“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce.
I recently wrapped up a week of gatherings and festivities which has quickly brought me to a state of reflection. I’ve never been one for New Years goals as I feel like these often quickly wilt. Although, I am a strong believer of developing creative and healthy habits which contribute to one’s lifelong being. These habits should shy away from fads, ideas that everyone else is doing them so you should too. I remember being in Junior High and refusing to wear anything but brand name clothing because this was the “in” thing. I look back at this and it saddens me that I put so much value on articles of clothing. Lifelong habits should be things of value that will make an impact whether small or large. There are countless examples; choosing to only purchase fair trade chocolate to make a stand against child slavery, reading a piece of poetry daily to increase your ideas in creative writing, upcycling clothing or furniture, shopping at the farmer’s market, walking to work, support local artists, using your form of art (or work field) to support local causes or raise awareness on injustices, environmentalism, and the list goes on and on.
Times of reflection and looking back can be difficult for many. For the perfectionists out there I’m sure you can relate to extremities of high self critique or even doubts in areas you wished you had done something better. Maybe to the extent to where you stop doing what you love altogether. Be it singing, writing, filming, photography… Life is messy. I am currently working towards climbing out of one of these periods. Why we do this to ourselves is beyond me, our minds are powerful things. If we are not careful to train our thoughts they can develop countless lies and stories for us to believe degrading our giftedness and self worth.
One of the things I have been greatly reminded of this last year is that there is such a thing as a beautiful mess. Being an artist myself, I experience periods where I feel as though I could fly, never having enough time to use creativity. I also go through both short and long droughts where I’m battling to pick up my guitar or paint brush. I was walking through the Door County vineyards of Wisconsin this last summer. The tour guide spoke of how they trimmed all fruit off the young vines so the plants may place all energy into the growth of developing maturely. This image has become ingrained in my head. As artists we must embrace the process of trimming back as we make the trek forward to be established at our skill. “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce.
Life is a beautiful mess. There are many moments in which we allow our fear to create barriers in living. It bothers me that this becomes so veiled as we mask what gradually suffocates us to our peers. I’ve been pondering on how the artist brain can win this battle. Mostly by accepting the human need for vulnerability, allowing myself to feel, seeking community, and finding time to breathe alone, some may call this the artist date. As I have been thinking about future projects to jump into, I created a “creativity bank”. Mostly these being activities with no skill related to singing, songwriting, or painting. However each item in the bank is something to inspire and redirect thoughts to focus on gratitude and simplicity.
Here are a few things from 2015 that have and are inspiring me to live my life creatively; picnics all summer long, falling deeply in love, moonlight swimming, dancing like no one is watching, dining at a fancy restaurant soaking wet from walking in the rain, listening to an artist’s story, getting lost, house concerts, learning yoga, chopping my hair, collecting pottery, shopping at the farmers market, watching the solar eclipse, being a first time dog & house owner.