As I began my journey to true creative recovery only months ago, I quickly caught on that baby steps are vital to breathing life into my inner artist. Without small actions taken each week, I would not be where I am today. Baby steps for me include: enrolling in my first real acting class, taking pictures, buying an inspirational journal to glue random ideas in, free writing, morning pages and lots more. By taking the time (and some days it’s only 10 minutes I can spare) to devote to these “baby steps”, I am validating my heart’s cry for life more abundant.
But some days it’s hard. Really hard. But it’s nothing compared to the days I experienced when I was completely unaware of my creativity. Making the decision to create each day is not always a walk in the park. It’s normal to become quite impatient and frustrated—or even angry—when we’re not where we want to be, or where we think we should be (there’s a difference between the two). That’s just part of the journey. We need to embrace both sides of the spectrum, as our inner strength, determination and courage grow, nourishing our souls and jumping contagiously onto others.
With that said, let’s remember this together along our creative journey:
- Don’t be afraid to put appropriate boundaries in place to protect yourself—particularly your creative self. Not every creative project or thought should be shared with everyone.
- Don’t expect everyone to cheer you on. Remember that some people are blocking their own creativity, or are unaware of it, and they may not be in a place to be truly happy for your growth yet.
- Be kind to your fragile, vulnerable inner artist. Don’t berate yourself. Understand how sensitive you truly are to another’s harsh criticism, underestimation, sarcasm, stress, fear and attacks.
- Just as one harsh word can crush a child’s dream, so can one negative reaction—or even thought—kill an artist’s spirit. Don’t let a lie take place of your dream. Period.
Also, when introducing your inner artist out to the world—and to yourself—you absolutely need the freedom to make bad art. (And I mean “bad” by the world’s standards because to the Almighty, it is all worthy of respect and admiration.) For example, last night in my class our teacher asked us to draw—with crayons—what our “voice” looks like now. Next, she requested us to color what we would like for our “voice” to be like. With extreme hesitancy, I began to draw various shapes and figures. The battle in my mind remained even though I knew there was no wrong answer. I couldn’t help but think “I can’t draw” and “what should this look like?” but all of that didn’t matter. Finally, I relaxed and concluded that the only fact that mattered was what my “voice” drawing meant to me; the freedom I felt from simply coloring like a three-year-old. Yup, baby steps are pretty awesome in my book.
So, what baby steps are you trying along the journey? Maybe it’s enrolling in a beginner’s class of some sort, carrying a sketchbook, writing in a journal daily or baking a pie. Won’t you share some of your experiences with us?
With Creative Kindness,