Reclaiming the Creative Flow

It’s been a very wintry winter in Chicago. After several snowstorms with fancy names, white mountains of plowed snow grace the landscape and the roads are salt-encrusted. We recently added the term “Alberta Clipper” to our vocabulary after several days of intense winds from the north.


I drove/blew to Missouri to visit my mother during one of these clippers. The first three hours were dotted with breathless moments where snow blew across the road from one flat field to another. Thank goodness it was early on a Saturday with little traffic.


Hours later I crossed the Mississippi and took a short break at my favorite stopping place: a bluff-top park high above the river at Louisiana, MO. Buffeted by the wind, I looked back toward Illinois—miles and miles of a winter landscape beyond an ice-covered river. You know it’s been cold when the Mississippi freezes! It was thin enough to see through in places, and a few spots were melted—looking like a giant finger had taken a swipe through it. 


It was a metaphor waiting to happen. 


It occurred to me that creative flow is like a river—a non-stop source that is always available until something happens to divert, dam, or in this case, freeze it over.

Life, like cold weather, has a way of interfering with our goals, which can lead to creative inertia…and feeling out of integrity with ourselves. Think of it as creative flow meets the polar vortex.


When this happens, how do we get it thawed out and flowing again?


In her workbook, PowerBites: 30 Ways to Reclaim and Sustain Your Personal Power, M. Cathy Angell says:


“At our very core, we are creative beings. New ideas and dreams spring from our minds every day, waiting for us to grab hold and manifest something magnificent. When we ignore our creative urges, our energy gets stuck. We feel depressed, dissatisfied, and discontent. We feel guilty because we know we are neglecting ourselves at a deep level. 


We claim our power when we pay attention to our inner urgings. If you feel the urge to write, paint, sing, dance, take a trip, enroll in a class, play an instrument, dress elaborately, sculpt something out of stone or do stand-up comedy…it’s important to take action. These are the things that remind you of who you are.”


We are creative beings living in a creative world. Taking action—however that looks for you—just might be the giant-swipe needed to clear the ice and get flowing again. 






(Yep! M. Cathy Angell is my sister. She is the author of the wonderful (and empowering) workbook, PowerBites: 30 Ways to Reclaim and Sustain Your Personal Power, and the award-winning My Spirit Flies: Portraits and Prose of Women in Their Power. Both are available at Amazon.)





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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Andrea Blythe (Friday, 14 March 2014 18:22)

    I love the way you take adventures from your life and shape them into metaphors for writing. :)

    Life has definitely frozen my creative flow lately and I need to start using my pen to break up the ice.

  • #2

    cindyangellkeeling (Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:23)

    Thanks, Andrea. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Good luck with your thawing and reclaiming! :)