How can we use our creative practices to feel strong, happy, satisfied and just feel good in the world?
I make a lot of big claims about that and you know what? I stand by it. Establishing a regular creative practice or just existing in the world in a more engaged, creative, curious way, truly can add joy and passion into your everyday life.
The experience can be different for everyone, but the concepts and foundations stand true for each of us. When you really embrace a creative practice in your life, there are so many fantastic and unexpected things that come along with that. One of them is a creative community. Don't underestimate the power of like-minded people who are seeking similar things -
- more curiosity
- deep learning
- connection with others and with themselves
For me, community has been an incredible an unexpected result of really embracing and leaning into my creativity. Then there's also a deeply personal, internal piece. This is the part that you alone can experience and it has to do with becoming more grounded in yourself, knowing who you are, what you want, and what you don't want.
It's really important.
Just realizing that you have so many resources within yourself to regulate your emotions, to make better decisions, and plan your life. You'll also get better at winging it sometimes, knowing that you are capable of navigating all of that.
Language can be defined as a means of expressing thoughts or ideas. There are written and spoken languages - the one I'm using right now, and there are other types of languages. There's a narrative happening within yourself, within all of us - some of it can be articulated in words, but I think there's a huge piece of our internal lives and landscapes that don't immediately translate into our native language.
They are really hard to express that way and lose nuance. Creativity, whatever form it takes, can be used as a channel to take that forward. As you're creating, you are also learning and establishing an internal language of your own, a way for you to take the things that are inside of your head and inside of your heart, acknowledge them, become aware of them, and then translate them. These translations can be into a common, spoken, easily understood and articulated language, or in some cases, we may wish to handle them differently. You can begin to learn how your internal language and the language of creative work interact together for you. How that looks and sounds for you person. in whatever your chosen medium is.
I use various mediums - spoken and written word, art journaling, collage, painting, and mixed media artwork are all a part of my creative practice. When I first started, it was really hard and even a little awkward. That's exactly what happens when you learn ANY new language. I'm actually brushing up my Spanish right now. Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for it and think I'm not that good and then there are days when it just starts to flow. I think accessing your creative internal language is the very same. It's like a muscle. The more you use it, the more you strengthen it, the more familiar and comfortable you become with it.
It will begin to seem like just a part of you - an extension of you and your existence in this world. You'll realize that is was there the entire time, just below the surface. We all possess different types of knowledge and wisdom, and much of that gets lost because we experience stress, pressure hurrying, and the world's constant seeking to accomplish things. These lead to a dampening and quieting of our internal voice.
Creativity is an avenue toward joy, happiness, strength, and stability in the world. This isn't just an ethereal concept that I'm talking about. It's a real thing. This is huge and it's powerful. I invite you today to consider how you can begin a regular practice or deepen an existing creative practice.
Just dive in. Don't overthink it. Forget about what the art looks or sounds like and really focus on how you can attain some of those good things that we've been talking about.
Until next week, Robin xoxoxo
Hello, friend. More times than I can count, I’ve heard people say – I can’t do art and almost 100% of the time, it’s because they are intimidated by it. I speak from my own experience when I tell you that just the thought of creating something can trigger big fear and resistance. It’s perfectly normal and it makes complete sense.
Why is that? Because it’s way more complicated than just the physical actions needed to slap some paint on paper or write a song. The act of creating based on what is in your own mind and heart is incredibly personal. If I could tell you that being a creative is always easy and fun, I would but I’m committed to honesty and so I want to tell you how it really is.
Bringing something new into the world that didn’t exist before, is inherently a teeny tiny bit risky, especially in a culture in which appearance matters and it sometimes seems that critical judgement and finger pointing is the order of the day. But I want to tell you that the result of being creative is 100% worth it. And guess what? For me, the risks associated with being creative hardly ever come to fruition. Let’s talk about those risks a little. What are they?
• That someone won’t like your work
• That someone will say something critical or mean about you or your work
• That YOU won’t like what you made
These things alone aren’t necessarily bad, they just ARE – it only starts to feel bad when your emotions get involved. It's the possibility of one of these things occurring makes us feel something negative and uncomfortable. Worried, anxious, fearful, embarrassed. These are all just feelings and take my word for it, they will pass. QUICKLY! This is how emotions are meant to work – they are signals to your internal landscape but they aren’t meant to stay forever. Creative work will help you process them and allow them to move along.
Did you notice that I said the possibility of these things occurring? This means that in many cases, we're investing a lot of strong emotion is a scenario that hasn't even happened. It's a story we're telling to ourselves and we can choose to give those stories less attention and weight.
You’ll find that pushing past the barrier is easier than you think and that it gets easier each time you do it. Plus, you don’t have to share your creative work unless you want to. It can just be between you and your own self if that feels best. The whole point of doing the kind of creative work that I teach is the PROCESS of it. The reaching and diving deep. When you learn to do that, you’ll also, by default, be practicing and strengthening some the critical skills of managing your fear along with risk (real or perceived), and becoming more comfortable with who you are inside. This is the super sweet hidden gem. This is the jackpot of a prize. This alone is worth any risk, real or imagined.
You don’t need to be intimidated by creative work because there are no rules unless you create them yourself. The process or the finished product don’t need to look or be any certain way. You don’t need to share your work unless you want to. Fancy supplies are not required. You can do it for 5 minutes at a time or spend an entire afternoon. YOU MAKE THE RULES and success is only defined by your criteria. If you find yourself a little intimidated, you’ve likely assimilated someone else’s expectations. I encourage you now, today, to drop those. Write them down if you need to then crumple up that sheet of paper. Then re-write the rules and make them easy and simple. Or maybe have no rules at all!
