Monday, August 2, 2010

Everyday Creative: Using Yourself

Of all the months so far doing this challenge, this one was the most difficult. The task was to "use yourself" and dig deep emotionally. I am the type that relies on research and expert opinions to motivate me, so using myself instead as a resource proved a daunting task!

The first week asked me to hire myself as a consultant. I tried and tried to think of all the the skills I possessed to help myself. Because I tend to wear many hats, it took awhile. It turned out to be a fun, almost existential experiment. By the end of the week, I was really getting into this concept and appreciated Maisel's suggestion of opening up a savings account. Of course, I already have a savings account at the bank, but this one was intended for use to pay yourself. It was such an obvious and brilliant suggestion. You pay experts to work for you so why shouldn't you pay yourself?

By the second week, I was asked to get passionate and ravenous, but because I was suffering from a mid-summer slump, I just couldn't find anything that exciting to get ravenous about. I'll have to come back to this exercise. The second part of the week was filled with a depression treatment plan, since Maisel seems to be convinced that all creatives also suffer emotional issues. The plan would be helpful to even people that haven't suffered depression because it contained practical solutions like challenge your negative thinking and focus on your positive achievements.

One of the most powerful exercises of the month was "Kill Maybe" in the third week. How often have you said, "maybe I'll start my masterpiece tomorrow.?" And how often have you actually started tomorrow or even the day after or the day after that? I know this is were my weak spot lies. I often put off until tomorrow what should have been done today. So with that, I told 'maybe' to die, and of course still planned to start that masterpiece tomorrow. Someday, I'll learn...

Wrapping up the month, I got to acknowledge the mistakes I've made in the past and was also permitted to be myself entirely. I suspect the latter is what has been plaguing me all summer: being the authentic me. I think we all eventually lose parts of ourselves over time and only realize they are gone when it's too late. I know that life usually gets in my way and those parts of me that aren't necessary to daily life fall by the side. Excavating those parts of me will take time, but I know they are there somewhere waiting for me to discover them when I most need them.
  • Join me next month when I "connect."

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