Oh, hello there friends.
Boy has it been awhile since I blogged. A lot has changed for me in the past few months, and even in the past few weeks. A lot of growing and discerning where things are going, and where I want them to be going.
Have you been in a similar season? It can be exhausting, right? But also freeing. Figuring out who the heck you are, what matters to you, and what path feels right for your soul.
If you follow along with me on social media, especially my Instagram stories, you know I love to start a slow morning with a good book and a mug of coffee.
Last weekend I read Keep Going by Austin Kleon and it was so lovely and encouraging that I wanted to share a few of my favorite snippets with you.
You're not supposed to start with the end, but I will say that the last page made me cry and say YES! out loud and nod my head and then cry some more. It was exactly the reminder I needed on the day I read it.
Don't you love when a book finds you at the perfect time?
One of the serendipitous moments where the book met my life is where Kleon talks about creating a "bliss station" in your home.
My husband and I recently switched desk spaces at home. He needed a more private space so he moved into our downstairs rec room, and I moved my desk into our family room. This has been the best surprising game changer for me. I hardly every used my art space before because I had to be alone and away from my family, and when I'm home I want to be with them.
"Creativity is about connection - you must be connected to others in order to be inspired and share your own work - but it is also about disconnection. You must retreat from the world long enough to think, practice your art, and bring forth something worth sharing with others."
Now I'm sharing the space where we do life together and it is perfect. If I need quiet I just pop in my headphones and get to work. I still do love creating from the comfy corner of our couch, but last night I sat at my desk to work on an illustration and it was so wonderful. It is amazing what this switch has done for my motivation and attitude toward my art.
Kleon says, "A bliss station can be not just a where, but also a when. Not just a sacred space, but also a sacred time." Depending on your life and schedule, it can be hard to find a place and a time that works. The important thing is to find one that works for you.
Another lesson in the book that hit super close to home for me was the notion of doing the creative work and letting go of the tight grip on BEING the artist.
For the past year and a half I have been so focused on results and productivity, that I had lost the joy of simply creating. I don't recommend this unnerving path, but at the end of the day, coming back to joy feels like returning home after a long trip, and that is a particularly wonderful feeling.
"Art and the artist both suffer most when the artist gets too heavy, too focused on results."
It had gotten so heavy for me, this "professional artist" life. I was so weighed down I could barely breathe. And when you can't breathe, you can't create.
One of my very favorite creative folks, Andy Miller, recently said that your art won't be alive if you aren't living. Boy, isn't that the truth.
"If you want to change your life, change what you pay attention to."
I've been focusing a lot these days on what I'm giving my energy and attention to...on the vibes I'm sending out into the universe. And I'm seeing miraculous changes happen both for me mentally and in my career. My confidence has grown. I'm owning my strengths and talents in a way that is helping me share them in a more authentic way.
Being open is SO important to creating space for those miracles to find their way to you.
This book is a fun, quick, and encouraging read, and I really recommend it if you are feeling stuck and need a gentle kick in the pants to get you going again.
*And if you need a few extra things to make you feel good about the world, I recommend these:
- Tiger Woods. Oh this made my heart soar!
- Lennon Stella. This girl's voice has been playing on repeat for me lately
- Everything Morgan Harper Nichols shares is pure joy and encouragement
Sending joy-filled vibes to you!