I'm taking Creative Courage e-course again this year. This is the third session I took with Stephanie Levy. Last year I already talked about how much I gained from the class and I think I gain even more from this third session. In this class, the core idea is still the same, to have courage to be yourself and brave enough to venture into your own creative track. Stephanie has made it lighter with the addition of summer recipes and photo walks. What makes me think I gain even more is the participation of the fellow students. I have been following conversations in the class facebook group and just discovered that while learning about other people's experiences, I instinctively explore my own inner self too.
One of the interesting topics Stephanie talked in the class is the metaphor of hot air balloon. Being in a creative journey, we need a lot of energy and effort. Hope, love, determination and support from the ones we love are essential fuel to get the balloon fly. But the hot air balloon is not small. It's big, enormous and needs a lot of energy. We have to learn so much about what could get our balloon go up as well as what has held the balloon down. Doubt, fear, criticism are always what we can identify but cannot get rid of completely. They are sandbags that hold down the balloon. I think in this case, it's all about focus. We will be constantly held down with flashes of fear, doubt and inner critic/ people's opinions, no way to avoid that. The trick is how to get ourselves back from those distractions and focus on what we want to focus.
My practice is to check myself. Whenever I feel down, doubtful or hurt, I will ask myself if these feeling are going to get me to my goal. If it's not why do I have to waste my time? There are plenty of things to do in my life plan. Ditch it and get going!
Again, it's easier said than done :P Sometimes I just wonder why some people (like the old me) love to dwell in sadness rather than try to be happy. No answer to that but when I cannot let bad feelings go immediately, my second method is to imagine the time when I felt joy while making art or even daydream of the day of my success like ; my Etsy sale number gets over 1,000 or my art gets featured on famous blogs or magazines or my name is on a picture book's cover, etc. This may sound silly but it definitely lifts up my spirit and the only way to make those dreams come true is to work hard. So, I work!
Yes, it's only the matter of using focus, persistence and joy of creating as fuel for your hot air balloon of creative journey. Thanks to Stephanie for teaching this valuable lesson.
I hope I can stick with my methods and hope it can be helpful for those who are in this same struggling path :) Thanks for coming. I hope you have a merry day.