As artists, much of our identity comes from our art. When we aren’t connected to our art, we feel disconnected from ourselves. Often, we don’t know why this happens. Often, we’ll brush off what’s going on inside, insisting on “lack of inspiration” or “not having enough time”. No matter the case, we must go inside and figure out why we can’t seem to get ourselves to do the things we love the most. Like a garden, we must be tended to, nurtured, and cared for to bring for the best “fruit”. With that in mind, I’d like us to explore what it would be like if we viewed our well-being and significance the way we view that of the earth. If you are feeling burnt out, uninspired, or in the trenches of writer’s block, this article is for you.
Get to the Roots
When is the last time you thought about why you’re not creating? Like really thought about it. If you took the time, and look at every angle, including yourself, you might uncover issues you have been avoiding. Please understand, there is nothing wrong with brushing off the things that hurt. It’s a very natural coping mechanism. However, when you push those emotions and experiences down, you’re not getting rid of them. Instead, you are absorbing it, and it becomes a part of you. Those things affect not just your work, but who you are as a whole. Before you can dive into analyzing why you are in the funk you’re in, it’s important to ground yourself. You are more than what you make. You are more than how brilliantly you can perform. Your gifts are yours first. When you’re ready to tackle the things that bind you most, allow your art to heal you. As a writer, journaling has been my release. Maybe it could be for you, too.
Growing of Sprouts
No matter what is going on in your life, you must be able to rest and know what this means for you. For many of us, finding time for silence and solitude is essential to our process. Try to find this space for yourself– even if it means investing in earplugs and hiding in a closet. While in there, think of ways you can nurture, uplift, and inspire yourself during this recharge. I am big on lists. I like to have things to look forward to during the week, such as going to the park on Sunday mornings, or making tea while I read a book before bed. You make all the rules. The process may be slow and gradual, but it still requires putting forth intentional effort towards your healing.
Water the Leaves, Please
When it comes to self-care, you make the rules. The only difference between these actions and pampering yourself is you are creating boundaries that are healthy for you to heal without stress or influence. You can carry this practice with others around you as well. If during your recharge journey you need to “disconnect” from certain people, mindsets, practices, ideas, or environments, take the time to review your options and act on them. You deserve to be in the safest, most peaceful place possible for all of this to work. The same way we can neglect to water our plants properly is the same treatment we give to ourselves. If you don’t feel safe within yourself and the world around you, you can breathe life into either.
Watch Those Weeds
Let’s assume you’ve been doing the work up to this point. Your diet has improved, you have maintained healthy boundaries, you’ve taken the time to enjoy yourself, etc. This is probably even the first time you have really relaxed. Even still, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to step into producing again. So far, we have gotten most of the emotional reside out of the way. We feel safe, confident, and free– all things artists should feel. But we have been distracted. Though for good reason, it is time to stop ignoring our purpose in this life. The purpose of this time away was to connect you back to the reasons you do these passion projects to being with. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What purpose does my art serve for me?
- How can I better serve myself through my heart?
- What purpose does my art serve for others?
- What are the ways I can be more authentic in how I display and produce my art?
- Am I being fully myself in my expression?
- What am I afraid of? Failure? Being judged? Being ignored or forgotten? Not being good enough? How can I release those energies through my work?
Even with your laundry-list of goals and expectations, you will never be perfect. Instead, why not accept yourself as you are? You’d be surprised how many people dream of having your gifts. If you haven’t already, consider adding a gratitude ritual into your daily routine. You have so much to be grateful for just being able to exist only. Being able to add to the richness of this life with vibrancy of art is part of what makes of all this worth it. You are a part of the light whether you acknowledge it or not.
Reaping the Harvest
So, you have done the work. You have taken the time. Now what? What do you hope to accomplish after this time apart? Better yet, what have you already done? Did you improve the way you paint? Did you develop a daily routine? Have you prioritized self-care? How are you treating yourself when you’re feeling down or critical? You are more than an able body, an abstract mind, and a heart of charisma, you are a person. Everything you have done up to this point and onward sets the tone for any fruit you wish to bear. Now you understand that to get the abundance you deserve; you must get your hands dirty a bit. But once it is all buried deep, fertilized with purpose, fueled by the light of your passion, and nurtured with the watering of self, anything can happen. Live freely and live lightly— you deserve it.