If you’ve checked out my last post ‘Soul for Sale?‘ you, hopefully, are intending to get back in touch with all your delicious creativity. However, if you’ve related to any of the reasons we get disconnected you might be sitting there, pissed off, because I brought up all this shit but left you without tools – well worry not, loved ones!
Five steps, that’s all you need to turn inward and get those juices flowing. Don’t believe me? Give me twenty one days before you count yourself out…
#1 Realise Your Worth
You deserve a regular moment to create something with no other purpose that to wallow in your imagination. When we first approach any practice like this, the ‘should’ voice will usually arise. Should be doing ‘real work’, should be calling your mam back, should be doing the washing, should, should, should, should, should. Round and round the mind spins until, even if you do create something, it’s tainted by guilt.
I’m here to tell you – you work, you pay tax, maybe you look after dependents, you recycle, you help friends and strangers, you feed the birds and you pick up litter when you come across it. You are divinely entitled to set time aside for yourself. You cannot fill from an empty cup and, though I dislike this slant, if you’re not feeding your own soul, how can you feed into anyone else?
#2 Make an Appointment
If you’re just starting out, this one is important. There’ll always be a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t dedicate an hour to yourself. So until you get into the habit of it, make an appointment with yourself. Literally. Like, in your phone, with an alarm. Treat it as any other meeting. Show up for yourself – no split brain, mind spiraling because you’re not doing something else.
Look at your week. Pick a time that works. One that’ll give limited distraction. Log that appointment and, when it comes, commit to it. We spend out lives making exhausting commitments to others. This time, fucking commit to yourself!
#3 Find Your Outlet
Ok, here’s where the fun starts. You really want to tune it but with so many creative options, how do you find the One? Well I’m going to give you the same annoying answer all those childhood sweethearts do – when you know, you know.
That means kissing a few creative frogs before you find the one that fits. But those frogs aren’t wasted. There’s opportunity in every outlet. Some will just resonate more, the flow will be freer.
So if you really have no idea where to begin, I’d say start by copying friends. Tag along to their classes or ask to sit in on their practices. This isn’t with the intention of copying but to get some insight. Here’ll you’ll see the tools that are handy and the different ways to wield them.
Alternatively, Google is your best friend. Go down the rabbit holes. Take a good look around. Find what feels good, then give it a try. Again, be careful, it’s so easy to swim among others output and never move on to create for yourself.
This step is about opening doors and drawing back curtains. Embrace it as a process all of it’s own. Relish it. Enjoy it. Laugh at yourself. It’s like being single in your twenties – all fun and games!
#4 Release Expectations
Ah ha, one of the more difficult ones. Let’s just say it, you’re not going to be ‘good’ when you begin. I use quotation marks because good is relative to all that’s come before. It’s a scale to rate ourselves. But what if we don’t care to grade our creative output? What if we just love it for what it is – something created out of the process of listening to the imagination?
Expectations are external and the Self is internal. So when you arrive to your appointment to yourself, I encourage you to come with a clear minds eye. Each of our creative work is unique, even if we draw inspiration from others, it’s unlikely to turn out a mirror image. So why bother trying. You’re not them, you’re you.
Last but certainly not least. In fact, I’m willing to say this is the only step you really need. Once is not enough. The more you tune in, the longer the appointments with your imagination, the more benefits you’ll derive.
As you practice, beware the feeling that something should be ‘happening’. I see this all the time. People take up an new practice, one that’s said to give great benefits, and they expect a lightbulb moment and flashes of lightening.
That’s … not really how it works. If you do want to see the difference tuning into your creativity is having on your life, I suggest you journal. This can be any form you like – handwritten in a beautiful notebook, bullet-points in your phone, it doesn’t matter. Like a gym-goers ‘before and after’ photos, this will give you a You to look back on.
Three weeks makes a habit. After twenty-one days, check back in with me and tell me how you’re getting on …