Before the Creative Process
We get it. We know that investing in ourselves is life-giving. We also know how often we neglect doing so.
The struggle is REAL.
What can I tell you of my experience of investments throughout the years?
Not all have worked out, at least not in the way I expected, but all have caused me to grow. The benefits gained from taking a chance, never lost.
‘I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.’
That’s how investments feel to me. I don’t remember each of them, but I know in my bones that they are much of what has brought me to where I am today.
So why do we go so long without taking action? What’s at the heart of neglecting to invest regularly in ourselves? Fear, of course.
The good news?
The friction that arises when taking action is temporary, while the benefits of doing so last a lifetime.
Investing is a choice you make for yourself.
YOU are the only one that knows what the investment looks like, what kind of clothes it’s wearing and where it hangs out 😉
It might be an art class.
Maybe it’s traveling to a workshop in France.
Maybe it’s painting a petite watercolor once a week in your favorite cafe.
Maybe digging deep into the life of an artist you admire, like Joaquin Sorolla or
Sergei Bongart. Getting under their skin, reading what they did and why, copying one of their masterworks, hanging one of their quotes in your studio space.
But MAYBE it’s not art related at all.
Maybe it’s creating more quiet moments in your life.
Maybe it’s attending an entrepreneur’s convention (I did one in October, and it was so inspiring!)
Perhaps it’s learning to swing dance or sing in French
Maybe it’s going on regular dates with your friends.
Investing in you is the crucial component, no matter the form it takes.
And you should know—everything we do impacts our creativity.
The dreams you have for your future arrive from the investments you make today.
Me? I made an investment eleven years ago that is still growing.
It involved me sitting on my back porch, reading some soulful books, taking some quiet time, and writing in my journal.
Day after day, in every spare minute that I could find, I was there.
I let other things lapse. Didn’t return calls, didn’t do what was expected of me.
It was a beautiful gift I gave to myself.
Those days— that investment —opened the doors to so many things, so many undertakings. And it still is all these years later. Five months after that investment, I started my blog, website, and newsletter. Three months after that, I began teaching. Four years later, I took groups of artists to France with me to paint. Seven years later, I took a film crew to Provence to make an online art course. And now, I have my eyes set to doing a fantastic membership that will be a helping hand for thousands of students.
It all began with that investment of time, that precious commodity, on my own back porch.
Reading, thinking, journaling, and quiet time.
I really believe that maybe the secret sauce of investing in us is this…
We are saying YES to life.
To our dreams, our talents, our abilities, to every inch of this magical existence.
Great things happen in the smallest of beginnings. Saying yes has a life of its own.
Begin with making a commitment of time to yourself. Ten minutes a day. Invest that ten minutes fully in you. Watch it grow. Expect results.
Pick a really great book and block out 10 minutes. Turn off your phone, move away from the TV—make this your moment. Read with relish, read with abandon. Sink into it like it’s the only book on the planet, and you are the first person to ever hold it in your hands.
You’re worth it.
Get outside. For 10 minutes. Walk and meander. Do it with the intention to really look at life around you. Look up to the sky. Really look at the trees. Maybe lay your hand on the bark or examine a leaf close up. Notice your body, your breath, and your eyes. Immerse your self in your surroundings. Take 3 deep breaths—long, slow and sweet. Stretch your arms to the heavens and bask in that marvelous stillness.
You’re worth it.
Take a bath. Put on music that speaks to your heart, makes you happy, makes you want to dance. Look in the mirror and say I love you to the face looking back at you. Say it like you mean it 😉 And then as the supreme investment in you, take the time to slather lotion on your body—your legs, your arms, your heart. Love on that work of art that carries within it the invisible you.
You’re worth it.
Allow yourself to do some or all of these small but mighty steps.
Listen for more things in your heart that are asking you to say yes.
Write them down.
Pick one and do it.
Create a new way of being.
One of investing in you.
It is the best investment you will ever make.