Is your enemy sitting on your shoulder?
Am I always in the mood to create? Well, no of course not! Am I always in the mood to eat Chicken Pad Thai? Ok, maybe that's a bad example, because I'm ALWAYS in the mood to eat Thai food. But the point is that sometimes the creativity isn't there. It could be because I'm not sleeping well or the kids are really needy and I don't have time to think, much less go to the bathroom alone. I'm learning that creativity is something that needs to be nurtured and cultivated. Not just drained when I need it. It's also something that makes me feel vulnerable.
People have told me that I'm an encourager, that is a talent I have when it comes to other people. My friend is going through a hard time, I'm there and I'll be there through that hard time. I turn situations around into positive ones, I find the silver lining in their difficult situation. However, when it comes to me talking to myself, I am my own worst enemy. I will compare myself to a standard that no one could measure up to. The things I think about my self and my creativity I would never say to another person.
No wonder my creativity feels stifled at times. I've got Debbie Downer sitting on my shoulder.
It matters what you say to yourself! A million compliments and all the success in the world can't be enjoyed if you don't see it. Somedays just having 5 minutes alone is a success because I have 3 kids that need me.
I'm in the midst of reading 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear' by Elizabeth Gilbert and it has already blown my mind. She just gave me (the reader) permission to Just Be. Just be the artist I want to be, the creator I want to be, the photographer I want to be. I don't need to be afraid of being judged or rejected. That's an absolute given that if I create anything it will definitely be judged. But probably not as harshly as I judge myself.
So that's what I'm going to try and do more of. I want to cultivate my creativity and see what my artistic journey holds. Elizabeth gave me permission to let go of the fact that my photographs aren't going to be ground breaking and solve any major world issue. They just don't matter in that way. But they do matter to me because that's what makes my heart happy. I have the need to create every day. All that pressure that I put on myself was lifted when she said that. I'm not going to solve world hunger with my photography and that's okay. I am going to make beautiful photographs that people feel, remember, and cherish. I'm making my heart happy.
I want you to try writing down what you would say to a friend who was struggling with what you are struggling with. Write down what you would say to them. Really convince them that their situation isn't as bad or as difficult as it seems. Now after you're done and you've made your case to them. I want you to read it as if someone else is saying those things to you. Keep it handy and read it when you feel like you're struggling.