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When You're Forced to Stop, but Creativity Keeps Flowing

As you may or may not have seen on social media, back in October I had a knee surgery (for those of you that need specifics - it was an ACL reconstructive surgery). This was from an old knee injury I got from dancing back in 2016 that needed to be fixed but, well. . . I just wasn't super jazzed about going into surgery at that time . . . and so, it took me three years and a few re-injuries to actually realize ummmm, ok Holly, you really need to get this surgery done before you wreck your entire knee! The good news is that by the time I felt 100% aligned with it, I had a good support system in place: Basically, I was dating a care-taker type of loving dude, my son was older and could cook for himself, and I found myself more surrounded by community than I had been three years before. Basically, the stars aligned. I found the perfect surgeon. I did the thing.

So, the surgery went great! And truth be told, I've enjoyed these past few months of being taken care of, treated gingerly, relaxing and resting, and generally taking a much needed break from everything. So much so that NOW I am CHOMPING AT THE BIT! to get back into the creative laboratory, dance, write, coach my peeps, do stuff! Do all the things! But, alas, I am not 100% healed.

Things take time to be fully strong again, my surgeon says.

Six more months until you can dance, my surgeon says. Find something else where you can channel your chi. Booooo, I mutter under my breath. Can you relate? Have you ever had a moment in your life when you had to stop something you loved? I can only imagine this happens to everyone at some point. You come across a road block of some sort. You're swimming along wonderfully doing something you really like and then for whatever reason you're forced to divert from the course, take a break or quit altogether. This can happen for so many reasons: health, but also falling out with mentors, career disasters, family emergencies that take precedence, or even just a loss of inspiration or drive. What's interesting is that when this happens - when we get stopped for some reason - creativity is still flowing. That's the thing about creativity - it never stops. It's just up to us to get up to speed with it. So, I had to figure out, how can I get back up to speed with creativity? And so since I'm not allowed to be dancing, I've been putting my chi or my creative energy into my stand up comedy and singing (which I haven't done in 20 years!). And I've been putting energy into creating events like the Comedy Lab and the Songwriting Lab. The creativity has found new places to flow! And it did that because I ALLOWED it. I mean, it wasn't without a few bumps . . . there were definitely a few months of sluggishness, boredom, feeling a little "put out" because I couldn't perform. It's when I noticed the depression sinking in and I found myself getting into ridiculous arguments with my friends that I realized I could not stand to sit around, or go to one more party, or plan one more "daycation getaway!" I needed to work on stuff to be happy. I needed to create! Have you ever felt like this where you just seriously needed to get your hands into something creative before you lost your mind?

My suggestion is to just do it. Start it even if you're a novice at this other thing. Give your creativity a place to go. Open up the floodgates of your curiosity and see what develops in your heart as a result. You might just find a new thing to be passionate about. And in the meantime, even if you don't it just feels good to be creative, don't you


So, what are you passionate about these days? Or, where could your creativity flow to next if you let it? Happy Creating! BIG LOVE, Holly P.S. And if you're curious about the upcoming events, I've got some deets for you on those as well below.

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 17th, 2020 Comedy Lab Open Mic "Be My Bitter Valentine": a special type of stand up open mic where you write it and perform it all in one night. This month, a post-Valentine's Day "survival" celebration features prompts focusing on sex, love and dating. Hosted by Holly Shaw and Tito Gonzalez. FREE to play and free to watch - open to beginners. Held monthly on the third Monday of every month at Monaghan's on the Hill in Oakland, CA sign up/show up 7pm For more details or to pre-sign click here>>

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 Songwriting Lab: Need a jump start to write some new stuff? Come to this songwriting event where you'll get exercises to write new lyrics and then the opportunity to experiment with turning them into songs. Hosted by Holly Shaw and pianist/percussionist, Benezra Tergis at private home music studio in Oakland, CA Time TBA. Podcast Feature Healing Body Hypnosis for Performers After Surgery or Injury: In case you missed it, I recorded a self-hypnosis in prep for my own surgery and have shared it with the world for free on my podcast. This helped me really feel very easeful and calm going into surgery and is thought to really help speed recovery time. If you're healing from injury or surgery or know someone who is then check it out and feel free to share it with your friends and family. Click here to go to the podcast episode>>

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