We had a winter storm the other day here in Toronto. And as I was driving, I started thinking about what my winter driving had in common with my creative dreams. Here's what I came up with.
1. Being grateful to be in my car, pointed in the right direction and moving (however slowly). Some days I don't accomplish as much work towards my creative dream as I set out to. Other days it seems like I'm moving backwards.
And I know that as I:
~ Get in the car (show up every day),
~ Point it in the right direction (have positive intentions and goals that I've expressed, written down and shared with someone), and
~ Keep moving (spending time on my creative dream every day, even just five minutes),
I'm doing the right things to protect my creative dreams and keep them alive.
2. There will always be someone in front of me and there will always be someone behind me, and where I am is just perfect.
When I come upon a person who is living out a version of my creative dream, only they seem to be farther along with it than I am, I need to let go of any feelings of jealousy, fear or discouragement that may come up.
I need to learn from them, admire them, connect with them and offer them my support. And I can do the same for the person who's just starting out and for whom my almost two and a half years in business seems like a lifetime.
I need to accept that my fate is already happening, and it's happening at the perfect speed, even if I don't always see it at the moment.
3. If I try to do more than one thing at a time I risk derailing myself ? and my very survival. A winter storm day is not the time to open a water bottle, make a phone call or jot down my grocery list while I'm driving.
I have many creative dreams and many things I want to accomplish everyday, every week and throughout my life. I can do them all. And I can only do one at a time. Spreading myself thin makes it harder to be effective and I risk giving up on one of my projects.
One worry is that I'll "lose something" ? completely forget about a project or my excitement for it. I have to keep faith that the really special projects won't be forgotten.
And that if something is jumping in front of me and distracting me from the task at hand, maybe the truly exciting thing about it is that it's taking me away from the "drudgery" of completing what's in front of me. I need to complete what's in front of me.
4. I have to keep my reservoir full. By practicing healthy self-care habits every day, my reservoir of energy (adequate nutrition and enough sleep, rest and activity) will get topped up.
It's when my reservoir is full that I'll be the most creative and the most open to my muse and to spiritual guidance.
And as I use it I need to constantly replace it.
Because any change we make needs to be reinforced with our actions every day. And every morning is a brand new start and the beginning of a whole day's worth of choices to make.
5. God's in charge (and I'm not). I can make all the plans in the world, and, as we all were reminded on December 26, 2004, plans (and lives) can be washed away in an instant.
So while I set positive intentions, create goals and practice positive visioning of what the future holds, I also aim to be open and accepting to whatever God's plan is for me and for my creative dreams.
Prayer, meditation, talking things over with someone I trust, all of these help me to separate *my* plans from what God seems to be telling me.
And last Wednesday God planted the seeds for this article by providing a winter storm, extra time in the car, a good dose of inspiration from my muse, and the willingness to listen to it.
(c) Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services.
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