The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.  ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I really enjoy writing.  I particularly enjoy writing when my flow of thoughts streams forward like a waterfall over rocks.

But like a beaver building a dam, there are times that flow stops.  I sit without a single drop of inspiration.

“I am blank” is an accurate way to describe these moments.

I have often heard others use the phrase “I am blank” in similar ways.  It’s a way to indicate “I have no ideas” or “I don’t know what to do next” or a similar expression of feeling completely and totally stuck.  In other words, the meaning is “I got nothing” and is accompanied by a knot in the stomach that says, “….and here I’ll stay.”

When used in this way, one will be exactly that:  stuck.  When this happens, procrastination and distraction aren’t far behind.   Because if you believe you’re stuck and have no ideas then your behaviors will reflect that.  By default, you aren’t able to take any effective action steps because you have nothing on which to base them.  Remember “you got nothing.”  You can’t build action steps on “nothing.”

But what if you were to use the feeling as a way to kick start yourself instead?

The word “blank” can also denote having a blank slate, an empty canvas; or a place to have a fresh start.   It can mean opportunity.

A blank slate is a place to begin drawing your ideas.

Rather than allowing yourself to drown in the frustration of thinking you’re stuck, choose instead to take a deep breath and close your eyes.  Visualize a blank canvas.  Yes, mentally see a white slate.  Then see yourself preparing to draw.  What are you creating?  What are you doing in this scene?   Allow yourself to stay in this place until clarity begins to arrive bringing new ideas.

Blank is only a defeating place when you choose to stay there.  Blank is an awesome place when you shift your perspective and see yourself as the artist creating your next steps.

Sometimes when I have a sense of being “blank” I go for a walk in the woods; go for drive; or read something that inspires me.

Other times, I sit very quiet and still and I see my own blank slate.  But it doesn’t stay blank for long.  And that’s the wonder of it all.  There’s a universe of ideas waiting to float into my mind – and yours.  But first, we each must create the opening.

Sometimes it’s in the embracing of the nothing that you discover the something you seek.