Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Daily Dose of Wonder

We could all do with a daily dose of wonder. I have been a follower of Jill Badonsky since I discovered her book "Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)". I created visual cards for each of the Muses based on SoulCollage® and the Muses have been my best buddies ever since!

So when Jill's new book, "The Awe-Manac", was published I ordered it immediately. It is choc-a-block full of daily soul vitamins, awe-servances, journal juju, doses of mirth, creativity prompts and more. A page for each day of the year.

Today, the Toast of the Day is: "Here's to wise older women who are not afraid to speak their minds."

And today the Subliminal Message Brought to You by the Kindness Potion is: "The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." What's one small way you can carry out the religion of the Dalai Lama today or tomorrow.
Recently I became a certified by Jill to teach her Modern Day Muse workshop which is one of my favorite classes. Each week for ten weeks we immerse ourselves in one of the Muses, hear what the Muse has to say to us and then make a SoulCollage card to remind us of the Muse. We then let the Muse card write us a letter reminding us of all the wonderful things we are when we are truly listening to our creative souls.

Jill kindly agreed to answer a couple of difficult questions I posed to her on creativity. I've been living a creative life and have studied every book I can find on the subject for years now, so the questions I had were areas where I really needed help. I've posted my questions and Jill's answers here so you can benefit from them too.

When you have a wonderful dream, like writing a book, where do you start, and how do you ensure that you keep moving forward with the project, when it is something that will take a couple of years to complete.

Good question! First, I've learned not to expect the dream to be a linear process. My process was all over the place. An illustration here, a quote there, a splurge of writing now and then, another illustration, a trip to Costa Rica, a few losses, a few triumphs, another quote, a buffet in Las Vegas, another splurge of writing.. you know, like that.
Making sure I kept everything so I could find it when it was time to compile the book was important. It was also important for the project to be fun.. something I might do for myself and my friends even if it didn't get published. It is so satisfying watching it grow and letting go of any kind of expectation of how it's supposed to look.

Having a deadline for both my books helped a lot. Working on other projects as well as continuing to compile ideas kept me going on one project for a number of years because it was not my only focus.

How do you protect your own creative time. I find it hard to say no to requests when I don’t have any other commitments on my calendar except those to myself and my creative projects.

Give your creative time a promotion and a raise– make it as important as requests from others. It's sacred and necessary. Embody the tenacious personality of a rebellious, self-determined artist who is adamant about protecting her creative time even if it means saying no to a bunch of people who are unhappy that you did. It's part of your license and requirements as an artist to do this. It also good role-modeling for others.

Or mark your creative time on your calendar as if it were a class and make it a class with yourself. I mark down my creative time and "ruthlessly protect" it. Sometimes I make a time with a buddy so both of us are working in our separate spaces at the same time. That gives that time more importance, structure and likely follow-through. I invented a Bodyguard to go with the nine modern day Muses in my first book in order to summon up our protective powers. If we are creative, engaging in our creativity is vital to our optimal functioning in all areas of our life.

What is the one most powerful thing one can do to create on a regular basis?

Make it a fun habit. Show up almost everyday even if it's just for 5 minutes. Remember how good it felt when you engaged in your creativity before. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

How can we find more hours in the day to create as well as keep up with the admin involved in teaching, putting your work in exhibitions and shops!

We can stop watching as much TV. We can use the moments that we wait or shower or drive or walk to be thinking about our creativity and understand that this time is important for preparation and percolation. We can let go of doing things so perfectly and let go of doing some things… period. Creativity is what makes our eyes flash with brilliance, our blood course with our veins with gladness and our hearts come alive with joy. When we are in our creative bliss we are better for every other aspect of our lives and for everyone in our lives.
It's a balancing act for sure, but in each moment, ask your intuition what would make sense. We often know more than we give ourselves credit for.

Thank you, Jill!


Joanne Huffman said...

There are a lot of things to think about in this interview. Thank you for posting it.


Lost Aussie said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing it!

HappyDayArt! said...

Oh this is really good to read. Thank you Catherine and Jill. I enjoyed it very much!

Catherine Witherell

Joanna said...

I really needed to hear Jill's words today. Thank you for posting it.