Stop listening to gurus, start listening to yourself
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for a good guru. If there is something I'm passionate about--writing let's say--and there is a successful writer willing to share his tips with me, I'm all ears. Of course, most of these tips come at a price. "Sign up for my ecourse for only $789, and you'll receive everything you need to know to be successful like me!"
That's not to say that there aren't a lot of great creatives out there who are ready and willing to share their expertise for free, nor do I think that one shouldn't make money from valuable knowledge gained. We all, after all, must make a living. Some of us were blessed with the gifts of teaching, with encouraging others and with big-picture thinking and all of these are important gifts.
The trouble for me though? Is that I become so focused on what the "experts" think, that I forget what I think. I need to listen less to gurus and more to my own inner spirit. My creative soul and the One who made it know what I need most.
This is not easy to do. In a loud, fast, sometimes overwhelming world it's hard to find quiet. It's challenging to stop doing and just be--for five minutes let alone five days--and listen to your own inner wisdom. And very often it feels as though you're taking one brave, creative step forward and then five steps back.
But it doesn't have to be all or nothing. There is no need to set a goal like "work five hours on my creative project today," and then beat yourself up because you couldn't fit it in. Instead, taking tiny, micro-sized bites.
The joy of creative progress in small doses
- Write a paragraph?
- Work on one stanza of a poem?
- Find the next right color for the painting?
- Lay out the beads and thread?
- Hum a potential refrain or brainstorm one word that should be in the song?
- Practice lines for five minutes?
It's a big, fat lie that you must do everything, all the time, right away. Creativity, like life, is full of ups and downs. There are days when you're a whirling dervish of ideas and thoughts, when your boundless energy helps you fly through one creative project after another. And there are other days, when discouragement looms and fatigue or disappointment--or both--set in and you can only eek out five minutes on your creative journey.
That five minutes is as important as five days's worth of creative work, if it's done with the right mindset and with love.
So, today take a break from the advice of gurus and experts. Take a few minutes to get quiet and go within. Find out what your spirit needs and craves most creatively. Then take one small action toward that and enjoy the satisfaction that follows.