Are you stuck right now? I have been stuck many times, and since I’m a DOER I’ve always struggled and fought against the condition. It happens when I don’t have clarity of where I’m going.
It’s ok to be stuck. Actually, invite the sucker in and sit with it for a while, fix it some tea, and see what it has to say. Stuck came to me like a brick wall, and I sat by the wall and asked what it needed to be happy.
Security, safety, it said. I don’t want to change; it’s too risky.
To get unstuck involves change.
If you have an idea what you want to do, but stop yourself before you even get started, you have fear. My brick wall was solid fear, but when I accepted it, relaxed into it, and had the conversation over tea, it released somewhat. It became more reasonable.
Embrace the fear, allow it a voice, and see how you can accommodate it and watch it melt away. Make a friend of fear, and know it’s not the end of the world.
When you are struggling and trying to break through with force, you’ll only get more stuck.
Making friends, relaxing, allowing, embracing all of you in a caring manner is the way to release the resistance.
Stuck no more!
It might take a few tries, a few conversations with your fear, but after a while it will melt away, and the path forward gets clearer every day.
I have been painting quite a lot lately. Here are some pictures of my latest art.
Lots of soft shades of blue and turquoise. I’m really into those colors lately.
I have a sale right now in my two etsy shops. 20% off everything until midnight Sunday November 27. EARTH AND FAERY and GREENE EARTH ORIGINALS. The above paintings are for sale in the last etsy link. Christmas is coming…
I wish you all sorts of great creativity in the coming week!
Creativity on fire, do you feel it, or do you feel stuck most of the time?
Creativity has become a big deal these days. The word is thrown around all over Facebook and other social media. What is creativity? I like how Wiki defines creativity:
Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention a literary work or a painting).
In other words, it’s not just artsy stuff. I’m into artsy stuff and self development. Creative ideas can be very helpful in both.
The problem with art is that we tend to copy each other, or paint in the style that is popular now. The artists we admire have forged their own path of creativity and that’s why they are leaders.
Forging your own path can be quite difficult and challenging, especially if you’re prone to criticize yourself and your work. It is always easier to copy others.
However, all the art looks the same, and part of us approve that we follow the trend, but another part says “wait a minute” that painting is not ME.
The only way to keep creativity on fire is to explore your inner landscape, to discover more and more of who you are and how you express. That means to listen to your intuition and step lightly and slowly in a world that runs at warp speed. Are you willing to truly go deep an explore or are you just having fun copying others or the teacher of the moment?
Every moment that feels authentic has another moment following, and to keep authentic we have to listen for that moment and what it presents. It might not present anything, and then we get frustrated.
I do this all the time. I override my better deeper judgment and paint something I already know, usually something cute. As you know, cute is IN, so you can’t go wrong with cute and whimsical.
However, the practice makes me frustrated and I get stopped in my tracks. That’s no way to feel around creativity. I want to feel fresh and inspired, “on fire.”
Maybe the hardest thing is to stay present and listening, and not bulling through to the finished product.
I have a FREE mini ecourse where art-ing in the moment can be explored. Check this out: Ugly Is Ok!
Join my Facebook group and share your work if you like. HERE.
Cheerio, and happy creating. Find the fire within!
Procrastination never served anyone. (I have a hard time spelling that word anyway.)
The word totally resonates with non-action through its complex spelling. To me, it suggests monkeys jumping through hoops for no reason whatsoever, or being stuck in place.
Wiki’s interpretation of the word: Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.
What is your favorite tool for procrastination? Mine is laying jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. I could spend all day doing puzzles, but I blushed just telling you what my fave “wasting time” tool is. Today, I’ve laid three puzzles so far, but in my defense I did some important yard work, WHICH DID NOT MOVE MY BUSINESS FORWARD. The excuse afterwards: I’m too tired now to do anything but lay puzzles.
Then I get furious with myself since I have a list an arm long to take care of. By the way, I teach people how to get out of a slump / stuckness, and avoid procrastination…. (with art.) Yeah, for real. I guess it makes me human, and all I have to do is take charge and get going (even if I don’t). It does become easier the more I exercise the anti-procrastination muscle.
And what is that muscle? I have lived by my Dad’s words for many years, and they work remarkably well. “If you have an unpleasant task ahead of you, do it right away so that you don’t have to think about it any more.”
Words of wisdom! In other words, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Chopping off bite size pieces of “things-to-do” works very well too. Take your list and denote how many hours or minutes you will work on each task every day, and then do it. It’s no different than exercising, really. Many tasks in life are not fun or pleasurable, but they have to get done or weigh you down more every day.
I do have a stubborn streak and I avoid my better sense many times, but at the end of the day, who suffers? Not the cat, that’s for sure. I feel like crap for betraying my own trust, and that ought to be a lesson in itself, but there is that strange stubborn streak sneaking up daily if I don’t watch out.
