I know that lots of people are into hacks such to boost motivation, and I’m all for a good tip to get the energy flowing. In fact, I collect them, because one never knows when the bit of enchantment will break open the universe in terms of creating clarity.
These boosts are always welcome, but there are times when they’re not going to work to bring you to the great big idea, the next project, the next steps in whatever you’re doing.
We all have a creative process. Our process works with our energy, our paradigm, or dreams and our life in a very core way.
Not all of the process is jumping for joy and plowing through manuscripts and making giant leaps every day. And, when it’s not, it’s tempting in our world of “go, go, go!” to think that we’re suddenly blocked, cursed, cosmically at a standstill
Then, it’s easy to corrupt the process by judging ourselves, bemoaning the muses and good fortune that hasn’t arrived, to get off track, to start pushing through when there’s nothing to push…
At the end of all this, it’s also easy to decide that being creative is just not for you.
But it’s everything. And it is for you.
Fall in love with your creative process and you’ll shephard your whole life to expand.
My ideas have always been alien-like to people around me for as long as I could remember. I never really doubted my own view of reality, but I wondered where and how I’d ever find a place for them. In academics, I was always richly rewarded but limited because, you know, I like making things and mixing it up and Stanford wasn’t too thrilled about my proposal to study male supermodels, so my future seemed a bit stifled.
(Yes, it was a real academic idea!)
In life outside of school, I had no clue what to do so I defaulted to seeing what everyone else was doing to make money, to pick a “career” and feel compelled to do more of that, too, just to survive.
Talk about taking your creative process and smashing it to bits. It’s very hard to flourish and be a “success” when you’re doing things you don’t want to do!
It’s also really hard to have those big breakthroughs when you’re not honoring your creative practice.
My real creative process is level ten and then level zero. It was told and shown a lot from an early age that this made me lazy, not focused, not serious, not “wired” for success.
When I fought against it, I burned out, I became watered down, I had no idea what I was doing, and everything pretty much sucked.
Your creative process may be very different from the people around you.
Lately, my ideas, projects and plans have gone to a place far beyond where I thought they’d lead me. All these years of working with incredible people and spaces around the world and living, learning, experiencing energy and art in ways I have never done before it’s all snowballed into a whole different practice than I started with.
That creative process of mine, though, is still as it always was. I revel in Level 10 full on making and creating and then I need Level 1 rest. As much as I value balance and find it in many ways personally, creatively this is how things go for me.
And, I judged myself for it.
Tried to force it. Went off on wrong paths in frustration and impatience.
Are you judging yourself for how you work best? Your afternoon naps? Your adventures? Your methods?
I had the great honor of listening to two creative icons speak last night in Los Angeles. Listening to Lorna Simpson and Thelma Golden dive into the art of art making, the inspiration behind iconic artworks, the ways of seeing the world as an artist, and oh so much about Lorna’s epic work
I can still hardly sit still. Every cell in my body was clapping and cheering.
To say I’m grateful for the experience just scratches the surface.
Beyond learning so much and being so deeply inspired to learn more about the work of my idols, it was a cosmic moment.
It was a lightning bolt of confirmation listening to this conversation that 1. I am an artist and 2. I need to give myself even more permission to honor my process.
And so, to pay this message forward:
- You are an artist.
- Give yourself permission to honor your creative process.
No matter what your chosen career or vocation at the moment, you are a creative being.
That love of life we all want to feel is a product of letting that creative fire be free. It translates into your relationships, your days, your thoughts, your body, your wealth, your home everything!!!
You are an artist. Believe in your unique ways of seeing the world and exploring your interests and gifts.
You’re also not going to be “on fire” every single moment of every day.
Honor the whole process.
I’m not suggesting you sink into a hole of deep creative blocks and not take action to shake them off. I am suggesting that you allow it to be OK if you write best at 4:00am, have breakthroughs while you do what some people think is “weird” spiritual practice or energy work do your best work in coffee shops, perfer to create in a wave and then rest for a while or anything else. I’ve been all of those things. You likely are a lot of your own things.
That rhythm makes you, like a pulse, stay tuned to the frequencies of your inspiration. If you’re not getting a clear signal, don’t change the channel and try to tune into someone elses channel. Don’t wish to be like someone else.
Instead create an environment with better reception to your frequencies!!!
Fill your home with things that make it easier to stay in your rhythm.
I have, always, the perfect tea for the early morning and an electric kettle because at 4 or 5 in the morning I’d forget to shut off a pot!
My shelves are full of books that give me what I need when I need it, and my bathroom gets loaded with books because I read most in the bath. Or at the beach, alone.
I have drawers of art supplies and giant sketchpads because I sometimes need to draw and color and write a plan or an idea or anything else ten or twenty times before it feels complete.
This is just a bit of how I seed my home with the love I need to honor my ways of living. I’m not the person who shuts off the pot. I’m also not the person who types out an action plan. I am also really not someone who likes to read in a chair.
And I’ve tried to be. I’ve tried to be a lot of what, at my core, I am not.
Be more of your brilliant self by honoring instead of judging your process. By allowing instead of suppressing it. By owning those ideas instead of trying to distill them down into something that feels more “normal” for people around you.
My friend has been trying to get me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, the classic film, in a theater for the impact. All those sci-fi movies that were so wild when they appeared are now the life we live.
Be who you are. It’s wildly powerful.
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