Do head into your day of creating with a plan and a purpose? Are you exhausted emotionally and physically from putting in long hours and not getting anything accomplished? Is your day unbalanced and unfocused? If you can relate to any of those statements, please know that you are not alone. I am here to help you create the best environment to nurture your creative process, honour your God given talents and live fully and freely into your calling. So here are my seven ways to nurture your creative process.
- Preparing Your Heart & Spirit
Choosing to make time every day to prepare my heart before the Lord; stepping back and honouring the One who holds the universe and my heart. Coming to Him in prayer with silence, confession, thanksgiving, and requests allows me to remember who is in control. This posture helps to silence the anxious thoughts and remind myself that Jesus is for me and with me no matter what my day will hold.
It is important to “input” just as it is to “output” as a creative. Nurturing my relationship with Jesus puts everything into perspective; my purpose and calling is not just about me and my desires but about my calling from the one who created me to be who I am. Your and my calling affects the world around us, our gifts and our voice are needed. There is room for you.
In order to prepare my heart for each day, I need to feed it good, soul-filling food from God’s word. This food is a constant learning of who I am in relation to the God who created me and who I am in relation to others around me. What do you need to do to feed your soul?
2. Honoring Your Creative Calling
We are molded by a culture that tells us we need to be productive and make money. There is a constant push against creating a career out of an art practice.
I often struggle to believe that what I am doing on my creative journey is my “calling”. I have to go back to the roots of the desire that I had to put forth my art and creativity into the world. It wasn’t out of frustration or discouragement with my life situation but rather an urging to finally put my creativity out there for others to see and enjoy.
So in order to honour our gifts and calling, we have to choose to believe our creative journey is rightfully our job and therefore treat it as such. Just as we have work hours for employment out of our homes, we have to maintain work hours for our creativity job inside our home or studio. It is important to invest in our creative practice, monetarily and in time.
3. Silence the Internal and External Lies
It is your choice, just as it is mine, who you choose to listen to. We often have voices from our past; employment, friends or family of origin, whose messages still are loud and functioning. Please check out the post called How to Set Goals to Achieve Successful Outcomes, specifically the section on challenging fears.
Remember, you can choose who you listen to out there in the world. There are many people that have spoken into my life; words of hope and words of despair. It is my choice who I listen to and believe. If the person’s message does not line up with who I know I am created to be, I need to move away from that negativity and towards others who challenge and support me with love.
This is also true about the messages we input through social media. Whose voice can we relate to that is on a similar journey but maybe farther ahead? I know for myself, I look for humility, genuineness and graciousness in another creative entrepreneur. If those characteristics are not present, it is hard for me to listen to their message.
Even though I share a lot of freebies, I held back for years in starting to paint because I feared failure. As creatives, you and I can be held back due to negative thinking. It might look like comparing your ability to others or not having the confidence to pursue your creative talent or putting your creations out into the world.
But what if you could change that? I have just the freebie for you – The FREE 5 Day Challenge. Enter your email to receive the challenge or Pin the image below to save for later. Thanks!
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4. Learn to Establish Healthy Work Boundaries
First and foremost, don’t sacrifice your health for the sake of your goals. You are the only one who can look after you. No one else will step in and do that for you.
In the beginning of my creative blogging journey, the learning curve was so steep that I felt I had to put in extra hours to get anything accomplished. I spent many days of the week staying up for hours into the early morning just to accomplish something. I had no boundaries of time set for my working hours. As a result, I ended up being very sick on and off for months on end.
Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Write down your plan and ask to be held accountable. I have a numerous great posts on goal setting and like the ones mentioned already as well as 10 Questions You Must Ask for Goal Setting Success and Journal Prompts for Goal Setting
5. Resist in Making Money the End Goal
Yes, this is a tough one as I know we need to make money to survive. The way I approach it is like this; while I am in my creative cocoon, I am learning and feeding (with time and money) my art practice. I have other ways to bring in income until such a time when I can start to bring in consistent and regular income through my creativity. This involves a long term Big Dream Goal (see the post on Create & Accomplish Your Big Dream Goal for how to get started) in which I have told myself (challenging the fears and lies) I will produce income from my creative practise.
I guess the question to ask yourself is, “If I were to walk away from this creative practise, would I miss it?” From your answer, if you know it is your heart’s desire and calling to create, who is to tell you that you cannot make money eventually from your practise? Head on over to my favorite cheerleader, Emily Jeffords’ Instagram and Podcast called “Do It For the Process” for all of the “thriving artist” goodness my friend.
6. Trust the Wait
When starting out in a creative calling, be prepared for a journey, a long distance run rather than a sprint. Growth is birthed in the pain of waiting. And there are no rewards for rushing. This truth was made very clear to me recently by Bonnie Christine, Surface Pattern Design Instructor. She emphasized that the time when you are unknown and have no deadlines should be a time of growing your creative practice and savouring the sweetness of the process.
When the time is right, opportunities will present themselves. And remember, you are growing in confidence and skill and that takes time. Be consistent, show up, be approachable, create community, engage with your audience, and build trust.
7. Make Time For Rest
Rest is ceasing to work towards a monetary end, without the hope of producing something external while feeding something internal. Connecting to our soul; that which cannot be bought or measured should be given regular time.
So what are some rest filled activities? There are quiet ones just as there are playful ones. Make a list of both for yourself. Here are some of mine.
- ironing (strange but true)
- being silent before God
- spending time in nature
- petting my cat
- painting (no plan, just playing with paint)
- reading to one of my children
- weeding my garden
In the devotional, The Daily Office, Lynne Baab reminds us of bigger perspective and key to rest,
“As long as we are working hard , using our gifts to serve others, experiencing joy in our work alond with the toil, we are always in danger of believing that our actions trigger God’s love for us. Only in stopping, really stopping do we teach our hearts and souls that we are love apart from what we do… Without time to stop, we cannot notice God’s hand in our lives, practice thankfulness, step outside our culture’s values or explore our deepest longings. Without time to rest, we will seriously undermine our ability to experience God’s unconditional love and acceptance.”
As human beings, we are not solely human “doings”. We have to honour all the parts of ourselves. Remember, only you can take care of you. You are valuable and not dispensable. In the same devotional, Wayne Mueller puts it so well, “We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms. To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.”
So, in conclusion, honour your needs and nurture your creative spirit. Your gifts to the world are as unique as you are. There is only one you and it is up to you to create the environment where you thrive and succeed.
If you like what you have read, please share the love with a comment or a pin. Thank you!
Blessings from my house to yours,
P.S. I have added a new FREE PRINTABLE TO DO LIST FOR MAY, go check it out on the FREE PRINTABLES PAGE!