Weathering the Storm

I think we can all admit, it’s been a DOOZY lately.

Hurricanes, Forest Fires, and the anniversary of 9/11.

I stared up at the sky to see twin lights over Manhattan this week and was reminded of the sirens and smoke, and so many lives lost on that day.

I had one client show me a picture of raging flames outside her property, and two others re-building in the wake of Harvey and Irma.

How are you doing?
How is your heart?

In the face of these disasters and devastation, it can be so easy to feel heavy-hearted.

So often in these moments we feel out of control. The devastation can feel like waves crashing over and over. How do we weather the storm?

Today, I want to offer a healing balm.

Take a moment, wherever you are reading this, and place your hand on your belly.  Bring your attention back to the rise and fall of your breath.

You are ALLOWED to feel.

I’m here to remind you.

Disaster can be overwhelming, and it’s so easy to just disconnect and shut down.

In this uncertainty, where is your Art?
Where is your expression?

When you look at your brushes, your camera, your pencils, the stage or blank page…how do you feel?

The real question is, how do you create in the storm?

 

In 1982, sculptor Seward Johnson completed work on a piece called Double Check.

Double Check is the life size bronze of a business man sitting on a bench as he sifts through his briefcase, seeming to make final preparations for an upcoming business meeting in a nearby office building.

Installed in Liberty Plaza Park in downtown Manhattan, the sculpture soon became a fixture in the downtown landscape, a symbol in honor of the thousands of people who work every day in the financial district.

For 20 years, this art brought enjoyment, inspiration, and joy to all who witnessed it’s life-like form.

All in the shadows of the World Trade Center.

Until September 11, 2001.

The destruction of that day covered the figure in ash, and though all the moorings were loosened, the figure endured as a still object in a world of chaos.

Afterward, it became a memorial, with mourners leaving notes, photographs, candles, and flowers on and near it.

Seward left all visible damage the piece had sustained in the attacks, and the sculpture was re-installed on a granite bench in the plaza it had occupied before 9/11.

To remind us all.

This is the power of Art.

It endures.

It inspires, and it gives you AND your audience the reminder of something far more powerful than any storm, fire or attack.

Our humanity.

Having that sculpture gave great comfort to every person who visited the site, offering a safe place to mourn and remember.  The art allowed each witness to cry, and ultimately heal.

The sculpture helped people to come back to a core need that had felt torn apart in the face of deep despair,

Belonging.

Think of the immense joy you have felt reading your favorite book, or seeing your favorite singer in concert.

You have been captivated.

Something comes alive in you at that moment. You feel like you are a part of the experience.  You feel connected, and a sense of belonging emerges bringing the sweet flow of inspiration.

And when we are inspired, we can do great things.

This is the same for your audience.  They connect to their humanity through your work.

Seward Johnson didn’t “tidy” things up!  It was messy, it was real, it was exactly what people needed at that moment, and it struck a chord.

His art was honest.

So, translate today INTO your Art.

This is the gift we have as Artists.  We can take our experience and allow it to speak through the medium of song, dance, words and pictures.

And when we do translate, it actually heals us.  We feel connected to our humanity, to our gifts, and to what lights us up from within.

Pick up your brush, pick up your journal, go to your instrument, and ALLOW.

I’m here to remind you.

It’s all there inside, enduring in the fire and storm.

 

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

 

Magical Time

Sweet Creative Flow.

When everything comes easy.

Your fingers are gliding across your instrument
The words are pouring out of your pen
Your brush is moving with ease across the canvas
You click your camera just as the light illuminates

You are tapped in, and there is this energetic force running through you, and a deep fulfillment, because you are doing what you love….

AND IT’S EASY.

Looking at your Art, you know this is a true expression from YOU.

It’s like a sweet ocean breeze, right?

So, why do we so often experience this instead….

You’re staring at a blank computer screen
You feel overwhelmed and exhausted
The blank paper  or canvas is there and you are SO unmotivated

NOTHING IS COMING…..

Isn’t this what you love?
Isn’t this your passion?

What is the DEAL?

It may be something so simple, and yet this one thing can make the difference between you actually creating Great Art or remaining stuck.

The secret?

TIME.

 

Craig Ballantyne of The Perfect Day Formula defines this Flow state as, Magic Time.

It’s the actual time in your day when you are at your most Creative.

Any idea when that is?

If not, no worries!  Let’s play a game.

Take today, and write down what you are doing and how you are feeling throughout your day.  Craig likes to suggest using 20 minutes intervals.

When do you feel most alive?
When are you getting the most done?
When do you just want to curl up in a ball and sleep?

And the thing that’s most beautiful is, this is totally individual.

One of my clients is father to four energetic boys.  Morning time is with his sons, and at night he is on fire.  This is his Magic Time, and he’s using it to write his first book.

Another client finds morning are her Magic Time for writing, and then she feels deeply inspired to paint at night, so she has bookend Magic Times for her days.

What about you?

 

I love to write.  Sitting down every week to connect with you is a joy, however, I found I was having trouble.

My blog publishes on Fridays, and I would sit down on Thursday afternoons or evenings to write, and I was feeling crunched.

I was feeling stressed as I wrote, and found 2-3 hours would go by, and I was questioning a lot of what I was writing.

Ugh!

Have you ever felt like this?

Then, I decided to try something new, and had a total shift.

I woke up one Wednesday morning and decided to write first thing, before taking care of anything else in my business.

The result?

A blog post that flowed with ease in less than an hour.

Not only did this free up my very full Thursdays, it boosted my confidence, and gave me the space to fully explore and ENJOY my writing.

I discovered that my morning right after I meditate is my MAGIC TIME.

This is when I am at my least resistant, and most focused.  This makes the process more joyful, and the QUALITY of my work much higher.

Instead of wasting hours in indecision and frustration, I can get my writing done, and feel GOOD about it.

 

We are not meant to be at war with our Art.

Take a breath, and look at your Day.  What are you giving your time and energy to specifically, and stop trying to FORCE or PUSH.

What got you here won’t get you there.

If you are continually finding yourself stuck, there is always a reason and it’s TIME to try something new.

It’s time to tap in, and become intimate with what actually serves you.

Find your Magic Time, and give yourself the gift of using it.  Turn off your other distractions, and step into your full Creative Power.

Step into your Flow.