Reconnecting with creative joy
Part of Fine Art America’s Creativity Exercises That Work! Series
From my Creative Joy to yours…
Earlier in my blogging career, I had the honour of guest posting on behalf of my Creativity Coaching mentor Eric Maisel, as part of his Creativity Exercises That Work! series for Fine Art America.
My post was all about the often-overlooked aspect of creative joy.
It was inspired by some of my client work, designed to reconnect creatives with the joy of the process – the enjoyment that drew them to the creative life in the first place.
It can be easy to forget about the aspect of enjoying our creativity when facing goals and challenges and deadlines.
So, this exercise – entitled Any Given Tuesday – was designed to help you tune back into the delight, fun and playfulness that are the happy hallmarks of the best kind of creative flow.
And the full post is now available below.
PS If you’d like to read more about Eric and his pioneering work in the field of creativity coaching, I have also written about him here;
What is Creativity? (& How to make it easier)
Creativity coaching: for when you’re dreaming big, being great & stepping up.
Any Given Tuesday (Creativity Exercise)
For artists, the creative life is more of a calling than a decision.
We’re inexplicably drawn to a life of expression, the delight of making art, or a love of the process of creating.
However, the practicalities of life and our eternal urge to achieve sometimes means that the joys of the process can be lost in the pursuit of end results.
In my work with clients, I’ve found that it can be helpful to temporarily let go of our Big Goals and go back to basics, to clarify the activities and daily work that we truly love, the creative practices to which we most want to devote our precious time, energy and focus.
Any Given Tuesday is a visualization exercise to help you reconnect with your love of the process and develop a clearer picture of what you really want to spend your time doing, rather than chasing unsatisfying goals.
This helps you differentiate between what you want to do, as opposed to what you want to have done.
Although there’s a vital role for grand visions, big dreams and the pursuit of worthy goals, the majority of the creative process is the process – not the end results.
This exercise gets to the heart of your ideal process, the aspects of creative expression that are most appealing to you.
It’s designed to help you harness your strengths, clarify the tasks to which you’re best-suited and do more of the work you love.
Because, when your creative life matches your unique blend of talents and preferences, you enjoy the process more.
Creating in your zone of brilliance is exhilarating!
You experience more fulfillment, contentment, and the joy of expression. However, the benefits go beyond simply enjoying the journey.
Benefits of tapping into Creative Joy
Shifting the focus from the destination to the creative journey has a number of additional benefits:
Envisioning your ideal process helps you get clear on your strengths and preferences, revealing insights about where your true gifts and talents lie. This will help you clarify which goals are truly meaningful to you.
Doing more of the daily tasks that you find rewarding and satisfying helps you spend more time in that wonderful flow state that every artist loves.
When you do the work that you feel naturally inclined to do, the process feels easier and more effortless, so you’ll do more of it before getting tired or disheartened.
By focusing less on the outcome and more on the in-the-moment expression, you’ll enjoy more presence in your work. This mindfulness is beneficial for your health and wellbeing, as well as your access to inspiration.
It’s empowering to be more intentional about your creative process and your optimum role within it.
Working from your flow state and strengths is energizing, whereas doing tasks you loathe can be draining and demoralizing. Envisioning your ideal creative process helps you see which tasks you’d like to delegate or eliminate and which lead to more stamina and completion.
Excellence is good for your creative career and you’re more likely to devote the hours and practice that lead to excellence when you’re in love with the work itself.
Now that you know the many benefits of this process – are you ready to begin?
Any Given Tuesday (Creativity Exercise)
In your imagination…
Flash forward to a day in the future – a day when all your current dreams and goals have been realized.
You’ve created all the success and happiness you desire.
You’ve enjoyed the career acclaim, financial success, meaningful achievements – all the beautiful relationships, experiences and pleasures you could wish for.
You’ve traveled to all the places on your wish list.
You live in your dream home and are blessed with the studio you always wanted.
You are fit, well, happy and fulfilled. And now … within this perfect life, it’s just an average Tuesday.
You have the all the time and resources you need to work on the projects that call your heart and soul. You’re free to do what you most love to do. No agenda, no deadlines, nobody else to answer to, nowhere else to be. The entire day is a blank canvas and you’re free to create your work, your way.
So, the question is: What is that work?
Of all the parts of your creative process, which do you choose when you have unlimited freedom and support?
What are the creative tasks to which you’d joyfully devote your whole day?
And this is not about the end result, i.e. What do you want to have done? What do you want to achieve?
This is not about what you are aiming for.
This is about identifying which aspects of the process you want to spend your time doing.
It’s a focus on expression rather than results.
So, picture this scene in your mind’s eye, describe it in a journal or create it visually in your sketchbook.
In your Ideal Creative Life, what does Any Given Tuesday look like?
When you’ve finished the visualization, review your notes and insights so as to:
• Tailor your creative process to suit you and your unique blend of skills and expression
• Find ways to delegate any draining tasks
• Give some thought to why you’ve chosen certain tasks or activities
• Look for any themes that suggest your ideal creative practice
• Get creative with ways to begin implementing some of these changes in your life as it is, even if only in small ways
• • •
I hope you’ll have fun with this exercise and that it will help you craft a day-to-day practice that’s sustainable, productive and enjoyable, so that you can reconnect with the everyday joys to be found on the creative journey and create more of the work you love to create.
If you’d like to know more about the benefits of working within your unique zone of excellence, I’ve created a free ebook called The Joy of Dharma for Creatives that explores this idea.
There are details below if you’d like to know more…
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