Your Five Closest

Have you ever felt completely depleted?

You feel low energy, and as you stare at your Art projects, there is an emptiness…a lack of inspiration.

And this feels so icky! Your Art is your heartbeat and passion.

What is going on?

The muse has left the building, and it can feel very lonely.

So what do we do in that moment?
How do we turn it around to return to that place of energy, joy, and creative flow?

How do we go from feeling stuck to inspired action?

A few weeks ago, I went to see a close friend present her choreography at Martha Graham.  It was a very special night, as she was showcasing work that had taken two years to compile.

At the end of the show, the audience leapt to the their feet, and as I stood cheering, I became aware of one woman in the back, shouting very loudly. Turning to see who it was, my whole stomach dropped.

Standing clear as day was a woman who used to be my friend, who used to be one of my closest confidants, and even a fellow performer.

We shared years of secrets, tears, triumphs and tribulations….until it all ended, right in the wake of my devastating divorce.

A friend no more, I hadn’t seen her in years, and instantly I could feel my body tighten.

Would she say anything to me?
Would I say anything to her?

I hadn’t seen her when I came in, and now with hindsight it made perfect sense she was here.  Of course, she is also close friends with the choreographer.

Friends with her….not with me…anymore.

And for very good reason.
She stopped being a healthy support for me.

She was the only friend who thought I should do a trial 6 month separation in the face of infidelity and a man telling me to my face he didn’t love me anymore.

She defended my ex when I laid  myself at her feet, sharing how devastated and broken I felt.

I felt invisible in her presence.
I felt like my words didn’t matter….

And most of all, as I started to truly open up about my shame and vulnerability, she wasn’t interested. She wasn’t a safe harbor anymore.

In simplest terms, we were no longer on the same page.

I wanted to grow, she didn’t.

So, we ended the friendship…mutually, and never spoke again.

And I went on to create many new friendships, deepen the most loving ones, and build a whole new life where my Art actually nourished me, instead of drained me.

My new friendships reflected where I was NOW, not where I was before.

And that evening, among the throngs of people at the Martha Graham studio , no words were exchanged.  Our eyes never met….we both knew.  We had both moved on.

 

Who supports you?
Do they understand your passion and Art?

Do you feel like you are spending all your time convincing them?

That can be really draining.
That can be exhausting.

And if they are close to you, it can really affect not only the quality of your Art, but your ability to actually get out there and promote yourself, connecting with your audience.

One of the most famous quotes rings very true here,
You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with.

So, take a moment and take stock.

Who are you surrounding yourself with?
What are they saying?

Are they criticizing you and bringing you down?
How do you feel in their presence?
Energized and inspired, or exhausted and depleted?

As Artists, our power is in community. YOUR power lies in support and fellow Artists who not only GET you, but lift you to do your best, to express your heart, and to step forward fearlessly with your unique voice.

And here’s the part that I missed for SO long….we do this TOGETHER.

Specifically, we do this with Artists who are on the same page.

They want to be Untoppable
They want to create their best work
They want to move the audience

Like you.

Negative, blaming, and critical energy can be so draining.

Find your people who inspire you, who energize your muse, and who hold your path of GROWTH as absolutely vital.

We are constantly changing and becoming with every day!  This is the joy of being an Artist, because we have the ability to express this.

So, take stock.  Release those who are more interested in blaming and staying stuck.  Release them with grace and know,
you are not alone.

Let’s rise together.

Choose those closest to you with care.

This is your precious life.

Who do you want to share it with?

Tightening the Screws

Do you have something that’s been NAGGING you for a long time in your Art?

Do you feel like you are fixing the same things over and over again?

It can be so frustrating, especially when you feel like your attempts are all for nothing.

Whatever hasn’t been working can start to feel:
BROKEN.

And that can be so disheartening when your work is so heart-based, and comes from the deepest part of you.

And honestly, there are only so many hours in a day!

You want to put your focus where you are going to see the greatest return, and yet the same things seem to be plaguing you,

A broken link on your website
Low sales for your Art or events
Miscommunications with your collaborators
Equipment going on the fritz
Low social media engagement

Sometimes, it can feel like you have duck tape holding your Art career and business together.

Because, really you want to be spending your time CREATING.

That’s the joy, right?

So, why do these annoying small things keep distracting you, and taking you off creating your most powerful work and creating raving fans?

Couldn’t they just be permanently FIXED?

 

I’m a big fan of my drying rack.

I have a lot of dance and yoga clothes that are very happy hanging to dry instead of being burned to death in the NYC economy size dryers at my local laundromat.

When I moved into my sanctuary in Astoria after my divorce, I was actually really excited to buy a new drying rack.  This one was more sturdy, it had solid bars, and was a far cry from the rickety wooden one I had had, when I was married.

But, as this drying rack was used every week, it started to weaken.

And soon, I was finding the rack wobble, and the bars coming loose.  I felt like I was spending half my time just trying to put it together every week, and picking up random pieces that were falling off.

It was so frustrating!  The rack would fall over, and stand at this odd angle……I honestly spent more time just trying to find something to lean it against.

As I knew I was moving, I just assumed,
Well…..I just need it to last a few more months and I will get a new one when I move to NJ in Feb.

And then, two weeks ago, right as I was picking up a screw for the hundredth time from the floor, a NEW thought popped in,
Maybe I just need to tighten the screws on the rack.

I grabbed a phillips head and tightened one screw….and then another, and then another.  In fact EVERY screw needed to be tightened.

Five minutes later, I opened the rack and realized it was sturdy
It was solid.

In fact, it was as solid as the first day I bought it.

And all I had to do was take 5 minutes and tighten the screws.

It was that simple.

 

So, what is that thing that is nagging you in your Art?

What have you been putting duck tape on, doing the “quick fix” for MONTHS or YEARS thinking it will actually get better?

Is it your:
Organization
Pricing
Social Media
Website
Marketing
Scheduling
Cash Flow

Limiting Mindset?

Whatever it is, you know it, because it keeps coming up.

I was so intent on picking up the screws and believing my rack was broken, I wasn’t seeing the answer right in front of my eyes.

My focus was on the wrong place.

And this can plague us in our Art.
It can plague us as we are trying to build a raving fan base.

We can waste AGES on the quick fix, instead of taking the action that will actually give us solid footing, and allow us to use our energy where we want,
ON OUR CRAFT.

And when we waste our time, we really do believe things are broken, when this just isn’t the case. We can feel wobbly and unsure.

We’ve become blind to the solution.

But, if you took a moment and got really quiet, ask yourself,
What needs tightening?

What have you been resisting doing?

The answer is simpler than you think, and will save you hours and days in the long run.

Place your focus on what is going to actually FIX your solution, instead of running after the endless dropping screws.

 

Stop using the duck tape, and reach out for the help that will give you lasting change and growth in your Art.

Narrow in on that area that needs the most help, and make 2018 the year you truly become Unstoppable.

This is your life, and your work matters.

 

 

Photography by: Caitlin Cannon Photography