2018 is coming to a close and 2019 is about to begin!
First let’s have a BIG Shout Out: WHOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Why? Wellllllll … coz’ … We are still here! Call me crazy, but I think Gratitude is a great way to start anything. Please also, feel free to hold onto that Gratitude as we move forward. It will really come in handy, I think.
One thing I have noticed about our journey as human beings (NOTE: Dear Artist & Creative … YOU are in that category J) is that we mostly are NOT born into environments that encourage us to celebrate ourselves. Not only that, but we are NOT necessarily taught that along the way either. Frankly, what we are mostly trained in is Blame, Shame and Guilt … all leading to making ourselves wrong and beating ourselves up.
As Artists and Creatives we seem to be particularly critical of ourselves and our work. We take the word “critique” to mean judgement and elevate it to an all-time place on high that allows it to rule our lives. Our work is not good enough, we are not good enough, we didn’t do enough … basically we just aren’t enough … you get the point, right?
As we approach the end of 2018, I know I can trust you to completely come up with a thick list of what-went-wrong, what-you-did-wrong, what-you-didn’t-do, what-you-should-have-done, etc. That is the water we normally swim in as each year comes to an end … the woulda’, shoulda’, coulda’ world. YUCK! Celebrate yourself and your year? I can hear the chorus of, “You gotta’ be kidding, Kym!” Nop, I’m not kidding!
By the way, I am not saying it is not important to learn from the year that has just flown by. However, our tendency is to just use everything that did and didn’t happen the way we thought it should have (or someone else thought it should have) to beat up on ourselves doesn’t provide us with much of a constructive lesson. Just more blame, shame, guilt … so, let’s not!
Instead, I think it is time for a dose of something different … something that may take a little work it is so different. How about, as you reflect on 2018, you ask yourself one question that will enable you to celebrate yourself? This question will allow you to see what you did right. Whatttttttttt? That’s right … CELEBRATE YOU!!!
So often, in our search for all that we did wrong, we skip the important lessons buried in what we did right. In not taking the time to find them and acknowledge them then chances are they pass us by, and we stop doing them. Not a good move. We may have been forging some good foundations, but we toss it all out in not recognizing that the trajectory was good. We don’t need to toss those things out … what we may need to do instead is: keep doing them, do more of them and take them to a new level.
So I am going to give you a new question you can ask yourself to prompt your what-did-I-do-wrong-seeking brain in a new direction. You may have to dig some. You may need to shut your old brain patterns down some as they tell you that “this is not the way to do it … you need to find things we did wrong”. It is OK to ignore those voices in your head and simply build some new patterns.
I suggest you write out the answers to this question first. Later you can draw them, make collages of them, create songs about them, choregraph a dance to represent them … however you may want to Creatively celebrate them. But, first please write them out. The process of writing stimulates your brain in a particular way that lends to critical thinking, conceptual development and memory recall. All of that is important for the process we are going to use.
Ready?????? Here is the simple, new question to ask yourself:
WHAT WAS GOOD ABOUT 2018???????
Yep, I said simple. Any resistance you feel or naysaying your critic brain is doing right now is just a cover up to sabotage you from doing this work. Push forward. Go hunting. Seriously, go looking … I swear there were things that were good that you can find!
Try not to let this become a size thing or a judgement thing. “Kinda’ Good”, “Good” and “Really Good” all include “Good” and therefore are all Good. Your brain will just use that type of judgement to weed things out (i.e. “That wasn’t good enough so don’t list it.”).
It can be ANYTHING … Open up your Creativity here! Perhaps you:
- Found a new technique in your creative medium (even if was by accident)
- Altered your thought process about something (go ahead admit it to yourself you don’t even need to tell anyone else).
- Experienced emotions you now want to express (any emotions on the scale of emotions are perfect … it can be joy as well as anger)
- Learned about a new place to view some kind of Art (on-line counts as much as a physical Museum or live Theatre)
- Formed or strengthened relationships with other Artists (either individually or as part of a community, either in person or on-line)
- Had a show, exhibition or performance (even only 2 people showed up and they were family members)
- Made things (no matter how big, small, light or profound)
- Had a great conversation (or several great conversations) about Art, Creativity, the business of Art, etc.
The fabulous thing about being an Artist or Creative is that we are, for the most part, very holistic in that our whole life ends up in our Art somehow. No matter how much it may seem like the Art is separate from the Artist … they are connected. So, look not just for good things in your Art, but in your whole life.
