Posted by: Cathy | April 27, 2017

Mythology archetypes

When in doubt, ask the gods for help.

I’ve always been curious about mythology; it gives us a wealth of stories with interesting characters, and so many of the themes cross cultures, pointing to our human instinct to make sense of things.

When you’re struggling to make sense of something, like a challenge or block, try reading some myths. Look for a similar dynamic that you’re trying to overcome, or a story about a god representing attributes that would help you. We can invoke those qualities as an archetype to “step into” or meditate on to help us with our issue.

What myth seems familiar to you today?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 26, 2017

Perspiration/Inspiration

Perspiration can be a doorway to inspiration.

First off, you might be out taking a hike and suddenly get a creative idea. Your mind is relaxed in the rhythm of your steps and the fresh air, and it makes space for the ideas to pop in.

Secondly, you could be burning off stress working out and have a clearer mind later to do something creative. Stress is a huge creative blocker, and working through stress with physical exercise can improve your mental state.

Third, you could fake it ’til you make it and put in some elbow grease on a creative project until the inspiration arrives. You can show up uninspired and make a little progress, then the muse will meet you halfway.

What could you do this week to get physical and get creative?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 20, 2017

Yes, and – Work and Creativity

Yes, and … You can have a day-job and eat your creative cake, too

* Imagine being satisfied creatively ~and~ paying your bills and saving for retirement.
* Imagine feeling vibrant creativity flowing out of you ~and~ financial abundance flowing toward you.
* Imagine making creative visions real ~and~ meeting financial goals.

It doesn’t need to be either/or. You don’t need to choose being a starving artist or a financially solvent desk-jockey.

You can say, “YES, AND.” I am a writer and I am financially solvent.

Having a day-job supports you to maintain a certain standard of living ~and~ creativity gives that standard more vitality.

The trick is to find out what Work-Art balance is for you and how to make it happen in your life. Start by imagining the changes.

* How would your schedule change if you prioritized your creative work? What could you move or stop doing?
* How might your energy level change? Your attitude and outlook on life? Your presence in relationships? Your health and well-being?
* How could you start to move toward that vision? What change could you make first?

I’ve been resentful of my day-job for a long time, basically the whole time actually. But lately, I can be thankful to my job for supporting my lifestyle, giving me funds to travel, and giving me a stable foundation to support my creative ideas. I don’t need to waste creative energy wondering how I’m going to pay the rent; I can funnel my energy into my creations.

My stable day-job takes some stresses away, although it creates some problems with creative time and energy; however, those problems can be solved. By integrating my working life and my creative life, I can heal my resentment and allow more creativity to blossom.

We each have enough time to do what is important. Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, and Oprah all had the same number of hours in a day. They said “YES, AND”, and they got shit done.

Are you ready to say it too?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 19, 2017

Creative Vitality – Get Spookier

I’m a fan of intuitive Kyle Gray. I went to one of his workshops and I remember him talking about his intuitive gifts, and how when he changed his diet to reduce sugar and dairy, he “got spookier.”

I love the idea of “getting spookier.” I think diet is very personal and no one diet is perfect for everyone (for the record, I love cheese and won’t be giving up dairy ever), but you know how you feel after you eat a balanced meal or when you don’t. Consider how this affects your creativity.

Creativity is like a mental muscle, and it needs fuel. A sugar- and/or caffeine-rush might give you a boost of creative energy, but it’s not sustainable; you’ll crash and need recovery time. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you’ll have more stable, reliable creative energy for the long haul. Rather than just a creative practice, you can have creative vitality.

Own your creative power, commit to “getting spookier,” and try a healthy eating plan to support your creative energy. (Cooking is creative too and can inspire your other creative pursuits!) Your diet is an essential component of good self-care and good creative habits.

What kind of eating plan would most support your creative goals?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 17, 2017

Creativity Dis-ease 9: Creative Grief

In my role as a creativity coach, I’ve identified 12 creativity dis-eases that get us off-track from our art. Each month, I’ll highlight one.

This month, we’re talking about “Creative Grief.” Can you relate?

Maybe your computer crashed and you lost all the files for your novel; or your art room was damaged in a fire or flood. You lost a lot of your work. You’re in shock and feeling grief. Those are natural emotions, but don’t let them incapacitate you.

The solution is to mourn the loss, recover, then get back into creative rehab and get back to work. Also, backup your future work!

Every creative project is practice for what comes later. You may have been very proud of something you lost, but you can make an infinite number of things just as good or better. Take time to mourn what you lost, recreate parts from memory if it’s very important to you, but then move on and create new things. No one project really defines you as an artist, even if it goes big and people “typecast” you for it; you can do whatever you want with your creative time and make an infinite number of things.

