ASK JOLIE HOLLAND on Getting Your Groove Back


How do you get yourself unstuck? I feel like I am in a rut. I am not a musician, but a visual artist. I am having a problem to find the energy to get started or don’t know how. Lost my groove. Seeking advice.

Dear Artist,

I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling stuck with your artwork.

When you’re not getting what you want OUT of yourself, it’s time to reevaluate what you put INTO yourself.

As artists, we need to focus on self-care because our work flows out of our innermost being. I mean, Everybody needs to take care of themselves, but an accountant can power through their job without having a vibrant sense of personal unity. If we do heartless work as artists, our work will lack that necessary presence.

As artists, we need to be self-aware and hear our inner voice. We need to feel at home in an internal trance-space.

Try to make it a new habit to focus on what you might need right now. Think about what can feed your inspiration, and seek those things out.

Do you need more time alone? Are you giving yourself enough time and peace to work? Do you need to go see more good art? Do you need to take more walks in natural settings? Do you need to go camping or hiking? Do you need more or less time with family and friends? Do you need to deepen your meditation practice? Do you need to have more fun? Do you need more sleep? Do you need to change your workspace around? Do you need to set different goals, or use different materials with your work?

How can you listen to yourself more intently? Are you being kind to yourself?

Kicking yourself when you’re down is so normal in our culture that most people don’t even recognize when they’re doing it.

Often, it can be so hard to evaluate how you’re treating yourself. Imagine someone who loves you completely. Would they be mad as hell to hear how you speak to yourself? I know my friends would hate to hear how I talk to myself sometimes. Imagine self-kindness, and think about what that might mean to you right now.

I’m sure you’ve been looking for new solutions, ways to get out of your rut. It can be surprisingly difficult to figure out what you need. It can take a lot of trial and error. You might not arrive there instinctually.

To illustrate this point: I recently realized that a lot of my problems with exhaustion, insomnia, and lack of focus were coming from not eating enough. I started using a cronometer, and realized that during those times I was resilient, felt better and slept better was when I was getting more calories. If I get under 2500, I’m going to have trouble concentrating.

My friend who recovered from anorexia helped me figure this out. I told her I was getting 2100 calories, and she said that would not be enough for her to think clearly or to socialize, barely enough calories to sleep, and certainly not enough calories to work out. I started focusing on trying to eat more, and I found that all these things became easier. It’s not my instinct to eat more, but I need to do it. This is the beauty of having outside voices assist with self-care. Friends can help you see different solutions.

Wishing you a vibrant flow of self-awareness and creativity.

All the Best,

Jolie Holland