In order to truly thrive as an artist, your quest is to playfully engage your Younger Self on a regular basis. But how do you accomplish that in the course of your very full daily life?
This is something I’ve been exploring in my personal and professional life for more than two decades. Over the course of that time, I’ve made some discoveries that helped me – and my readers and clients – to make play (and thus, deeper access to creativity) a priority.
Here are the basic building blocks to becoming a Thriving Artist – no matter what your day job happens to be:
Create the container. It might sound boring, scary, or restrictive, but the best way to thrive and play is to schedule time for it into your days. You’re not getting your play time now, so what have you got to lose? Schedule time in the upcoming week. Put it in your calendar, set reminders on your phone – do whatever you need to do to prioritize it. Treat it like you would a medical appointment or a promise to help a friend move. That’s the solid container – and the cool thing is, you get to let the contents be whatever they will. This is time for YOU – to play, to create, to think, or even to take a nap, if that’s what you need most.
Set the scene. As we talked about last time, Younger Self adores beauty and pleasing the senses. Choose a place where you’ll work your creative magick. You don’t have to have a room of your own in order to begin. It might be your favorite comfy chair, a spot at the kitchen table, or a meditation cushion on the floor. Now beautify your space, thinking of Younger Self. Add a candle, some crystals or beach rocks, a vase of pussy willows. Pick out some music you’ll listen to during your sacred time. Prepare the materials you’ll want for your creative time, from journal and pen to canvas and paints to woodcarving tools to Lego blocks.
Make it fun. Forced creativity quickly becomes boring and stilted. When you’re in your sacred container, do things that you want to do, in that moment. You might have decided to write a poem, but Younger Self would rather hula-hoop. Follow her lead. The idea is to let your creativity flow, and to be playful with it. Don’t let Talking Self dictate the terms of your creative time. Allow all parts of yourself to come into alignment and collaborate.
Be consistent. A solid container for your creative practice means being consistent. Schedule time each week, and honor that commitment. Jump back in when you wander off – which you will. We creative types are merry souls who often get distracted. There’s no need to berate yourself about it. When you notice you’ve stopped doing your creative practice, begin again.
Be kind to yourself. Playfulness and judgment don’t mix well. If you hear Talking Self say, “I’m not playing the right way, or fully enough. My creative time is being wasted,” gently redirect yourself. Ask Younger Self what she’d most love to play today, and do that. Be forgiving. You’re re-learning a skill that you might not have accessed since childhood. Go easy.
Trust the process. You might begin this work of play because you want to be a Thriving Artist, you’ve always wanted to write a book, or you’re longing for more fun in your daily grind. Over time, your intention will expand. Your creative practice will ripple outward into your life in unexpected ways. You could start out wanting to paint your masterpiece and wind up creating a series of graphic novels. You might play for a year and have no tangible creation to show others. That doesn’t matter. Creativity is a portal to deep connection with your Source. You never know where this quest will take you. Have faith that your Deep Self knows the way.
Grow and evolve. Your creativity will shift and change over time. That’s completely normal. This means that your container, your arts, and your attitudes will also change. Allow it. As long as you’re taking regular time to play and get aligned, you’re doing it right. Open your heart and mind to your unique journey as a Thriving Artist.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to begin today. Start with some baby steps – put a half-hour of creative time in your calendar, purchase or re-purpose a candle to burn each time you create, write an intention (perhaps in the form of a haiku!) for your creative work – you get the idea.
Start small enough that you won’t be able to talk yourself out of it. When you begin, you’re shifting your energy toward your ultimate success. That type of inspired action will be supported by the Universe.
Next time, we’ll talk about how to best access that support to propel yourself toward your deepest desires and life’s purpose. (You know, nothing big, just some small talk between friends. Heh heh.)
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your baby steps and your results. Comment below or sign up for my mailing list so we can keep in touch!