Life Coaching Tip: The things that bring you happiness and inspiration are the essence of life and are not meant to be on the bottom of your “to-do” list. You must live intentionally and MAKE TIME for all that fuels you with uplifting energy. This will always prove to be more fulfilling than the satisfaction of a completed checklist!
“I don’t have two hours in my schedule for creative playtime!”
That was my thought. Not something a client said to me, but a thought that actually came from my own brain.
Yep, and considering what I do for a living, not a shining moment for me, for sure.
I had this thought while reading a book my podcast partner and friend, Amanda, recommended to me, The Artist Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.
Amanda, who is an accomplished writer and entrepreneur, said this book, that is about healing and unblocking our creativity, impacted her in big ways. We are going to review it on our podcast episode next week, and so I was excited to read it.
And in this book, the author recommends setting aside two hours a week for an “artist’s date” with YOURSELF. It’s basically a playdate to nurture your creativity – quality time with yourself.
Cameron equates our creative capacity to that of a well-stocked pond, full and abundant. But just like when a pond is overfished and the supply runs low, so can our creative ideas when over tapped, leaving us feeling stagnant and blocked.
For this reason, we must maintain this “artistic ecosystem” by self-nourishing, and an “artist’s date” is one great way to do this.
In the book, she gives some examples of an “artist’s date”, such as watching the sunrise or sunset, visiting a different church to hear gospel music, or going on an excursion to an ethnic neighborhood to experience new sights and sounds. Really, the possibilities are endless!
This made perfect sense to me, and it sounded like a terrific idea. That is, until I applied it to myself.
That’s when I started to doubt how such an outing might fit into my schedule.
If you’re a life coaching client of mine, you may be rolling your eyes about now and saying, “Really Tracy?” because I teach my clients that we can always create time for what’s important to us.
But hey, I’m human, and limiting beliefs happen to everyone.
Now, I don’t have to tell you that we live in a culture that emphasizes and idolizes productivity above all else. There are lots of programs out there that teach people how to be more efficient, multi-task and hustle. But I don’t think many of us, especially women, need a course in how to check off more items from our “to-do” list.
And so, this is NOT what I teach my clients. Instead, I encourage them to live in integrity with what brings them joy and lights them up.
Of course, this is what I want for myself too.
And so, I asked myself some big picture questions:
Why am I doing all of this?
What do I want to create with my life?
What impact do I want to make?
What is this all about if I don’t make time to enjoy it?
How do I want to feel – about my work, my family time, myself?
Big questions, I know, but incredibly important to consider, right?
Then, I made a new commitment to myself to cut back on my “to-do” list and be more intentionally focused on what brings me joy.
As a result, I’ve created more time for my weekly “artist’s date”. I’m determined to make this a priority in my life. If I want to fulfill my dream to inspire my clients to realize theirs, I understand that it’s important to regularly replenish my tank.
And so, I have been taking longer, more leisurely morning walks these days, permitting myself to deliberately dawdle and take in all that brings me pleasure.
Slowing down allowed me to meet two small deer one early morning, who were so content with eating their breakfast that they barely moved off the path.
And I caught the funny sight of a beaver scurrying by with a mouth full of straw, who looked so much like a walrus that I had to do a double take.
And … I got “buzzed” by two eagles, no more than ten feet above my head. I heard them before I saw them, their powerful flapping wings sounding like the thrumming blades of helicopter. This experience took my breath away!
Best of all, I gave myself time to relax, ponder, and have fun. You know, to create the kind of energy that sparks inspiration!
So now, I’m going to ask you…
When was the last time you replenished your tank? Have you used up your reserves?
Are you willing to make time in your schedule for an “artist’s date”?
If you’re feeling some resistance to this idea, you’re in good company. Please consider asking yourself the questions that helped me.
The things that bring you happiness and inspiration are the essence of life and are not meant to be on the bottom of your “to-do” list.
Your “artist’s dates” will give you the opportunity to listen to the whisperings of your soul and fuel you with the kind of uplifting energy that is much more fulfilling than the satisfaction of a completed checklist!
This I know for sure.