Psychologists say that fear produces procrastination, and that is true, but when I’m not afraid of the tasks, why put them off?? It’s a bad habit and the constant struggle against the internal nay-sayer.
Time is just going faster than it used to… hehe.
So what do you do to combat this daily beast if you don’t possess magic? Do the tasks anyway. That’s where a schedule can be helpful, and the discipline and promise to myself that I will do things that support myself and my dream.
The turtle wins the race. Just do a little bit at a time. It will get the work done. All I know, the monster will not go away so it needs to be trained to within an inch of its life. It sits when you say “sit!” Same with fear. If we let fear rule our life, we would never get anything done or go anywhere.
A gentle stretching of that fear moves us forward. That is a promise. If procrastination bugs you, you might be standing before a major breakthrough. Isn’t that an exciting thought??
Kick this to the curb if you have one… NOW!
On that note, I did get this blog post written after I got up from the recliner. It was a choice.
P.S. Check out my art e-courses HERE. I also do one-on-one coaching. Click on the link in the menu at the top of this page. Have a great productive day–every day!
“What fires you up?” I asked a friend of mine, and she said she didn’t know. I have encountered that many times on my path and I find it sad.
Are we as people so programmed, so CONVINCED there is no other way than to stay in the fold where education or happenstance landed us in life. We have to think about 401Ks, retirement funds, insurance, and basically manage our lives to a point where there is no memory of what we would like to do instead of working 9-5. Don’t take me wrong; many people like their jobs, so there is nothing wrong with that. We have to do something to be productive in life. However, there is a lot of drugs and alcohol to deafen the pain inside that comes from living a “canned” life. We are not here to be victims!
I used to do psychic readings and saw that problem A LOT, the pain of conforming to society. I would point it out, but I also knew that the person would never DARE to step out of the box. To me, that is utterly sad. All of the reasons I described above, the need for control and security in life override any soul urges. Those soul cries are squashed down and ignored to the detriment of our health and happiness.
One way to get deeper in touch with your soul is through art. Anyone who has liked to dabble with crayons or paints as a child is closer to accepting that fact, but anyone who has never tried making art is also capable of creating art that brings up the needs of the soul. It’s is a therapy as well as a joy!
Art can free you to look objectively at what lies underneath, gain a greater understanding, and inspire you to start follow those urges inside that truly make a difference in life. I KNOW that art is a great bridge between the humdrum and soul destroying to an awakened state of understanding. If you follow that path, you have the chance to liberate yourself and truly live from your own inner wisdom, create the life that you really want to live.
Even if you’re clueless as to what that would be like, it’s time to start somewhere, to explore the possibilities of who your are and what your unique gifts to the world are.
I have created a mixed media art journaling course, Art Journaling Journey, that helps to open up your creative side, and hopefully inspire you to continue to express through art. At the least you will have some answers of what is going on and where to head next.
My claim is: everyone is an artist.
You might not be called to work as an artist, but art is still a wonderful tool with which to excavate your soul needs.
If you want to know more, please click on the link. I have an early bird price going until February 23, and the course starts on March 1 and goes for four weeks. Art Journaling Journey.
When inspiration fails what do you do? I get that question a lot as an artist, and I can tell you the muse is often fickle, but one thing I have learned: you are not a slave to the muse! Maybe everything flows more smoothly with the muse on hand to pave a rosy path, but when all you can see is a creative desert ahead, what do you do? To get to the other side, you have to walk through the desert, or do you? I don’t believe in that but the challenge would certainly give you stamina and stick-to-it-iveness. However, art is not something we do in survival mode but more like following an easy stream.
Here are a couple of things I do when the muse refuses to be part of my life:
Take a walk. Yes, it’s a great way to shake off the cobwebs and take in new inspiration. The colors and shapes are great for new ideas. Walks are always good for general problem solving as well.
Look at art books. The classics and more modern artists are always inspiring. Through the pages I can absorb the energy of their work and find myself eager to try something new on my canvas. Nothing wrong with copying elements and then make them your own.
Get out of the studio and meet a friend. Lunch out is one of the world’s greatest pleasures, and if you have a good friend that does not annoy you by talking incessantly about themselves, it’s a BONUS.
If you live in a city, go to an art museum. This falls in the same category as looking at art books, but it also gets you out of the studio, another BONUS.
Try kickstarting your art by gluing down bits of papers at random on the surface. Let your hand and eye coordinate and see what comes up next on the page or canvas, and then take that step, and the next, and the next. Just try something new, a new angle, and new color.
Use a color palette you rarely use. Example: if you always paint in cool colors, make yourself use only warm colors for the next project. Your sense of playing it safe will rebel, but it’s easy enough to send it packing for one piece of experimental art. Ugly is okay.
Learn a new craft. Look through some craft books at the bookstore and see if anything pulls you in. Crafting can be mindless and meditative, and you might find yourself creating a pile of cool gifts.
Let someone else paint on your canvas. Taking the pressure off the process can be very freeing.