Don’t stop working if you lose something or everything. Your creativity comes from inside you and is an infinite well of possibility.

What do you think? Have you experienced “Creative Grief”?

If you feel your creativity health is off, take my free Creativity Health Assessment quiz to identify your creativity dis-ease! Then consider signing up for my free 30-minute Creativity Health Plan coaching session to help you find a solution for your creativity dis-ease.

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Posted by: Cathy | April 13, 2017

Quarterly Check-in

We’re into the second quarter of the year, and the mid-point for my personal year cycle (which starts Sep 30), so it’s a natural point for me to do a check-in reading.

In my annual reading, I got a challenging card for April, so at my check-in I did a 7-card “chakra” spread to find out more information on my challenging card. It gave me some ideas for what changes to make to have an easier April. I’m still moving through the month and seeing how it plays out, but the clarifying spread I did makes me feel more proactive than simply waiting for the predicted challenge to fall in my lap. I can take steps to head it off at the pass and stay on track.

How is your year going? Is it time for you to do your own check-in reading, or schedule one with your favorite card reader?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 12, 2017

You can’t hide from your gift

Someone told me a while ago, “Your gift will keep coming up. If you’re supposed to do it, you can’t hide from it.”

Even if you aren’t sure what your gift is, you’ll keep getting a sense of “not enough” or an urge to seek something out.

I believe that the meaning of life is to find your gift and learn how to use it. Our gift is something that comes easily to us (so easily that we might not recognize it is the gift!) but learning how to use it is the challenge.

One of my gifts is fiction writing. I know it’s my gift because I first remember doing it back in second grade, it comes easily to me, and I feel so much better on days when I do it versus days that I don’t. Even when the writing is difficult, it brings me a sense of expansion and lightness. Learning how to use it has been an on-going challenge; how to fit writing into “real life,” how to overcome blocks and distractions, how to stick to it and see a project through.

Those are life lessons as much as they are creative lessons.

I keep bumping up against the challenges in a spiral-like cycle, but even though it’s a struggle, I know I have to keep going through the door when the muse knocks to invite me to play. She keeps showing up and inviting me. It’s up to me to acknowledge her and make the time to play with her.

If you ignore your muse or your dream when it keeps showing up, you spiral down into guilt and repression. It’s a challenge either way; you don’t get an easy out!

Why not accept the productive, creative challenge and skip the guilt? You can’t hide from your gift.

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Posted by: Cathy | April 10, 2017

QQ: How do you feel?

Questing Questions are a regular feature on my blog; basically, a journal question to get you further along in your life quest. If journaling isn’t your thing, feel free to take the question as your focus for a meditation, a prayer, or a piece of artwork.

When people you know casually ask how you’re doing, you probably just say “I’m fine, and you?” without giving it much thought. But how do you really feel?

This month, my theme is “feelings in art”, and I encourage you to really check in with yourself and ask how do you feel. Really.

You might have stress about something in particular, or it could be a more general sense of discomfort or anxiety, or a shadow of something in the past you’re still carrying. You might not want to look at it but, even if you can’t do anything about the situation today, it still helps to acknowledge and witness what you’re feeling.

Give yourself permission to feel whatever comes up. Just feel it, just experience the emotion and let it move through you. It won’t last forever. Let it pass and then do a self-care practice to recover and move back into your daily life.

How do you feel?

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Posted by: Cathy | April 6, 2017

Links Lasso March

Coach Blog 060216 links lasso I’m sharing a monthly links round-up, I call it my Links Lasso, of interesting articles and things I’ve found each month. Here are the goodies I came across in March:

(This is a rather short list, mostly I was thinking about footie this month!)

Posted by: Cathy | April 5, 2017

Healthy Finances for Artists

I’ve heard Cheryl Richardson make this statement a few times: One of the most important gifts you can give your creative self is a healthy financial situation.

It’s tax time in the US, so many of us are thinking about our finances. I’m in a fortunate situation and have been debt-free for about 5 years now. It took a long time to get there, and I haven’t bought a house yet so I don’t have a mortgage, but I’ve been free of student loans, car loans, and credit card debt for 5 years and it feels really good.

There are enough stresses in daily life, and all of those stresses take energy away from our creative pursuits. By setting up a good financial foundation, we reduce one of the major stresses in life. It doesn’t translate into immediate art production, though; with good finances, we probably have day-jobs and budgets, which still take time and energy away from our art, but it gives us one smaller worry to contend with. Knowing our rent is paid and our fridge has groceries, we have more mental space to be creative. This is good self-care.

Consider the relationship between your creativity and your financial situation. Then consider your financial situation with a bit of creativity – what is something you could do this month to strengthen your financial foundation?

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