By Sharon Covert
These days, more than ever before, it’s become far too easy to get caught up in the everyday conglomerated, beautiful mess, we call life. We take on far too many roles and expectations in hopes of not disappointing others around us. Whether it be taking on a client that doesn’t truly fit us, taking on a project that doesn’t align with our hearts, helping a friend run errands, carpooling the team to a game, saying “Yes” to bringing a dish to a party, or even worse, your camera. We show up, juggling it all, in hopes of not letting anyone down.
What do we gain by running this race day in and day out? What type of example are we setting for our children and loved ones by putting ourselves last? If I had my choice of super powers, being able to “do it all” wouldn’t be at the top of my list. This constant rush of go – go – go begins to tire us out and deplete us of our creativity.
When was the last time you picked up your camera and with intention created something just for you? I mean JUST for YOU. Not to entice new clients, not for social media, not for recognition, but merely for the sheer joy and your own personal growth and development. There is a certain level of vulnerability in creating just for ourselves. It
is an act of self-love and in doing so we will soon discover our strengths. When it comes to self-care and self-love many people tend to think and feel it’s an act of selfishness. They feel guilty for even thinking about doing something just for themselves. The truth is, self-care and self-love are just as vital to our being as air, water, and food are. Consider self-care and self-love to be your oxygen mask. The more you realize this and practice small acts of self-love, the more you will realize how they not only benefit you, but they benefit the ones you love and everyone else around you.
I want to encourage you to carve out some YOU time and here are 5 practices to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Show up authentically in your art. Leave your judgement at the door and unleash your inner child artist. You’ll find this one practice to be incredibly freeing.
2. Spend 10 minutes journaling in a quiet space before or after you create. If you’re doing this prior to creating you can use this time to free-write and get all of your ideas out on paper. The zanier the better! If you’re journaling after you create you can use this time to explore your feelings on paper. How did setting this time aside for yourself feel? Did anything come up during your time creating?
3. Dance- MOVE! Our bodies store so much of our past in them. Listen to your favorite music and dance it out. Free yourself! Your mind and body will thank you. This is just for you so don’t worry about looking silly.
4. Get outdoors! Put your phone down and breathe in the fresh air by going for a walk in nature. There is so much beauty to explore and find in nature. It will leave you feeling renewed and inspired.
5. Schedule time for you but be flexible and keep an open mind as it evolves. Use reminders and alarms until it becomes a new habit for you. Let your friends and family know that this will be a priority of yours and be assertive if needed. You may need to create healthy boundaries. They may not understand at first. Change invokes fear, but everyone will soon begin to reap the benefits and appreciate and respect your decision to put yourself first.
Now take a deep breath in, slowly release it, and get out there and make some art just for YOU!