Have you ever had one of those moments where everything lined up just perfectly, and you had nothing to do with it?
For the past few years, I’ve gone through a long period of growth that, looking back, I can clearly see the winding path that led to a very key moment in November of 2017. (More on that in the video and below.) Long story short, I found myself digging into creative wellness after realizing that I’d put up walls against my vulnerability, because…pain, burn out, and other not-so-nice words.
I knew I’d benefit most from getting together with other creatives who experienced the world and their own creativity in ways that were similar to mine. There’s a healing power in coming together with a group…especially a group that gets you.
Turns out, that group didn’t exist…until now.
Because last November, out of the blue, I got an email from creativity coach Kerry Schafer about this exact thing, and we started talking about how to help other creatives deepen their understanding of their own creativity so that they could begin to heal from burn out or building walls or a long history of defeats or simply learn tools to be more productive with their chosen mode of creativity. Kerry calls this synchronicity, and I love that idea, don’t you? Being in sync with someone else, allowing an idea to play out and use you to an extent, so that you can be of help to others.
Turns out, it wasn’t just timing that Kerry and I were synced up in, and it wasn’t just this similar idea with both had. Nope. Our synchronicity went deep. Eerily deep.
Reaching the “This is Going to Kill Me” Breaking Point
About four years ago, I reached a moment when I was stuck in traffic on my way to a job that really didn’t fit who I am and said aloud, “This is going to kill me. I cannot keep doing this.” I had a wonderful boss, a fantastic group of people to work with, and honestly, nothing that I could really complain about the job or company other than the position was a horrible fit for my personality. And it was sucking me dry. I felt like a husk by the end of each day, with nothing left to give, not to my family, certainly not to my writing. I began to have some chronic health issues, which my doctor related all to my stress.
Kerry’s story is similar, which you can listen to in the video. I’ll let her tell you her story in her own words.
Going back to that moment, sitting in traffic, saying aloud, finally, loudly, with a lot of tears, that the life I was living was not sustainable, things started clicking. It was if the universe needed to hear me admit it out loud to start shoving things into place. From that moment on, I became focused on crafting the life I wanted.
Crafting the Life You Need
I soon came to realize that crafting the life I wanted wasn’t enough. I needed to craft the life I needed. I became active in my pursuit of figuring out what fit best in my life. What gave me energy and made me feel fulfilled? What allowed me to be the mom and wife that I wanted and needed to be? What directly fed my writing? In short, what was the connecting point of my passion and my purpose?
Crafting a life that you need is more than just finding a new job or making a couple of changes. It’s a shift in perspective. It’s the process of understanding that you are worthy of a good life. And it starts with learning how to say no to the things that no longer feed you, and yes to the things that do, no matter the fear that sneaks in. Because there will be fear when you stand on the edge of something new, of change, and it will feel like there is nothing supporting your toes.
But you have to take that leap. Because without doing so, you’ll never be living the life you were made for. And your creative health…and potentially your physical and mental health…will plummet.
Learning the Importance of Creative Wellness
Creative wellness isn’t some woo-woo term. Creative wellness is the act of mindfully (read: purposefully, actively) pursuing a balance of mind, body, spirit, and creativity. We are not one-dimensional beings. We are multi-dimensional, and there is a scientifically-proven direct link between our creative health and our physical health. On the whole, creatives who are living their life purposefully tend to lead longer, healthier lives.
I leave you today with this challenge: Honestly evaluate your creative wellness. Some of the questions below may help guide your evaluation:
- Are you investing in your creativity? How?
- Or is your creativity the last thing on your list?
- Who or what gets your “leftovers?”
- What percentage of your work energizes you?
And finally, have you found balance?