I’ve been thinking a lot about capillary action. I remember learning about it in High School and for whatever reason, the concept was one of the ones that stuck with me.
Capillary action is the ability for a liquid to flow upward, against gravity, without an outside force propelling it. The reason this can happen is because the container it’s flowing up is small enough that the liquid adheres to the edges and tension allows it to crawl upwards. We’ve seen this happen when paint goes up the fibers of a paintbrush or when water moves from the roots to the leaves of plants.
Although a science concept, we can use it when we feel creatively blocked, when we have deadlines, or when we are just looking to create flow.
Taking capillary action as a metaphor, the liquid can be seen as creative energy. It’s the energy that is part of us and also connects us to all things.
The capillary container is the space we create to get our work done, to find clarity and inspiration.When we set intention, creative energy builds and surfaces.Click To Tweet
Recreating capillary action, or the surfacing of ideas, can come down to four steps:
One: Get clear on the question you are asking, the solution you are seeking, or the outcome you are wanting.
This sets an intention that’s foundational for what’s to come forward.
Two: Get clear on the container you are going to create.
We set the container by creating space.
Maybe for you, it’s journaling for 20 minutes, or sitting in meditation for 15, or taking a walk in nature for an hour. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be complicated, rather it’s about getting intentional with your time.
Three: Sit with your intention.
When in this space, trust what comes up as part of the solution. The idea that pops up that feels like a distraction, the memory that comes to mind that needs processing, the bird that crosses your path–explore what messages these may hold.
When we are given an inspired idea we are also given what it takes to implement and bring it forward. Our job is to allow for a creative solution to come.
Four: Start writing.
Take notes, record what came up for you, or whatever is alive in the moment. Allow the process to guide you. You are naturally going to be in a more open and receptive place, enjoy and relax into it.
For example, this article came into being as I was playing with the idea of capillary action. I had no clue what direction I would go with it. Rather I just had an instinct to follow the idea. We don’t always have to have it all figured out and sometimes the most surprising ideas end up being our favorite to express.
We always have access to us an abundance of creative potential. It’s what keeps our blood moving through our veins. It’s what heals and relaxes us when we need to settle. It’s what connects us to our ancestors, our dreams, our personal and collective psyches. Trust that there are natural processes working in your favor.
Our work is to recognize the magic of who we are and create space to let it emerge.
It’s allowing for this emergence that can shift everything and bring about the words that you’ve needed to write all along.
Free Guide: How to Access Creative Flow
In this guide you'll learn the 4 principles (and corresponding exercises) to get in a flow state every time you write.