Overwhelm Relief For Artists

Do you sometimes look around you at all you have to do, and just want to go running the other direction?

Do you see a huge MESS in front of you, and just feel frozen?

Sometimes, it just feels easier to just binge watch the latest Netflix original, than to actually clear the clutter, because the question that always rises screaming to the top is…

What the HECK do I do first?
Where do I start?

This is ALL important, and ALL of it has to be done.

And yet, you feel completely unmotivated, shut down, and stressed.

Overwhelm comes in, has a party, and steals your precious time.

Projects go by the wayside, deadlines are missed, and you feel like you are just chasing your tail with your Art.

If only you had a magic wand….
Then you could just wave it, and everything would just go away and be magically done!

Sounds like a unachievable fantasy, right?

Perhaps not……

 

Last week my kitchen was a disaster site.

I moved into my new house with my man on Sunday the 25th, and then on Monday, my mother and I attacked the kitchen.

A phenomenal cook, the kitchen is really her place of genius.  Also, my mother is incredible at setting up systems and spacial awareness.  She can look at a space, and knows exactly what can fit there.  During this past move, I commonly referred to her as a packing ninja, and that still may be too soft a term for her talents.

I had my boxes from Astoria with my whole kitchen, and it was time to meld with my man’s, which had pretty much been a bachelor’s kitchen, so there was going to be a LOT of reorganizing, donating, and throwing out.

This was a HUGE project.

First order of business?

Take everything out of the cabinets and drawers.

Next, create piles.
Keep
Donate
Trash
Question mark as to whether to donate or trash

The peacefulness of the kitchen was replaced with absolute chaos. And this chaos spread over a very large space.

It looked as though every cabinet had vomited it’s contents onto the counters, chairs, dining AND living room.

Next we took out post it notes, and decided where everything was going to go.  We categorized and stuck the post it notes on each cabinet door and drawer to know where things would go.

With every cabinet door wide open, and white sticky notes everywhere, I could feel that moment of overwhelm hitting me.

Standing in the kitchen, I could feel myself starting to freak out, the tops of my large Uhaul boxes yawning wide open as if to demand,
Where are you going to put me, Nikol??

And a panic rising for HOW LONG was this going to take?
What was the best way to do it?
Could this just be DONE now?
What about all the other unpacking?

And then something magical happened.

I thought of you, and I knew what to do to overcome the overwhelm.
I knew exactly how to quiet the craziness in my head, and actually step out of feeling stuck.

 

My clients come to me all the time from a place of overwhelm.  It’s so common, we all do it!
And every time I meet them the same way,

I allow them to get everything OUT of their heads and hearts.

Then I chunk it down to ONE step.

ONE thing.

When it’s just swirling around in our minds, it can feel like you are going crazy, much like me believing my Uhaul boxes were yelling at me.

In the process of getting everything OUT in the open, then there is a powerful opportunity.

Your opportunity to prioritize.

Ask yourself, what is most important?

As Artists, we are idea machines.  It’s never a problem of creation, it’s what the HECK do we do with it, and what will actually help me to receive the acclaim I desire and allow me to make a living with my art.

So, take out a piece of paper, and write down everything you need to do for you Art.  Just let it all tumble out, messy and in any form.

Now,

* Categorize your tasks according to marketing, production, networking, etc.
* Within each category, ask what needs to be in place FIRST for each of these lists.  For instance, you will need content before creating a promo period for your next project.  Or you may need to do research FIRST to begin your newest crowdfunding.
* Get super clear on WHAT your end goal is.  Write this down.  Be very specific.  This could be,
Self publish a book
Book summer tour
Do a FB Live promo campaign
Crowdfund new album
Set up website for online sales

** And this is the most important…..ask yourself, What is My Vision?
What is most important to me as an Artist?

Look again at your tasks, and align them with your vision.  If your vision is to perform on global stages, but you have a task that’s associated with building a local network, place this to the side, and instead put your energy towards tasks that get you seen by more, whether that is international connections, or by building up your online presence.

Much like the piles I made with the kitchen, you are deciding what to:
Keep OR Trash

I have a very strong vision for my new home, one where the kitchen is a vibrant place of creation and health that will not only feed me and my man, but the family we are creating together.  Because of this vision, setting up systems and flow are paramount. It also meant that any kitchen tools that were unsafe were going to be thrown out or donated.

Connecting back to my vision really helped in that moment of overwhelm, once I remembered to chunk it down to ONE step.

So, I chose ONE cabinet and started to put things in it.
Then when that was done, I chose ONE other cabinet.

One step at a time, all towards my vision.

