I’m slowly (s l o w l y) emerging from a period of deep introspection and quiet reflection. To be honest, I’ve been caught in a whirlwind within my own head since mid-January. This time has felt like an arduous trek through a sun-scorched desert – the metaphor helped along by a sweltering Perth summer that seems never likely to end. My well of inspiration, so recently brimming with ideas, had dwindled to a dusty trickle. It wasn’t a matter of disorganisation or distraction, either – I’d sit at my desk, dedicated to creating, yet everything remained frustratingly blank.

The experience forced me to confront a harsh reality: I had unconsciously fallen into the societal trap of treating creativity like an algorithm, expecting it to churn out inspired solutions based on a formula I couldn’t even define. Perhaps it’s a hangover from my days in creative agencies, where design concepts where expected to be on tap from 9am to 5pm.

The dominant view in modern science, particularly in Western cultures, often perceives the body as a machine. We tend to view individual organs like cogs in a larger system, reducing the eyes to lenses and the heart to a pump. But this perspective fails to capture the intricate and interconnected nature of the human experience, particularly when it comes to the creative process.

The ‘body as a machine’ metaphor can perpetuate a false separation between mind and body, which can stifle creativity. It suggests that the thinking brain is solely responsible for generating ideas, while the feeling body passively receives them. This compartmentalisation can lead to creative blocks, frustration and a disconnect from the very wellspring of inspiration – our embodied experience.

Once I realised I had been prioritising cognition – trying to *think* my way through the problem – I actively sought to focus on my feelings, instead. I asked myself a series of questions:

1. When have I felt most aligned in my work?
2. What were the conditions that allowed me to feel aligned, purposeful and effective?
3. What can I do in my processes and offerings that will embed these conditions?

With each question, I didn’t just think about the answer. I sat in quiet reflection and allowed my body to respond – through sensation, breath, tension or even movement. I became curious about the messages it offered me.

Tuning into the body’s quiet language – the quickening of the pulse, the tingle of excitement or the ache of fatigue – can inform our creative decisions and lead us towards more authentic and impactful work. This shift towards an embodied approach invites us to embrace the ebb and flow of energy, recognising that fallow periods of introspection and rest are just as vital as seasons of abundant creation.

This process wasn’t just about accessing inspiration; it was also about forgiving myself for the harsh self-judgments I held about the long period of stagnation. It was a reminder that sometimes, the most creative act is simply allowing ourselves to be where we are.