It's an interesting thing, this exploration of art and life.
I am not a typical artist (is there such a thing?) I do not have a fine arts degree... I do not have a background in fine arts nor did I grow up in a culturally rich environment.
I DID grow up in a very creative family... my father was an incredibly talented and probably frustrated artist. He could draw anything and one of my favorite memories is the mural he drew on the kitchen wall in oils depicting a winter snow scene. And my mom... well she could whip up curtains, coverlet and pillows in an afternoon without aid of a pattern (she did this on occasion.)
So the creative blood flows through these veins for sure..... and I'm so happy that I have found myself navigating this path. I learn something new, fresh, and amazing daily. One thing that I wasn't prepared for, though, was this idea of the starving artist. I mean, yes, I'd heard that phrase... but, I really had no idea how much this idea permeated our own culture.
I am feeling a little more fired up than usual about this topic because of an online group I belong to. A question was posed by a disappointed artist who had signed up for yet another course promising to teach how to not only make a living but become rich by selling your artwork. She felt scammed because the content was not focused on how to go about building an art business, rather it was about how to host webinars much like the one she was attending. It was rather like the old ads in the newspapers claiming to teach you how to make a million dollars, just send $1 in a stamped self-address envelope and the advice was 'place an ad in the newspaper.......'
I wasn't fired up about her disappointment or the fact that she was trying to discover how to create a business for herself... I was more taken aback by the group's host response. She said that (true) artists are not in it for the money... they are in it to create beauty in the world or to tell a story visually.
And granted, these things can definitely be true. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean we can't build a business or aspire to live abundantly or successfully (however we define this for ourselves) through our art. It's a crazy notion. And even more than that, it's a harmful one. We are being taught that somehow the desire to earn money makes us less than.
I'm calling Bullshit. Stop this insanity. Artists who follow their passions deserve support.... not disdain simply because they are trying to make money.
The world of art is definitely changing because of the internet. No longer is there one clear definition about what success looks like. And now more than ever it has become very accessible to the many. And more art in the world? Can that really be a bad thing?
Art heals. Art transforms.
Stepping down now, from my soapbox.
It will come as no surprise to many of you that I love me some good visioning. It is a technique that I have used to great success for most of my life... from a wee sporty and competitive girl to ambitious woman and all the stages in between, it not only helps me focus, but more importantly it lays the foundation of BELIEVING that I can and WILL achieve what I set out to do.
I have found that often times the thing we want the most is, for whatever reason, the thing we think we can't have.... and that sets in motion a whole lotta challenges that frankly, you just don't need.
A powerful way to turn those self-limiting beliefs around is to engage in some visualization. You have the power within you to create the life you truly desire.
Start at the END... what does your future you look like... what are you doing... how are you living... and what does that feel like? Once you have created a powerful mind-picture (Vision) for yourself, you can work backwards and create goals to help you bring to life this clear vision.
Working one on one with folks to help them map our their course is something I love doing. Seeing you achieve your true desires brings me great joy. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Theodore Roosevelt is: Believe you can and your halfway there.
What vision are you working on bringing to life?
I just finished a magical meeting with one of my most favorite people, Rebecca Villarreal. Today we were zooming together to think about all the various ways we show up in the world... the various 'income streams' and how we want to move forward in our lives. It is a theme for me to continually check in with myself ... a 'gut check' if you will and it's always more fun when I get the chance to do that with a trusted friend and soul sister.
And what I thought was going to be an 'all biz' focused meeting of creating my income streams (slow down, Corporate Linda) turned into a discovery of messages from the universe. The flow was spontaneous and perfect. it was exactly the thing.
It cleared the way for me to put together some concrete plans around opening up to bigger and greater possibilities... it helped me identify some nagging intuitive things that were signals that I was continuing to bat away like an annoying fly... it helped me grab onto the way my energy expands when I'm thinking and talking about the things I'm passionate about as well as the way I contract when confronted with the stuff that zaps me.
Being aware... truly aware is so powerful. It allows you to make decisions that move you forward and closer to your dreams.
I invite you to spend time dreaming... getting in touch with that inner wisdom... and honoring your instincts. Everything you need, truly is within you.
What are some of your rituals for checking in with yourself?
It is an interesting thing, starting a business. Especially a brick and mortar business. So often these days, most of what I read pertains to online businesses. Start Ups. And all things 'necessary'. to be successful at it.
And there is a LOT of information out there. Let me be clear. THERE IS A LOT OF INFO OUT THERE! And it can definitely feel overwhelming. It can lead to analysis paralysis---there is always a little more to learn, a little more to know, getting to that one perfect piece that helps the rest of the puzzle fall magically into place.
I've learned something, though. Regardless of what the business. Regardless of what you need to learn, there is most definitely going to be a lot of information to sort through, to make sense of, and to leverage for your benefit. So begin. Just because you begin doesn't mean you stop learning along the way. It doesn't mean you can't shift your approach or change your mind. It does mean you won't keep that great idea under wraps, anymore, though.
Here are 4 easy things to do to get started... and by the way, you don't need to be starting a business for these steps to be meaningful to you:
And then sometimes it just doesn't go according to plan at all.....
After a year (?) of solid work and recognizing I needed break and time off, I scheduled a sabbatical. I had a plan. A great plan. It included time with one of my favorite people. Planning. Down Time. Some of my favorite things.
But a funny thing happened. The plan went to hell in a hand basket.
I was so tired. I couldn't think straight. I needed more than a little down time. And even though I had scheduled down time, I couldn't bring myself to do any work, And so there it was. I kept flipping the schedule around to accommodate my need to be disconnected. Shifting. Thinking I'd get to everything. Because that's what I do.
But not this time.
Don't get me wrong. I am an advocate of time off. Of down time. But...I'm also a fan of planning and chunking my time. So instead of reveling in down-time, I kept chastising myself... feeling guilty over the 'lost time'. And instead of feeling accomplished and well-rested, I wound up feeling drained and tired.
And here's what I learned:
- Sometimes I just need to have complete down-time with no schedule at all
- It's good to be aware... I figured it out at the very end of my time off, BUT I FIGURED IT OUT
- Being 'productive' cannot be my only measure of success. How I'm feeling is more important
- I need to start bullet journaling. This doesn't really have to do with my time off, but it is something I learned. : )
I'm excited to try out this new found info.... to test out this permission slip I've granted myself and to begin again.
What are your favorite ways to decompress? What do you like to do when you take time off?
There are a lot of things people don't tell you when you decide to open a business. And a lot of things they DO tell you that, quite frankly are wrong or don't apply to you. The key is being able navigate through it all without freaking out (too much.)
I don't know that I've completely mastered it, but I DO know I'm far better at it now than I was once upon a time. Here are a few tips for holding onto your sanity when you're making a scary choice and going for it.
1- Don't listen to the naysayers. Even when they are those closest to you. Thank them for their input if you want to preserve the relationship, and then let it go. Don't try to defend your position with someone who doesn't get it or will never be on board with your leap.
2- When you are being bold it scares people. Try to remember that their reaction has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
3- Cut yourself some slack. As the owner you are going to be responsible for everything to begin with... undoubtedly there will be a learning curve and while you try to get it all done, things will invariably fall through the cracks. It is going to happen. It won't be the end of the world.
4. Surround yourself as much as you can with people who cheer you on and challenge you to soar even higher. We have enough of a 'oh my god what have I just done' script running through our heads. We need those who are willing to leap with us! Especially for those days when we aren't so sure...
What are YOUR tips for moving through uncertainty?
Living a joy*filled life is a top priority. Here I will share what I learn along the way.