WORDS BY ERIN CORSTIAANS
What kind of thoughts drift through your mind as you create? Is every session a journey through the divine springs of your imagination, to the soft background tickle of a Bach sonata? Yes? Please feel free to disregard this post. The rest of us, however, will have experienced from time to time that internal tug-of-war between our creative confidence and our less-friendly inner critic. You know, the one that whispers in your ear, telling you your art is worthless, and your ideas invalid? Learning to shut out the voice of your inner critic through relaxation exercises is one of the best skills you can equip yourself with.
Through the act of conscious relaxation, you reclaim control over your mind and body and place yourself in a better position to effectively filter your thoughts. If you can shunt your inner critic during this relaxation stage, chances are it will leave you in peace for your creative process, too.
The other big plus is that it’s much easier to tap into your imaginative mind’s eye (that ‘divine spring’ we spoke of earlier) when you’re in a relaxed state of mind. Who knows what thoughts and images may emerge from the archives of your sensory memories? This will provide you will all kinds of exciting, original stimuli that you can then translate into your art.
Use the relaxing visualisation below as a self-hypnosis technique to unlock your subconscious imagery, and take a playful approach to vanquishing your inner critic for good!