I’m heading into the studio, which might just be under a shady tree in the backyard today. I hope you find a peaceful place to explore today. Let’s commit together that we won’t let the expectations of the world push us around this week. xoxoxoxox
Have you ever found yourself a little adrift? You are going through the motions. You're getting up in the morning. You're getting ready for the day and you're moving along.
But somewhere inside you wonder what is all this for? Are we really meant to muddle through the days, the weeks disappearing in a blur? Or maybe you've experienced a different version of this - time has slowed down. You fill your days somehow, but it's a struggle. You find yourself feeling bored and unenthusiastic. In either case why get excited? Tomorrow will just be a slightly different version of this day after day, week after week.
And you can already see how the years will pile. I believe that humans are the happiest when we feel a sense of meaning and purpose. Of course, we all have things in our lives that drive our actions - families, friends, jobs, sports yards, we need to plant tomatoes, mow the lawn - whatever your version of these daily tasks are.
These anchor points in our lives, they're GOOD. They're all compelling reasons to get up in the morning, but I've found that I actually need a spark of meaning that is personal. That's not for someone else, not undergirded with responsibility or expectation, or even given to us by someone else's expectations, but something that is all ours.
This meaning can be found in many places, including creative work. Consider your entire life as a creative project. Now that I look at my entire life as a grand creative project, I notice how engaged I am. Everything is an adventure. I am insatiably curious. I can't wait to get up in the morning started.
Of course, I still have to carry out mundane tasks, like go to the grocery store. In fact, I'm headed there right after our little chat today. But now my life is interspersed with fascinating things. Now I am more interested and dare I say, I think I'm more interesting. As an example of how this might look in practice:
I work during the day and I find that if I don't put some effort into planning meals for the week, they become haphazard and they're not as healthy or delicious as I would like so I usually do some planning for the week so far. Doesn't sound very creative. Right? In fact, I hear you. You're thinking that sounds pretty darn boring.
I know, I know, but stick with me. I planned my meals and then I compiled the shopping list to carry it out but I sought to do it in a way that was a little imaginative. I added two new meals that I haven't tried before and I'm excited to cook and eat them. A few weeks ago I tried a different version of adding creativity to grocery shopping and meal planning. I rode my bike to the market instead, and then I challenged myself to only buy what would fit in the basket, In the past, I've intentionally gone to different grocery stores, just to switch things up a little. I know these things sound small, but they aggregate over time.
The tiny differences that little changes make really do shake things up. You might have a chance conversation with a stranger that echoes with you for days that you never would've experienced had you gone to the same old grocery store and stuck with the very the same process that you always use. You might see the world - or just a little slice of the world- in an entirely different way, from a different perspective.
And that's incredible. That's a gift. So I've given you an example about grocery shopping, but this idea can be applied to anything in your life. What you read, how you spend your time, how you conduct your professional life, and even your thoughts and your relationships. I do this little experiment pretty often.
I ask myself - why do I think that about a certain belief or idea that comes up for me? And then I challenge myself to find proof or evidence that the idea is valid. Some are perfectly reasonable and stand up to scrutiny but others are flimsy. The point is, when you examine your thoughts like this, you have an opportunity to intentionally modify them.
Instead of operating on autopilot, you can choose to create new thoughts. That's an unbelievably impactful kind of creativity. It affects the way you think and the way you live your life. There is no quicker or easier path to a more meaningful life than to have an active and engaged mind. A different version of this little experiment is to question yourself about responses in conversation or in relationships.
You can do this with your children, with your spouse, with people that you work with, Before you react, do a little experiment and ask yourself, how can I respond in a way that's a little different than what I usually do. Just the act of challenging yourself to do things differently changes things imperceptively and these shifts add up to big results over time.
So we've been talking all this time and I'll bet you've noticed that I haven't yet mentioned the creativity that you've probably expected me to talk about from the get-go - painting, poetry, prose, sculpture, composing music. These creative endeavors 100% and absolutely support and feed the concept of seeking a more meaningful life.
In my opinion, creativity multiplies upon itself. Isn't that incredible? It means you can start in small ways, one tiny change at a time, and build momentum. It means you don't have to do it all or nothing. It means there is no right way to do it. What a gift! It's just yours for the taking! You can choose to seek a more creative life.
Getting started does not require money. It only requires your willingness to start. It doesn't require that you change the way you do everything or that you toss everything out and begin anew. Nope. You can go slowly. You can build confidence and experiment. One sincere warning - it is super addicting. Once you dive in, you will find that in the most wonderful way, nothing looks exactly the way it did before. It's transformative and energizing.
So let's do this together. Shall we start this week? This is my invitation to you. Shake things up in your life a little or a lot, whatever feels comfortable to you. Shift things around just a smidge to loosen something. As always, I would love to hear how this goes for you. You're welcome to drop me a line.
If you're a really brave soul and you want to start a creative project, bravo, sweet friend! Working on art is pure magic. It can connect your head, your heart, and your body. Go here if you'd like a free resource to help you figure out how to begin to create and thank you for spending some time with me today. I'm sending love and creative vibes. xoxoxo
Who am I?
I’m a creative coach living in ABQ, NM. I know that creativity is powerful magic because I’ve seen it firsthand in my own life. I’m absolutely smitten with helping others transform and fill their lives with more curiosity, joy, and passion.