Consider, also, that even things that may not have seemed to go well in the moment may have had a good result or could have provided an opportunity for something good in the long run if you are open to looking at it differently. Hindsight is a great set of glasses to look through.
I had some, what could have been considered as “rough” patches this past year, but each one of them led me down a path that I normally wouldn’t have gone down and I am so grateful for what showed up on those not-previously-thought-of paths once I opened myself up to them.
For example: Did you end a major relationship, or have a health/wellness challenge? What could have been good about any of those things? An ended relationship could have made room for something or someone new or just the chance to be alone and grow. A health challenge may have given you a new appreciation for being alive and maybe a new level of commitment to taking care of yourself.
This is not about being a Pollyanna … it is simply about choosing to view life in a particular way to find something useful. We find what we are looking for. Let me repeat that: We find what we are looking for!!!! If we are looking for bad things our brain will filter out good things and even contextualize things as bad. The reverse is true if we are looking for good things.
Bottom line is that, if we look intentionally and mindfully, there is always something good (and I assert multiple good things) we can celebrate over a full year of our life. Give yourself the gift of taking some time for you, opening up the search for good things and free up your creativity so that good things bubble up to the surface. List them out for yourself. Once you start you may be surprised how each good thing you discover pulls up more things and it becomes easier.
Once you have your list then use it. For what you ask? TO CELEBRATE!!! Read your list out loud and clap and shout. Find an app for your phone that has applause sounds and play it for each item. Congratulate yourself!!! Do it in the mirror or in a video camera if you want to have a bigger impact. Really take in the acknowledgement of your accomplishments.
You can even take it a step further by making Art of it as I suggested earlier! Make a visual, auditory or performance piece out of it. The point? You want to be able to come back and review it throughout 2019. When you feel stuck, or things may not be going the way you want, then you want to remind yourself about the things that went well in 2018 to motivate and inspire you onward.
What’s NEXT? Once you have fully celebrated your accomplishments in 2018 then in that space of celebration you can create 2019! What do you use to do that? So glad you asked! Let’s keep this streamlined too! Let’s just ask two questions:
- What do you want more of in 2019?
- What do you want that is new in 2019?
Again … this list can be related to both your Art and your life since they are connected! Let that list be as long and outrageous seeming as you want. Remember that there were things went well in 2018 (and you now have a list to prove it). 2019 has an even better chance of being filled with the Good things you want if you will start by saying what you want!
Some of the new things you want sound too outrageous for now? You notice they are getting labeled that way by the voices in your head which may get VERY loud telling you things like, “That’s impossible”, “You can’t possibly do that.”, or worse yet, “You don’t deserve that”. Please, tell those voices to Shut Up (over & over if you need to). They are just old brain patterns trying to limit you.
Notice, I didn’t ask you to make any resolutions or to make a game plan with what all you had to do in order to get those things you want? That’s right. Will you need to make some action plans and be accountable to produce those actions to really get what you want? Yes! Actions = Results! But, don’t let that interfere right now. We will come back to making action plans in January.
Right now, your job is just to make the list. Let yourself get inspired, motivated and turned on by what you want in 2019. No naysaying allowed. Remind yourself of all the good things that happened in 2018. You can have a 2019 of Good things too! Feel free to Celebrate your 2018 accomplishments some more if you need to or want to in order to keep you going with your 2019 list.
Once your list is done for now (make it a Work-In-Progress that you can modify and add to later) then celebrate it too. Read though it. Enjoy it. Make it into Art if you want with any medium that you want. Have it become a creation, beyond the list, where you can use it to remind you and inspire you throughout 2019.
Next blog post I will talk about making those things you want for 2019 a reality. Until then let yourself keep celebrating your accomplishments, be grateful to be here now & keep adding to your 2019 list!
Ending on a personal note: I am Grateful for each of you Artists and Creatives out there in the world creating! Thank YOU! Please know you make a difference! I wish you an AMAZING beginning to 2019.
P.S.: Normally, each year, I have an extensive list of questions I ask myself in order to end the current year and begin the new year powerfully. This year I felt the need to just streamline and focus based on what I have learned by watching my clients go through those questions. Just in case … for those of you who might want more … here are the blog posts from last year. Just replace 2017 & 2018 with 2018 & 2019 and VIOLA … you will be good to go as the process is the same:
To complete 2018 Powerfully and Creatively: http://www.creativevisionsrising.com/completing-2017-powerfully-creatively/
To Create Your Artistic Intentions and Goals for 2019: http://www.creativevisionsrising.com/creating-artist-intentions-goals-2018/