There Are No Creative Blocks

September, 2017



I am a shamanic teacher, painter and author. In this article I am going to explain why, viewed from a shamanic perspective, there is no such thing as a creative block.

This may sound a bit controversial or flippant as creative blocks can feel very real to people who are on deadline for a book, article, film or other creation. For that reason I will start by acknowledging just how soul destroying such times are, when the flow appears to dry up. If you are self-employed this may also mean that your income dries up. In its most severe form it can bring on depression. (I am not a complete monster and I spent years doing shamanic healing sessions with a focus on helping people access their creativity. Before you start sending me hate mail: I DO UNDERSTAND!!)

The thing is that many people love being creative without ever reflecting on where this “flow” originates. Before I undertook intensive training in shamanism I had a vague idea that I had a very lively imagination (I was painting and writing already in childhood) and that the creative flow originated in some mysterious part of my own brain/mind/psyche/imagination.

I have experienced plenty of struggles in my life – due to my “hyperactive imagination” I have a hard time simply falling asleep at night – everything has its downside!! However, one thing I have never experienced is creative block. Full stop. I may have times where painting is not going well but then I switch to writing, poetry, film making or making music.

When shamanism found me and called me, the first few introduction courses made me feel like someone had held a shotgun to my head and blown off the back of my head. Suddenly my imagination was the whole cosmos, stretched across all worlds, including other worlds, the spirit world. The only word for this is revelation! I discovered that the beings I had given form and colour on canvas were not just imaginary, they were spirit allies, otherworld inhabitants, divine beings, who had come forward to work with me and others.

I discovered that inspiration flows through us but does not necessarily originate with us. The key principle in shamanism is hollowing out, becoming a hollow bone for spirit. Once we do so, we are in flow (if perhaps not the exact flow we were planning without conscious mind, but FLOW!) For me that flow is creativity.

At that point my relationship to my own paintings changed completely. In the “regular art world” artists often judge their worldly success by the number of painting sales. Now I do sell paintings – there is a steady flow of them leaving my studio – but the moment you realise that your paintings are powerful beings given a home/body/physical presence on canvas – you can’t just sell them to anyone who asks. Some tough experiences and wild rides have taught me consult the spirit of the painting about where it wants to live – not just sell it to the first person who expresses interest. This has also meant I am sometimes giving paintings away following a dream or message from spirit that instructs me in no uncertain terms that a specific painting was to help a person in their lives.

Decades of daily encounters with creativity have taught me that the creative flow ultimately originates elsewhere – it ultimately connects to the very Heart of Creation itself. It certainly passes through our imagination and the filter of our own experiences/memories/talents but it is a trans-personal force. The creative force is closely related to Life Force and Spirit. – This also means we need to re-think any egoic attachments to what we create, arrive at a more humble attitude. These days I use phrases like “received from spirit” more often and more comfortably than I CREATE….

When blocks in creativity occur a number of things might be going on:

– We may be too focussed on the “ownership of the creative flow” and it not flowing the way our conscious mind wants. The moment we step back and open ourselves to whatever desires to take form – the block dissolves pretty quickly.

– We do not distinguish between internal and external creativity. Meaning that people easily see the outward expression of creativity: paintings, architecture, book, music, films etc. But there is also internal creativity: some people have an amazing talent for problem-solving, for giving creative legal advice, for turning a very dense and complex text into a lucid summary others can actually absorb Surgeons may display great creativity in the way their operate and sew up wounds (minimizing discomfort recovery time for the patient – and so forth! Rather than saying “I am not creative” ask yourself : “What is my unique area of creativity?!” It could be giving other people relationship advice, it could be having conversation with young children that they will remember long after you yourself die….

– Everything that exists in the human and earthly realm has a beginning, middle and end. We cannot escape death and endings. They give events meaning. We do not have “forever” to do things or get them right – we have only the NOW. Often people get into creative blocks (or even depressive states) when they are not willing to surrender to symbolic death and dark nights of the soul. Sometimes it is Autumn, not Spring, even in our personal or internal lives. Sometimes we need Cave Time and Darkness, not light. Sometimes we need to be calmed so something can gestate. The moment we can surrender to this process it takes on a movement of its own and one day people will move “out of the tunnel”. Fighting and resisting the process can stall it – meaning remaining stuck in the tunnel for prolonged amount of time.

