The Artist’s Injury

Are you feeling like you are pulled in a million directions with your Art this year?

Here we are, January is coming to a close, and that feeling of New Year is fading.  Perhaps it is being replaced with anxiety and overwhelm.

Are you looking at all you want and need to get done to make money with your Art and feeling like the list is a mile long?

What comes first?
Where do you begin?
Is one thing more important than the other?

In our DIY industry, it can feel so overwhelming.

Do I place my energy on social media?
Do I place it on promotion?
Do I place it on my website?

And you may be coming back again and again to the question of,
What will actually WORK to grow an audience that promotes and nurtures me?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to just have a magic wand and KNOW?
There are only so many minutes in a day….what if you were using your precious time on things that actually grew your career and made you money as a Artist?

I remember being so frustrated as a performer, realizing I hadn’t booked the big gig I wanted.  Here I was, taking dance classes every week, taking voice lessons, doing networking with casting directors, keeping my resume updated with really great head shots, having a strong website….I mean, what the HECK?  Wasn’t I doing all I needed?  Why wasn’t I where I wanted to be?

Have you ever felt this?

I’ve been in a place of really listening lately.  My calf is taking way longer to heal than I would like.  I was really encouraged going to the gym and riding the bike with no pain, so yesterday for the first time, I got on my yoga mat to test it out.

My calf was not happy.  Downward dog was too much of a stretch and I coudn’t be in child’s pose for more than a second.  The compression was really painful.

It was pretty clear to me I wasn’t going to be able to take dance class this week, but after my body’s response last night, I was now thinking class may not happen next week either. The initial timeline of 7-10 days to get back up on my feet and be healed?  Pretty much tossed out the window.

My calf is talking to me.
It’s being very clear what is helpful and what is not.

Bike?  Great
Ultrasound?  Fantastic
Non-weight bearing exercises?  Wonderful

I’m still in the ACUTE part of this injury, and I’m clear what I want.
To heal fully and be able to dance and do yoga.

And because I am so clear on this, I am willing to do what it takes.  And trust me….I’m missing yoga and dance like crazy.  I feel vulnerable, I feel disappointed, and I would LOVE to done with this NOW.

Can you relate?

Being a dancer my whole life, I’ve always understood how important it is to treat an injury at the time it happens and do it smartly.  My livelihood depended on it!  I always needed to return to work, and be able to dance again, not only to fulfill my contracts, but because I LOVED it.

But something wasn’t clicking.

While I was good at addressing the swollen ankle, or pulled back muscle……there was a pain that kept arising again and again.

I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career.  I would come into January and feel this anxiety because I didn’t know why I was STILL here.

So, I would go back to spending my time the way I thought was going to change things, and kept seeing the same results.  In a sense, there was an injury I hadn’t addressed, and I kept pushing it under the rug.  And it became chronic, year after year.

I would ride the roller coaster of believing if I got the show or the job, I was good enough.  I was basing all of my success on what my audience thought, and was constantly putting them on a pedestal.

And it wasn’t until I lost everything that I finally saw what the true injury was.

I didn’t know how to create lasting relationships.

I learned it didn’t matter if I had the appearance of “having it all together” or “looking perfect”.  It didn’t matter if my resume was impressive or website savvy, because underneath I was terrified of what my audience thought of me.  Ultimately, I was powerless.

In the face of my divorce and not booking a single job in a year, I finally turned towards the injury and started to listen.

I hired a coach, I got help……and in the very ACUTE phase of losing all I knew, I placed my energy and precious TIME where it would have the greatest impact,

I became fearless, and finally understood that building relationships was the most important tool I needed to learn.

So, take a moment right now.

What is missing for you?
If you were to get quiet, and really listen, what is the injury under all your efforts as an Artist?

Treating an issue in the acute phase, means you have the quickest turnaround.  When something becomes chronic, it will repeat until the issue is really addressed. Where do you want to be next year at this time?

What if this is the perfect time to finally create the change that will make THIS year the year you grow your audience and make more money with your Art?

So, how do you feel about your audience?
How do you feel about yourself in front of your audience?

What is that part of your Art business that hasn’t been working for a LONG time?

And most of all, what do you really want?

Just like my calf, your Art is talking and it’s telling you what is helpful and what is not.

Open your ears and listen.  Do this with an open heart.  This isn’t about punishing yourself anymore. Clearly that hasn’t been working.

What if this is the year you finally get the help you need to turn it all around?

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

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