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Fire the Committee

The Jury
All those things that get in the way of an Art-full life – other people’s opinions, big hairy fears and the committee inside our head.

After the holidays I enter a special creative time of the year before I love. With no personal deadlines (only business ones), it’s wide open spaces and lots to choose from.

Unfortunately, this is also when The Committee moves in and tries to stage a coup.  I’ll bet you have your own Committee, too.

The Committee is made up of so many voices from our past that often we don’t even remember where they started. The Committee’s weapon of choice is guilt, telling us that creative time is selfish time. This is one of my creative clients biggest struggles – working through the guilt.

Here’s how I deal with The Committee.

Those voices are long gone. The past doesn’t control my future. I can choose to listen and continue to struggle OR I can get them out of my way. (Just don’t try to ignore them. They only get louder.)

The way I get them out of the way is to physically get up, walk to the nearest door and invite The Committee to step outside for awhile.  Really. I get up, open a door, speak out loud to The Committee and escort them out of the room.

I know it may sound silly but getting into motion changes your energy. I recommend this to my clients all the time. When they actually try it, they are pleasantly surprised at how well it works.

Here’s why. Your brain can’t tell real from imagined. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you went to a scary movie. I’m right, aren’t I?

This week, why not make a collage of your Committee as I did above. Get them out of hiding and into the light. Becoming aware of them is one more way to break the hold they have over you.

Me? I’m going to start a challenging knitting project because I’m ready for something new!

What about you? What projects are waiting for you?

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One Stroke At A Time

To be honest, I dismissed those little pen drawings called Zentangles at first. After all, it’s just doodling, right? zentangle_022113But every time I saw one of these things it fascinated me. I can’t really tell you why except that it looked like fun and the patterns intrigued my eye. And maybe, just maybe I shouldn’t need a reason to explore something that keeps piquing my interest.

So when my local quilt shop offered the class I decided to try it. And I’m so glad I did. Besides being just plain fun, it was also satisfying like a really good piece of chocolate. I came home with more than just doodles. I discovered some insights into my creative process.

1) Taking a few minutes to do a Zentangle quiets my mind and starts the creative juices flowing. Because it’s quick and not ‘precious’ I can relax and get into “Flow”. My right brain wakes up to play!

1) The “Big Picture” can be overwhelming but when I break it down into smaller chunks and simply start somewhere, it comes together in a magical kind of way. And, in my book, magic is always good when I’m engaged in something creative.

2) It’s enough that something just be fun. Not everything has to be a masterpiece or even be seen by others. To do something just because I enjoy doing it is a gift to my spirit. And the gift lies in the process, not the end product.

3) Simple isn’t always easy. Life has trained me to believe that complicated and BIG is better. Not necessarily so because when I slow down enough to take it one stroke at a time, I can breathe.