I could go on and on – and then this would turn into a book! (Maybe one day I will write that book – but I am busy writing a book about Sacred just now). If you would like to know more and also hear other people (shamans, artists, entrepreneurs and experts in different fields) speaking about harnessing creative power, I invite you all to register for the following

FREE Summit


with Gunhild Lorenzen

Learn To Cultivate Your Creative Genius, Deepen Your Courage, Find Your Confidence and Blissful Passion!

I also invite you to check out the following

FREE class


See you there!

Imelda Almqvist, 23 August 2017, London UK


About the author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally. 

For her courses in Norse Shamanism (in both Europe and soon coming to the USA as well) please visit the following webpages




Perthro’s Pronouncements

November, 2011

Conflicts: do the gods and goddesses have them, and how do they deal with it?

Today I’d like to explore a topic that’s been on my mind of late, for no particular reason. If you’ve read my earlier articles, you know I see the gods a bit differently than most, not as above us, but being made of energy, without a “location” in the cosmos, they are literally everywhere, but also nowhere. Having an infinite existence, in space and time, must make for quite a life. But do they occasionally have conflicts with those of their own kind? If so, how would they resolve them?

The very nature of their existence, at least in my mind, means that they are in constant “contact” with each other, mentally and even perhaps physically, if there is such a thing for energy beings. I’d like to think that they truly live in an environment of complete and total love, as you often hear them speak about, as if there is no other emotion. It’s pretty clear to me from all the stories I’ve heard about them that this is in fact the case, I mean how else could a race exist in such a way, in constant and total contact with one another, if they could feel anything else?

Imagine if we humans lived like the gods do. Always in constant and total contact with every other person on the planet, where we could feel and perceive everything they do, all the time. In that case, there would be no loneliness, no feeling of being alone, no way to be angry at anyone, or sad, or jealous. Everyone would be aware of everyone else’s thoughts, and perceptions, and I imagine that there would be nothing to ever get upset about, since that’s one limitation of being human…we don’t really know how anyone else feels or what they are thinking. So we start to assume things, we get scared that someone else might be getting a better deal, or that they have ulterior motives, or that they don’t love us. That’s where all the negative emotions come in, when we’re not sure. If we knew exactly how they were thinking though, none of that would be an issue. I believe most conflicts start with us making assumptions about another person, because we can’t put ourselves in their shoes, and see things the way they do. But the gods can, and so therefore, there is no conflict, because they are intimately aware of every thought.

It’s a really long stretch for the human mind to comprehend how that could even work. It would seem to preclude any sense of individuality, with all those thoughts being present in one’s mind. How in the world could you ever feel like you were “yourself”?

But maybe that’s the key. To be at one with all of creation, and everything in it, allows one to rise above all the things that keep we humans fighting amongst ourselves. When there is no desire for material gain, when there is no drive to own precious gems, or own a particular plot of land on a relatively small planet, then a lot of things that cause us to fight would simply no longer matter. Humans can only perceive a small portion of reality, this physical existence prevents us from seeing much more, but maybe this type of existence, as we live multiple lifetimes, helps us to learn how to perceive the true nature of love, and what it really is. We couldn’t learn that if we were born into it, we would already know it, but only by association, not by personal experience, which is why I believe that’s what we are here to do, to learn how to see the cosmos as our “gods” do.

It’s a long process to be sure, learning about the cosmos, and how to really “see” it. Sure, we can see it with our physical eyes, but there is so much more that can only be described as a feeling, or a thought. Energy is everywhere, and it has a consciousness. A huge, universal consciousness that encompasses everything, and every single being that exists in it is part of it. To be born of that energy, and to be aware of it, is indeed a precious gift.

My mind is always working, trying to comprehend the nature of the cosmos, even though I know there’s no way I can possibly understand it all. I’m like the rest of humanity, we like instant gratification, but to truly understand something that big, it takes many lifetimes of learning. We must first understand what we are, and learn about the possibilities and extremes of emotion, all of which are just part of the love of the universe. I wish I had words to adequately describe the process, but there again, I am only human, and thus far, I have only scratched the surface of what that process might be. I’d like to think that to understand love, the saying “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” rings true.

I’d really like to see what it’s like for the gods. I have no idea if they have conflicts or not, but I’d like to think that they don’t. I’d like to think that one day we humans will have the opportunity to see and perceive the universe as they do. But it’s not time yet, not for this human anyway, I’m still on my path, my journey, and the conflicts in my own life are teaching me a great deal along the way. And I think that’s how it should be.