Welcome to my blog series “From the inbox” where we tackle those mindsets and
issues that hold us back and keep us from living creatively. Enjoy!
“I like your art. I wish I could create something….
but I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”
Hi there, dear friend!
A couple weeks ago, we took a deep dive into jumpstarting your creative energies through of a fun A though G alphabetical approach. I meant to get part 2 out earlier, but I’ve been busy interviewing artists for my new series, Artists Chat. Also last week, I announced that XOXOX Art Studio is officially it’s own business. Yay!
While I was busy with these things, though, I was still thinking about you and that you don’t think you are creative. In that spirit – I continue on with my alphabetical approach and present insights H-L on how to jumpstart your creativity and deepen your creative engagement.
Now, let’s JUMP in….
HONOR the call and HONE your skills through daily practice
Previously, I encouraged you to become aware of what kinds of art attracts you by gathering images/poems/writing/music that resonates with you. Encouraged you to create an “Inspiration List.” Hopefully you got yourself a note or sketch book, a pen, and taken this step. Let’s look back to those things that inspire you. This inspiration is the call. Today, let’s HONOR the call by committing ourselves to a daily practice to HONE in on a particular creative skill.
Whether you have 15 minutes a day, or infinite time, let’s begin by setting aside a designated time of day for creative exercise. Find a time when you feel really charged – for me that’s often early in the morning – before sunrise and breakfast.
It can be a little scary and intimidating to begin something for the first time or drop back into a practice we’ve let go. Yet, it can be so fun and exciting as well.
Most arts are at the heart 5% genius to 95% practice. Like exercise tones the muscles in the body, you need time to build up the creativity muscles that you’ve let go of in pursuit of other things.
A friend of mine was telling me how she always felt she was a writer, but put aside that inclination to raise a family and start a business. She’s recently started writing again and finding that creative outlet has been transformative. She’s feeling the call again and HONORING it. She’s finding time now to write poetry and has start to blog for her business.
Let’s go for it!
Keep INSPIRING yourself
You are your highest inspiration! What do I mean by that?
Let’s look at your “Inspiration List.” What has influence you as we started this exercise together?
My list is pretty long these days – I feel I’m drawing from a deep, deep well of creative energies and influences, and these are guiding me and helping me hone in on my own talents and abilities. If I were to compare my list with a friend though, I know our lists will be completely different.
The creative consumables – the people, the books, the media – INSPIRE me because “I am me.” I might exchange lists with my friend, but I already know that her inspirations will be her own. What inspires us is dependent on those things that are unique to us – our experiences, our personality, our circumstances, etc…
The creative journey is personal and unique to each one of us. What inspires us is really coming from a deep reserve within us. Our external inspiration and influences is simply a reflection of what’s already there to begin with. There’s nothing more inspiring than tapping into those energies and finding creative strength you didn’t know you had. What is more inspiring to you than building confidence in your creative voice and journeying to places beyond where you are at now?
JOIN like-minded friends on the journey
Finding your tribe is a joyful process. Connecting with like-minded people who cherish the arts and creativity as much as you do – can really propel you further and faster on the journey than you could imagine. Friends, cohorts, and fellow journeyers help you stay true to your creative spirit. Finding true kindred spirits lead to blessing and rewards beyond compare.
Where to find and JOIN like-minded people?
Maybe you can find them on social media groups, book study groups, etc…if someone inspires you, let them know. Try to connect. Not all people will connect with you, but when they do, it’s fantastic. I recently had an hour long conversation with an inspiring content creator on Youtube. We were complete strangers, but I reached out, said “You’ve inspired me. Can we meet?” Graciously he said “yes.” And it was a fun conversation.
Fear can hold us back from making connections, yet when we master the fear, we become deeper human beings. Creativity is found in that depth and enhances our life, passions, , and relationships, in the process.
We don’t all have to chase after strangers though. Might I suggest mining your already established contacts? Chances are you know someone already who’s using creativity as a power of good in the world. If so, let them know that they inspire you. Ask them for a Zoom date – or if local a socially distanced coffee or walk. Ask them about their creativity, their process, and their art – people love talking about themselves when given a chance.
Once you find an in – a friendship and kindred spirit is born. And who knows….maybe you even have a future collaborator?
KEEP creating when you feel like giving up
In the movie, The NeverEnding Story, there’s a heartbreaking scene where the horse Artrax loses his life in the Swamp of Possibilities after losing his will to continue on an ardous path. This move scene is a painful metaphor for the creative journey. We can’t give up – we will lose so much if we do.
Creativity is a life-giving force. It’s in our DNA as human beings. Outside of pure forces of nature, everything we have, everything we owns, consume, and depend on is powered by human ingenuity. Without this force in our life, we never would have evolved as a species.
Not all creative energies are creating equally though. Some are powered by fear, anger, hatred and deep disregard for life.
Tapping into and powering your own creative spirit is essential for discerning the good from the bad. If you are truly in tune with your own creativity, drawing deep from that well, you find joy. You find goodness. You become too busy to hate and be caught up in the forces that divide. I truly believe that the arts and creativity are necessary to heal the soul of our communities. Your creativity is powerful and needed in this divided world.
We must KEEP creating even when it’s most hard. The world needs us.
LISTEN out for positive feedback – ignore negativity
Studies show that for every negative interaction we have – we need 5 to 7 positive interactions to counterbalance the effects of the negative. That is the power that negativity has on the human spirit. It is perhaps the biggest reasons we don’t invest in our own creative endeavors. We have absorbed negative feedback about who we are, and it’s difficult to change our mindsets away from it.
In this regard, we need to start paying conscious attention to the positivity that’s in our mind and around us. It’s easy to fall into negative trappings. How often do we have negative feelings toward ourselves, our loved ones, members of our community, others in our world? What would we, our family, our community, our world look like if we were engaged more creatively with one another in a spirit of positivity?
We can begin tapping into positivity simply by listening out for it. Maybe someone cuts you off in the grocery store and you start to get angry? Make it a point to consciously ignore the negative thoughts. Find something to say to that person that’s productive and positive. “Hi, I like your shoes.” Small steps like this not only bring a smile to the person who cut you off… but begins to change how perceive the world and your place in it.
Cultivating positivity, giving positive feedback helps you to receive positive energies, and helps feed your creative spirit. Really it does. Try it and see.
Until next time!
Feel free to leave a message in the comment section, or on my facebook page, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up for a free 30 minute creativity consultation HERE.
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