Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Which The Psyche Throws A Temper Tantrum

YES (nononononononono...)

I've been thinking about this post for a while. And each time I think about it, I don't do it.

It's about resistance.

We've decided that we are going to do something. We are going to change our lives. We're going to reach for our goals. We're going to go for that thing that we've always wanted but haven't been able to do and then, we say YES, now it's time for me to achieve.

And we make our goals and set up our tasks and shoot for the stars.

And then we come upon the resistance.

We choose not to sit down and write. Or we pick up that bag of cookies. Or we turn on the tv instead of making those phone calls... whatever it is.

Part of this process of changing our lives and taking action on our dreams is facing resistance.

When we make our commitments, the little angry, scaredy cat inside of us all of a sudden gets really loud and demanding. It doesn't like the idea that it is losing power. The 'no's get louder. The 'yes'es get overwhelmed. It finds its ways to be the center of our attention, to stop the forward momentum that will leave it behind, to be in control of your life.

And this is part of the process.

We all face resistance. We all back slide. We all have roadblocks of our own device. We all have fears and anxieties that flare up and take over like a toddler.

It's okay. You don't have to let the the resistance win.

When my kids have a temper tantrum, I tell them that it's okay for them to feel their upset, to be angry or afraid or hurt, I tell them that their feelings about things are valid, but it is not okay for them to take out their upset on other people, or use that upset to control the family. I send them to their room to feel their anger. I sit with them and talk to them about it.  I ask them if they're ready to move on. I talk to them about what they could be doing now if they weren't having a temper tantrum. I ask them what they'd really like to be doing. And when they are done being upset, they come out of their room and we move on with our day.

That's a child. Your own resistance is something different.

Breathe through it. Relax into it. Accept that your fears and anxieties are valid feelings, but may not reflect the reality of the situation. Acknowledge the resistance. Recognize that this is part of our defense mechanism that has served to protect us. It may not be what we need right now to move forward, so pay attention to the voices that are resisting your forward movement. Thank them for protecting you. And then tell them that you don't need them right now, you are quite safe already and are intent on moving forward with your goals.

And then do so.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Today Is A Day To Honor Who You Are, or Self Portrait With Eyes Closed

Self Portrait: Eyes Closed

One of the things we can forget to do when we try to step out into our dreams, is to remember who we are.  It's so easy to look at all the wonderful things that are out there, the beautiful paintings, the beautiful people, the talented folks, the successful business people, the brave and exciting and important paths that people take and think, "Oh, that is just not me."

We compare ourselves to everyone else and decide that we are lacking. They have it. We don't.

It's so easy to do. So easy to focus on the negative and the flaws.

So today, I'm going to look at myself as if I weren't me, as if I wasn't privy to all the fears and failures and missteps and dead ends that I've gotten caught up in. I'm going to look at only my own beauty and talent and success and bravery and adventures and contributions to the world.

I'm going to make a list of the things I am good at, the things I know how to do, the things I can speak with authority on. I'm going to list my successes, because for all my failures in life, I've had successes, too, we all have. I'm going to focus, today, on who I am as a positive force in the world. What I can give. The effect I have had. I am going to focus on my own power.

Try it yourself. Try making a list of all your strengths... without adding caveats and exceptions and 'buts' and trying to convince yourself that you're not that good. Write out the ways you are wonderful and beautiful and strong. Take stock of your own strength and power and abilities. Every time those negative voices come up, tell them, 'thanks for sharing, but we're only looking for positive qualities now.' Ignore the negative and move on to the next positive.

It takes practice to look at the positive aspects of yourself without that negative voice, without the pessimism and doubts and fears. So practice. Answer that internal 'I suck' voice with a new internal 'I rock' voice... even if you don't believe it at first. Keep focusing on your own greatness, and sooner or later, you might even start believing it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

How To Get Creative 1-25, and Work In Progress

Work In Progress (dream catcher)
acrylic on paper

After a life of being creative, I think I've learned a few things. One of those things is that we are always starting over. We're always going through endings. We're always going through transformation. And we're always beginning again.

This is the process. Fighting it doesn't help, it just makes us feel guilty. Trusting the process means that we believe things will turn around, eventually. It gives us hope.

So in this period of starting over again (where did my creativity go? where?) I am going to make a list.  I like lists.

How To Get Creative

1. Start something.
2. Turn on the music and dance.
3. Take a camera and go take pictures of something.
4. Read an old journal.
5. Go to a museum or gallery or show or concert.
6. Talk to someone creative.
7. Watch a documentary about something you care about.
8. Divide a page into four sections. Fill each section with a different drawing, painting, poem, story, song.
9. Sing a song.
10. Play with clay. Create a tiny sculpture. Display it proudly.
11. Take out your old portfolio, mss, tapes, or other creative work, and look at it as if you'd never seen it before.
12. Climb a tree. Take a minute and pay attention to the view from up there.
13. Climb under a table. Take a minute and pay attention to the view from down there.
14. Cry unashamedly.
15. Take a shower and plan a great story/painting/dance routine/song while the water is running.
17. Freewrite in your journal for fifteen minuets without stopping.
18. Make something with a child.
19. Read your favorite author.
20. Write out 100 great words on little slips of paper. Fold the words and put them in a jar. Shake and pull a word or two. Create something based on those words.
21. Make a commitment to create something every day for one week, no matter how small.
22. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and be creative until that alarm goes off, no excuses and no stopping.
23. Join a class, group, workshop, community, blog party, organization, etc of like minded, creative beings.
24. Clean up your creative space.
25. Write a list of ways to be creative.

Seeing that I like lists, and since this is a process and there are a million ways to be creative, I just might come back and add to this list.

Add a comment and share your tricks to getting your creative juices flowing.

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