first major novel: “Cardinal Sins” and I never followed any rules or patterns … the creative energy flowed day after day night after night; I commenced writing it in May this year and finished it in November this year. Only then did I take the ‘grammar stick’ to the writing. But, basically nothing changed. I wrote as I felt and the satisfaction is that people who have read it tell me: “Brian, it flows so well and is gripping”. That was all I wanted to hear. Thank you for your thoughts … inspirational.

    1. Hi Brian – yes I love breaking the rules! In fact I can’t imagine writing according to the rules. That would impose too much limitation on my creativity. I agree creativity first, grammar second! Father Walsh sounds scary! Lesley

      1. Hello Dr Lesley,
        I will be delighted to acquaint you with Father Marsh (Father Walsh!). If you have a computer that can read PDF I will send you a copy but as it is 561 pages I would need to send it via some other email means to you.
        Kindest wishes

  2. Thank you, Lesley. As a person who has also taught meditation techniques, I had no idea that eventually I would apply those principles to writing, many years later.

    The prolific author John Updike said that his best, most creative ideas came to him during periods of absolute “idleness” and confirmed the importance of “doing nothing” for writers.

    Meditation is not the equivalent of doing nothing, but I suppose this is just a matter of semantics. “Going into the silence” allows us to receive information that will ultimately, light up our writing projects.

    In my own experience, meditation was especially helpful during the editing process. What to leave in, what to take out? Less is more. “Keep it clear and on point, get yourself out of the way.” Those are the messages I received, and I do believe the final “product” (my book) was served well, by those messages.

    1. My Pleasure! It’s great to see so many comments! Yes by quieting the mind in whatever way we choose, we access the void – the womb of the universe – the birth place of imagination!

      I have read simlar quotes to the one you mention by John Updike from many well known people. Not just authors but inventors and scientists. The logical mind is a limit and silence, dreaming and meditation allow us to bypass that limit!

  3. I ma not afraid to admit that, past high school, I have never taken a writing course. Like you, I entered into writing with only the vaguest notion of ‘the rules’. I have had no reason to regret that. Since them, i have become more aware of the rules. Now, when i break them I know why.

    As for meditation to get into the zone – that is something that eludes me much of the time. Perhaps I need to work a bit more at it.. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the comment Yvonne. I’m not sure I would always know when I break the rules. But I do know that if the creativity is flowing and I’m feeling excited and happy about what I am writing then I’m doing what I am meant to be doing and writing what I am meant to be writing!

  4. Thank you, Lesley, for reminding me of a powerful tool to use to help push past the limitations I put on myself when I write. Meditation has been a part of my life for several years now, but I sometimes forget I can use the techniques to improve my work, too.

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