Welcome to Sky Valley.
The blank canvas of the Coachella Valley desert calls you.
August, 2016

Are You Stuck? Fresh Out Of Content? Try the Desert Cure! Three Simple Steps to Get You Unstuck and in Creative Flow

Dear Stuck,

I’m speaking to you.
I feel your pain.
Also your boredom.

You have a newsletter to get out, a blog to post, a podcast to record.
But you’re fresh out of stories.
You’re tapped out from teaching.
You simply aren’t turned on.

It’s all you can do to not scroll through the Facebook feed, one more time, to read yet another political article.

Or, if you’re fed up with that, then you’re jonesing to follow some other random rabbit hole.
Pool-frolicking bears freed from bile farms, anyone?
Or perhaps the latest low-brow celebrity spat?

Barring that, there’s always the endless catching up with all your “friends.”
And their friends.
And their friends’ friends.

What this tactic hides is your temporary lack of creative juice.
Your faltering of confidence and clarity.
Perhaps — your laziness.

You don’t know what to write, or say.
You don’t feel like there’s anything new under the blazing summer sun.
Frankly, you’re fantasizing about loungey days at the beach and fretting why you’re still at your desk.

What will you do?

Today, I want to talk to you about inspiration.

Where you find it.
How you harness it.

How you get rid of distraction.

Come with me to the desert.
Let’s explore the hidden pleasures of the empty canvas.
Let’s find your personal blank page!

In between Desert Edge and 1000 Palms lies Sky Valley.

It’s practically a ghost town in summer. For good reason. The daily triple digit temperatures, stark landscape, sudden dust storms.

Never mind the bubbling hot springs — mineral-rich and deeply healing. There is something unforgiving here.

Until you look closer.

Until you see the beauty in the solitude. The quiet. The immensity of space.

Until you recognize the chance to stretch your imagination across an inviting canvas.

Here I sit, rocking on the porch of an Airbnb home, typing to you as a hot desert wind whips through my hair. After a couple weeks, all the nonsense and noise got baked out of my brain.

I’ve already created three new programs out here. Including the Ink 500 Club “Where creating writing fire and cash flow meet,” coming soon.

Earlier this evening, I drove over a ribbon of rollercoaster highway. Up. Down. Down. Up. Past primeval mountains, wrinkled with volcanic folds and shadows. Past a natural oasis springing out of dust and beige. I could imagine dinosaurs swatting the brittle fronds of the shaggy palms. Could see them gnash their dinosaur teeth as miniature horses and prehistoric antelope scurried by.

The sun beat through the windshield.
Sweat traced my spine.
My brain flooded with ideas, images, stories.

A river of creativity flowed.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Do you live in an environment that sparks creativity?
That gives your brain room to flex, and your heart space to feel?
If not, what would that environment look like?

Remember that environment includes mind, body, spirit.
What you see, what you surround yourself with.

Right now, I sip from a glass of Veuve de Vernay, sparkling French rosé.
The glass shudders on the pine table.
The palm trees sway.
Low roar of cicadas rises up through the air.

On all sides, I am surrounded by warm immensity.
Eternal mountains.
The desert of pure feeling.

There are no car alarms.
No choppers.
No blue glow of TV.
No Twitter feeds.
No blip and beeps.
No gallery opening around the corner, or party just down the hill.

Only the sound of the wind.

The cholla cactus jumps.
The spiny weeds stiffly sway.
A crow wheels through the air.

There is room, finally, for my brain to breathe.
With that, clarity comes.

Maybe you can’t go to the physical desert.
Maybe you don’t want to!
Still. There must be some way you can create your own optimal blank canvas.
Your own temporary bubble of solitude, of sacred space. Of non-distraction.

It takes discipline.
It starts with a decision.

I challenge you this month, to join me in shifting the way you do your content generation.
Your communication.
Your live streaming.

Set up a new environment.
One more conducive to your creative flow.

Here are three suggestions:

– BATCH TIME — We live in a noisy world. We have to make an effort to shut out distraction. The first thing to do is batch time. Set aside anywhere from 15 min to 2 hours of uninterrupted time. And stick to it! Create during this time.
– EXPERIMENT — If you can, try different physical environments. Most of you know I am nomadic this year. So I chose the desert as an experiment to see if it would inspire my creativity like it usually does. What physical environment works for you? It could be a quiet space in your house. Or outdoors. Or a nearby garden. Maybe a cafe.
– MINDSPACE — Try different ways to clear your head. Maybe meditation. Or music (for me, I choose music without words so I can fill in the words!) Or movement. Maybe dance then write. Jog then write. Jump, then write!

I hope this blog post inspires you to seek out the sacred space, that allows your imagination to fill in the blanks. To paint your unique picture on the blank canvas. Whether it’s physical, mental or emotional.

Let me know how it goes!

Time to take a dip in the hot springs now.
Wishing you all the creative flow you desire.

Yrs in truth,
Rachel