When I stumbled upon this quote today I had a major aha moment. Life has felt unusually overwhelming and frustrating lately and I think Emerson nailed at least part of the reason why.
It seems I’ve been letting my problems and fears lead the way rather than my hopes and dreams.
When I look back to some of the most joyful and satisfying creative experiences of my life ~ moving to the Virgin Islands, recording my CD, Dancing In Limbo, creating and hosting my CD release party/Women for Women International benefit, and even starting my Creative Oasis Coaching business ~ my creative dreams, not fears, illuminated the path I needed to take.
Energy flows where attention goes and I’ve been paying way too much attention to negative thoughts and scary scenarios that may never even materialize.
The good news is with this newfound awareness I can now take the small steps needed to start looking at life through a more positive lens.
Here are five ways I know I can help turn my focus away from my problems and fears and toward my creative dreams and desires. If making a shift like this sounds good to you too, I invite you to join me.
1 ~ Create Vision Boards ~ You can to do this in two different ways ~ using paper and digitally. I love both! It’s always fun to grab a stack of magazines and quickly and intuitively pull images that support your creative dream and simply paste them onto your board. You can also use Pinterest to curate inspiring digital boards.
Try to take a look at your boards at least once a day to keep soaking in the motivating visuals you’ve chosen.
2 ~ Mindsculpt What You Want ~ Many of my clients say this is one of their favorite techniques that I share with them. It’s a method often used by Olympic athletes, perhaps most famously, Lance Armstrong when he was in the hospital and missing his Tour de France training
The idea is to envision yourself in the scenario you desire as completely as possible. Visualize all aspects of the experience from your point of view and mentally rehearse how you will act, think and feel. Holding this vision for even a few seconds a day helps your mind open up to new possibilities and can even trick your body into believing the action is really being taken.
Hence Armstrong’s ability to “train” effectively in his mind to maintain his speed and muscle mass while lying in a hospital bed.
3 ~ Practice Gratitude ~ Intentionally writing or speaking aloud at least three things you’re feeling grateful for each day helps you to appreciate the wonderful experiences you’re already enjoying right here and now. It moves you away from “I’ll be happy when _______ happens” type of thinking.
Truthfully, this habit comes and goes for me and now feels like an ideal time to bring it back into my life and strengthen it.
4 ~ Act As If ~ This is a fun one! Remember playing pretend when you were a kid? “Acting as if” is a little like that. As you go through your day you pretend that your creative dream has already come true. In reality, you may be playing piano and singing for your dog, but you can pretend he’s one of many members of the packed audience at your local open mic night. If your dream is to sell paintings, you may act as if each time you paint you’re creating a commissioned piece.
5 ~ Expose Yourself To The Creativity Of Others ~ Taking a break from your own process and soaking up the creative goodness of others is a great way to get a fresh focus and reenergize your dreams. (The Creative Oasis Day Trippers outing to the Mexico 1900 – 1950 Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art May 25th could be just the ticket. Click here for details.)
Knowing I have these five small steps as a way to begin has me feeling better already!
Are you ready to let your creative dreams lead you into the fun and fulfilling creative life you crave? Why not choose one or two of the techniques above to play with in the coming week? If you’d like more personalized support one-on-one Creative Oasis Coaching could be just what you need!
Until next time, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,