Whenever I start a creative project, I seem to go through a similar process. Because I know my process, it can make starting a bit easier....usually. I know that no matter what shows up, I can create again and the learning is in the doing not the finished project. I still get frustrated...I keep fortitude and acceptance in my pocket.
I recently took a painting class offered by a talented artist, Maureen Engle. Maureen is a fabulous teacher as she helps her students express who they are as well as offering concrete suggestions. The class I attended was called "Paint Your Dream Dress". I had absolutely no idea how to paint a dress but I as shared with Maureen, it didn't matter what we would be painting, I would've attended. This is how I maintain balance in my life; keeping a healthy dose of creativity flowing. If I don't, my soul will speak. Loudly.
I believe every person is creative, it's not just the obvious people who enjoy artistic endevours who are creative. You are creative in how you design your calendar, home, clothes, food, garden, and self care. You are creative in how you spend your time, with whom, and how. You are creative in writing an email, a card, a note for the babysitter. Any time there is some-thing that is an outcome of no-thing - you've created! So for those of you that affirm "I'm not creative" you no longer have permission to say this. Instead, embrace and honor your creativity in whatever form it appears. The more you do, it will grow and expand.
The following are some creative stages I move in and through and around when I paint along with some life lessons that parallel the process;
1) A blank canvas. I usually feel nervous and excited with some fear sprinkled that I have no idea what I'm doing. It's at this stage, I hesitate...I distract myself. Fear can do that.
Life: If you stop yourself from creating new relationships, job opportunities, or projects, it may be fear getting in your way. Fear makes us pause and evaluate. Then, when we discover the coast is clear we move ahead. If you get stuck in this stage, you won't experience all you can in your life. This is "take a risk" phase and it's where you'll grow. Shift your inner dialogue to "I can do this".
2) If you don't like it, change it, add color, paint over it. Just about every time I'll reach a stage where I don't like my painting. Something's not right. Perhaps the proportion is off or I don't like the color. I've asked my fellow painting students if this is true for them and they all said yes. Their suggestion; step away for a while and come back with fresh eyes.
Life: Have you ever been so immersed in something that felt painful like an argument, an upset customer, a relationship, project...that you could not come up with a solution? Stepping away and out of the situation allows you to gain a new perspective. Asking for help can remove the feeling of being alone in the process and may offer an innovative idea, or two, or more.
3)Love it, paint over it or start a new piece.
Life: No matter what happens in your life, you can begin again. If you allow fear to hold you back, you may believe you are protecting yourself but you are missing out on the buffet of choices life has to offer. And oh... all the luscious color, texture and joy as well!
This is the finished painting of my wedding dress from the painting class. I’m happy with the outcome, love the surprises and “mistakes” that showed up. I gained a wee bit more painting confidence, a benefit of forcing myself to try something new. Invitation to you; attempt something new or old, and allow your soul to express. It’s always waiting for the invitation to dance with life.
Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.