I recently did a speaking engagement at an art retreat and several of the attendees asked that I post it on my blog. So here it is.
Tips for a magical Life
First of all, find your joyful process. Mine happens to be journaling. But you may have more. Recently, my joyful process has been focused on the process of transforming our living space. More about this later (in another post).
So, if you can connect to your joyful process, you will connect with your passions which in turn will cause people to notice and then they will connect with that. They will notice and connect whether it's through viewing your artwork, reading your blog, talking to you at the coffeeshop, etc. Your passions will make you and what you do much more intoxicating and interesting.
The best artists are the ones who are constantly on the lookout for what makes the heart beat faster. Be sure to sketch it, take a photo, make a note of it, or even post it (pinterest, Facebook, a blog). This gives you vibrant inspiration which in turn will be seen in your work.
Put your art first. Stay open. Put in a TON of hard work. Regard work as a fulfilling opportunity to be the person you want to be and have the life you want to live. I love to work and lose my vitality when something gets in the way of it. It's always been that way. If work is a negative word for you, find a way to make it positive. Magic will happen.
Rituals can help. They help bring focus and energy to your day. Some of mine include:
- Coffee and journaling every morning. This can be done at a coffee shop or at home (these days it's been at home). I have a journaling desk that always has my open journal on it with some pens.
- I prepare vegetables in the morning for the day. I try to be in the moment while I am cutting them and washing them. I notice their brilliant colors, textures, smells. I try not to think about the day while I am doing this. This makes meals so much easier and greatly reduces the amount of time to cook. When I am barreling through the day, the last thing I want to do is bring my creating to a halt and spend an hour cooking. It allows flow throughout the day.
- I take a break about 3pm for a snack and read through my books and magazines for 15 minutes. If I am tired, I take a nap instead. This helps me to not get too obsessive with my work and projects and reminds me to stop and breathe.
Organization is the key to success. Make your organizing time enjoyable by listening to music. Be in the moment and enjoy the process. I cannot stress enough the value of being organized.
- Tidy when your studio is tidy (this would apply to your whole house too). Don't let it get really bad. Slow down and take that extra 5 minutes to put away your mess.
- Get rid of stuff! Clear out every cupboard, drawer, closet, room. This is so simple to do and makes your life so much more magical. LESS THINGS = CLEAR HEAD = BETTER CREATIVE FLOW. Fill up large trash bags, take them to a charity center and smile all the way home. As you are unloading clutter from your house, you are feeling lighter with every trip to the Goodwill. Don't consider for a moment how much something is worth that you are getting rid of. Instead focus on the fact that it's just the price you are paying for living a creative, flowing, magical life....one that flows and allows you to breathe and be at peace.
It's all about the Flow. You need flow in your body. Your environment needs to flow. Your artwork needs flow. And of course your passions rely on flow. Flow happens when stagnant energy is removed. Clutter does not equal flow. Cupboards that are packed with stuff is not flow. Eating foods that aren't good for you is not flow. Having too much in your home so you can't walk around freely is not flow. You get the picture here. Strive for flow in ALL areas of your life.
Goal setting is SO important too. Write goals and "wants" down. Say them out loud. Know in your heart that they will happen. Your list of goals is telling the Universe where to focus their energy. So, think BIG!
It is hard for artists to have schedules. I struggle with this. But a rough outline can really help. If you don't have a schedule, you can flutter away hours on the internet. It also allows the time and space to work on everything in your life you want to make time for. I would encourage you to sit down and write something out that includes everything you want to have time to do. Change it as needed as you go, adding and deleting activities to make your ideal life.
Lastly, work really hard. Don't wait for inspiration. Be wary of other people telling you what to do or what you should do (even as I am sitting here doing just that by writing this manifesto). ;) We all intuitively know what we need to do. Muster the energy within yourself to just make it happen.
When I had a real passion for something, it made me focus DEAD-ON! And I worked really hard at that regardless of other interesting intrusions. So, to summarize:
- Find your Joyful Process
- Connect with your Passions
- Shoot for a state of Flow
- Rituals are good to have
- Organization is Key
- Make a list of what you want in Life
- Believe in the fact that you will get it
- Work really hard
- Stay Focused
- Try to maintain a schedule