1. Connect with your DREAM ? Indulge yourself in a vision of the bigger picture and get out of the mire of self-doubt, details and challenges of today. What's the purpose of it all? What are you working towards? What is your unique mission to carry out?
Daily Practice: Spend a few quiet moments reflecting on your BIG CREATIVE DREAM. Then, capture your thoughts through words, images and/or music and look back on these every day as a way to reconnect.
2. Connect with your "INNER ARTIST" - That part of you that's naturally exuberant, joyful, free in its pure expression of creative thought; undamaged, unhindered, unencumbered.
Daily Practice: Approach your art as child's play. Start your creative work time by playing your instrument "wrong", switching hands or in two different keys at the same time. Write a song using only words that start with the letter "d". Make mistakes. Laugh.
3. Connect with your MUSE ? Nurture your relationship with this special inner voice. Listen for its wisdom and carry out its wishes.
Daily Practice: Your muse is unique to you, and so are the ways you can best tune in to it. Experiment with other forms of art that inspire you, nature walks, meditation, cooking and people who glow.
4. Connect with your BODY ? When unhealthy habits sap your body of its vitality and strength your creativity and productivity will be sapped as well.
Daily Practice: One of the best practices for a healthy body, mind and spirit is to get enough sleep and rest. Tonight, end your evening activities a half hour early and spend that time winding down. Release the worries of the day by writing or speaking about them. Calm yourself with a bath, tea, massage, music or a good read that doesn't remind you of your work.
5. Connect with SPIRIT ? Redefining your vision of a Higher Power to one that supports your creative life can unleash a powerful source for your creativity.
Daily Practice: Write a letter, humbly thanking your Higher Power for your creative gifts and describing all of the ways you're making use of them. Include things you wish are true that aren't quite there yet, & read this letter daily as a way of expressing gratitude for another day lived as a creative artist.
6. Connect with your THOUGHTS ? You can learn what your inner critic wants and how to peacefully coexist with it. You have the power to change your perception, and to out-think your fears and your inner critic.
Daily Practice: This is from "Taming your Gremlin" by Richard Carson. Simply notice when you have a self-criticizing or negative thought. You don't have to act on it, dwell on it, believe it, argue with it or rationalize it. Simply notice it.
7. Connect with your FEARS - There can be fears just under the surface of every choice we make in a day's time. Fear of being rejected keeps us from asking someone to join us for coffee. Fear of financial insecurity keeps us from buying something wonderful that would inspire us creatively. Fear of failure keeps us from starting or finishing a new project.
Daily Practice: Name one fear that's guiding your actions today. Write it down, and then talk about it to someone you trust, or explore it in song, musical improvisation or art. Now, identify one small step towards the action you've been afraid to do and commit to when you'll do it. If the action is small enough to be done in two minutes or less ? do it today!
8. Connect with your FELLOW TRAVELERS ? whether it's your band mates, conductor, audience, mother, spouse, artistic community members or children, our relationships can enhance AND challenge our lives in many ways.
Daily Practice: Ask someone else about their dream (creative or otherwise) and listen intently to their answer. Ask questions and let them know you've heard what they've said by repeating little bits back to them. In this one brief conversation, practice NOT sharing your own personal experiences, simply be there to listen intently and witness their dream.
9. Connect with your STRENGTHS - Learn how to acknowledge your own gifts, accept compliments graciously and to present yourself confidently as the extraordinarily unique artist that you are.
Daily Practice: Create a list of everything that's wonderful about you ? the different roles you hold in life, your accomplishments, the failures you've learned from and survived, the losses you've endured, the gifts you were born with, the skills you've developed and the knowledge you've gained. Read this list every day and connect with your strengths.
10. Connect with your SURROUNDINGS - A cluttered environment can create chaos and makes it that much more difficult to get things done ("Where's my pen?").
Daily Practice: A major clutter-clearing can take weeks and is best done a little bit at a time so it doesn't get too overwhelming. For today, simply put away your things after you're done with them.
? Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services. All rights reserved.
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To receive her free monthly newsletter, "Everyday Artist", subscribe at http://www.genuinecoaching.com/artist-newsletter.html