And my mother and I were able to get the kitchen set up in two days.

My panic for the amount of time lifted the moment I chunked it down, and connected back to WHY I was doing this in the first place.

 

So, what are you working on right now?

Once you lay out all the steps, and eliminate what is no longer necessary, what is left?

And what is ONE thing you can do today?

Chunk it down, and watch the magic unfold, much faster than you thought possible.

Turns out, you are powerful.

 

Spotlight

sunshine-spotlight

I’m flat on my back, with faces all around me.
From absolute darkness, my eyes open.

Where am I?
What happened?

The lights are up and I’m laying in the center of the stage, and the whole cast is looking down at me….my director, the stage manager, my dancers’ heads forming a circle of concern as I gaze up and try to make sense of how I got here.

And then I feel it….my ankle, throbbing, and pulsing.

Nikol, are you ok? 

And it all starts to flood back….standing out in the audience watching my dress rehearsal of the musical, Little Shop of Horrors.  My Ronnettes standing up on the balcony stage left doing the exact choreography I asked them to do.  I realized I had given them some bad direction, so I went running down the audience steps to hop onto the stage to change it.

And because it was dress rehearsal, the lights were out in the audience.  The stage, however, was fully lit….so I ran completely in the dark.

And what I didn’t see was the orchestra pit was lowered, just one foot. Just one foot in the dark, and down I went.  I sprained my ankle so badly, I went into shock and passed out immediately.

And woke up on my back, center stage.

 

When we think of Center Stage, there is such a quick association.  You, standing there, feeling the glow of the lights on your face, your adoring fans cheering for you…

Or are the lights burning, and you hear only silence?

If we could truly inhabit a place of peace under the lights, one where we felt confident, and at ease, what would it take for you to get there?

How would you fill the seats, and how would you stand there knowing you had something WORTHY to say?

And most importantly, how would you stand there consistently, instead of feeling a quick flash and then finding yourself flat on your back?

I don’t think any of us are looking to be a One Hit Wonder, sell one big painting, write one book, or give one speech.  We’re actually having a real conversation around how to truly stand Center Stage over and over, without broken bones and broken spirits.

We’re talking about having a rich and prosperous life based on your Creative Gifts.

So, probably best not to go running in the dark…..

 

I grab my suitcase and walk through the open doorway, closing it ever so gently as the music begins lightly; Andrew Lloyd Weber’s soft ballad emerging from the orchestra pit.

I place the suitcase center stage, and sit down on it, taking a moment to look out at the thousands of audience members. Both spotlights are on me, I inhale, and then begin to sing Another Suitcase in Another Hall.

It’s 2005, and I’m on my first National Tour, the 25th Anniversary production of Evita, working with the original Broadway team, and tonight I am on for the role of the Mistress.

I practiced for this moment, rehearsing for weeks as the understudy, waiting to stand here and sing a solo to the largest audience I have performed to, and I wasn’t nervous.  In fact, I felt free.  I felt fantastic, and as each note emerged from my throat, I felt even more strength for my abilities.

Standing Center Stage, I sang.  Standing Center Stage, I claimed my spotlight, the one I had been working so hard for in my career, with all my training, and with all my heart.

And those 7 months on the road with Evita, to this day, remain some of the most magical in my life.  I was happy, fulfilled, prosperous, and doing what I loved.

Isn’t that what we are talking about?

It was a far cry from the 20 something who went running in the dark, blind to what twisted my ankle, blind to the floor falling out beneath me.

So, what are you blind to?

 

What if you could improve your sight and learn how to stand under the lights and gaze out at thousands of enraptured faces?

Well, now you can.  You can learn not only from my 20 years of experience on the professional stage, but from the top experts in the field, sharing all their knowledge on mindset, marketing, social media, strategy, and pricing.

You can learn how to prosper in this marketplace, and thrive in your Artistry.

You can learn how to truly make a living from your Creative Gifts, and earn what you are worth.

I’ve brought them all together for a very special event, so you don’t have to twist and fall as I did.  You don’t have to go through these challenges alone, or struggle with methods that promise a “quick fix” and then don’t deliver.

Take a moment with me, close your eyes, and feel the lights on your face.  Now imagine that under those lights you are happy, fulfilled, and earning a living doing what you love.

That’s Center Stage, and it waits for you.

Come join us and reserve your Free Front Row Ticket today.
CLICK HERE to sign up.

Bring your suitcase.  We’ve got your back. Let’s get you off the floor and standing tall.

Come learn how to be Center Stage and In Demand.

 

 

Photo credit: Caitlin Cannon Photography