Paint with your hands. You can really feel the paint when you use your hands. It’s a more intimate creative way to paint. If you don’t like to paint throw a handful of mixed ripped papers on your canvas and glue them down where they land. It can become the start of a whole new way of making art!
When all else fails buy some new art supplies! I think that is my favorite suggestion. I love (and my muse loves) a new art supply challenge. A shiny new box of pencils or crayons can light up your world. It does mine.
No matter what you choose to do to interrupt a creative drought, do SOMETHING. The drought is temporary. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and paint the same over and over, but it’s just as easy to challenge yourself to something new. 🙂
P.S. I have some freebie challenges on my website you can try to break the drought. CLICK HERE.
Begin anywhere and anyway; have you heard it before? I’m sure you have. I have, many times, and I’ve told myself to “just do it” many times, and I do, BUT the tendency is to always fall back to the status quo of mediocrity. I could call that laziness, but that word is like a bog of negative possibilities, all not supportive of life. The solution to this is to strengthen the muscle of resolve.
So many TV programs and self-help books are dedicated to bettering yourself in some way, like losing those 30 lbs, or becoming a better parent. We get lost in the possibilities and the result is inaction, or in my case, boredom.
Let’s talk about the muscle of resolve. When you decide to stop smoking or losing weight for instance, you must have resolve, or that busy little devil on your shoulder will soon talk you into starting the new habit tomorrow, always tomorrow.
So, any time we take on a challenge we have to face making a decision. If you want to start exercising or stop a bad habit, you make that decision. There is usually a threat involved, like bad health that propels a person into action, but not always. I have seen people with stage 4 lung cancer wheel their drip bag stand out to the smoking room at the hospital and puff away. That is what I call giving up. The little devil won.
How hard is it to make a decision? It’s hard unless you’re so fed up with status quo, or as Anthony Robbins says, “you’re in so much pain you have to change.” The old is no longer an option. It’s something to pray for. Pain is good because it forces us to change, but why go that far?
That’s where the headline of this post comes in: Begin anywhere and anyway. Say you have a dream of accomplishing something great in your life. It’s that thing that’s always bugging you at the back of your mind. A deep desire for change.
I’m appalled at how stuck we are in the ruts and routines and the FEARS of change. But if you truly want to change, to create something new for yourself, start NOW. You don’t need fancy equipment (well, you might at some point but not now,) you don’t need extra time, you don’t need a block of 2 days of me-time to get things straightened out.
All you need is to make that decision, and make it over and over when you fall of the wagon. As you keep dedicating yourself you build the resolve muscle you will have to re-make your decision. The trick to staying on the wagon is to get some excitement going about your project. It makes the decision easy every time.
Start with ONE thing to forward your dream. It could be as little as a phone call or email.
What can you do this week, Monday-Friday, to make strides? Make a short list of doable steps. Only you know what is needed. As you take small actions every day, your excitement will grow, and so will your commitment.
Then you fall off the wagon again… and again.
BUT the tool is simple. Make tiny goals each day and accomplish them, and as you follow this path, your to-do list will grow because you can see the progress, and you want to get THERE, so you delve more deeply into the dream and find more possibilities for expansion. One step can reveal a big revelation. One email can open doors to connections you only dreamed of in the past.
What do I do every day? I am an artist and writer, and those are the subjects I keep delving into every day. My morning looks like this pretty much every morning:
Cup of tea in my back yard.
Meditate to get in the flow.
Walk 20 minutes. Hot as hell sometimes in FL. I slacked with my exercise for years, but I used to be committed to keeping in shape, and I discovered that muscle memory still works! Now I’m addicted to walking.
Write 750 word in my online journal at 750words.com. I usually write more than that since writing is in my blood and I like to blog as well.
Have a green smoothie for breakfast, and after that I feel out what I want to focus on that day. It’s not always easy. The little devil will always sit there and jabber away, but he can be trained!
When I was a fulltime writer I made up my mind to write ten pages a day, and I have followed that for forever. The writing isn’t always glowing. It rarely is, but I keep going. I have no fears around showing up on the page. Crappy writing can always be fixed.
Art is a different animal altogether. That muscle has a mind of its own… I have never been able to tame it, but my challenge is to show up at the art journal page or the canvas. I can do that, but the resistance is powerful most of the time. They say to push through the resistance and I do, and I find myself happy on the other side. The other kind of resistance is the one that says “this is not good for you.” It has a different feel, like facing a brick wall. Then I listen to that, and every day has a forward flow of small positive increments.
When I fall off the wagon I get so uncomfortable in my skin that I have to get back on, or DIE, (not really, but there is no compromise.)
To accomplish something worthwhile, start tiny and grow from there. Make that decision, dedicate yourself, kick the fears to the curb, take small action steps, and soon you’ll have something new and wonderful in your life. Grow your awesome self via the muscle of resolve!!! 🙂