|The Art of the Unfinished Project|
(Haven't finished this article... I'll get back to you.)
In the meantime, take a little break, maybe click on the Jilly-fish^ an for Instagram moment. Breathe into the world of your unfinished projects with tolerance - you're not alone, most of us have unfinished stuff - it in-style this century.
You might reframe the word "unfinished" and believe that many of those project might be finished just the way they are. They served a purpose in the moment. Let go of the energy they are sapping and use it for the projects that call to you the loudest.
Or join me Mondays at 8 am pacific/ 11am eastern to take another step on those projects you DO want to finish in a space just for that purpose. Bring a project. Free of charge, click here on Monday: Parallel Universe Time
I will be teaching how easy it is to animate simple art at Camp Creative Thunder with a smartphone app in Taos in July in addition to workshops that carry you away to that creative flow in the enchantment of New Mexico and the delicious meals at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. For restoration, fun, new friends, come to a retreat especially designed for unsure, possibly introverted, creative people, but also beneficial to anyone looking for a fresh approach, laughter, and a break from the madness.
That seems a little weird. My inner critic is usually saying things like, “That’s not any good!” “You’re not doing enough.” “You’re falling behind.” “Why did you stick your foot in your mouth again?!” “You numbskull!” "You're house is so cluttered!"*
What’s lovable about that? The inner critic can keep us down, stop us from even starting, and fill the process with pressure. It convinces us that something wonderful we've done (or are doing), sucks. The inner critic compares us to others, tells us we're too old, and is an all around party-pooper.
Here’s why we want to love the inner critic. The inner critic is a part of us. And whether we like it or not, our critical voice is “hear” to stay. So when you abide to the good intentioned memes, posts, and self-help directives to tell your inner critic to fuck-off, (and there are a lot of them going around from novice sages to best-selling authors), you are being dismissive to a part of yourself that is linked to a primitive level of our early survival. We need all parts of ourselves or we are lopsided. All art has negative space.
Plus telling your inner critic off doesn’t work… she or he or it comes right back with vengeance.
That voice isn’t grounded in reality, it’s grounded in fear: “I fear I’m not good enough, not doing enough, falling behind, not liked, not loving, etc. etc etc).”
Remember this acronym? FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real… emphasis on “False.”
Your inner critic is a misguided part of yourself in fear, trying to help you be better but in fear-driven ways that rarely work. Fear is a normal part of the creative process. When we feel it, acknowledge it as normal, and keep going, it simmers down.
The inner critic is a feature that comes with being human. Telling it off is like telling burping to fuck off. When I believed this technique was helpful, I just got crankier than my little moody creative self already was and had more practice in telling people off. Getting disdainful, resentful, and angry with the inner critic just gives me practice with … disdain, resentment, and anger. I need practice with tolerance, acceptance, and the spirit of, “Bless your heart for sharing, but I’ll do it anyway, thank you very much.”
How do you love such a dark and annoying force?
1. Use mindfulness. When you catch your inner critic giving you the usual crap, note it: "inner critic." Perhaps even endow it with a name of someone who seems critical, or any name, so it’s just one of our personas, not the whole thing.
Mine is called Marie, (my mom’s middle name). When she says “You aren’t doing enough,” I say “Thanks for sharing, Marie.” This keeps me from being yanked around by a mental state. I can step outside the mental state and let it go.
2. Summon Your Muses Let your inner critic say its bit, but give more airtime to your creative voices. We all have them - we often use them with friends or clients. In my work, I refer to these creative voices as "Muses" from The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) book.
More airtime to my creative voices= more influence to be creative.
The voice needs to be a realistic one that I can buy into. The truth is I probably AM doing enough, but leaping from thinking I’m not doing enough to believing I am is too big a leap. Or what good does it do focusing on the "not enough" when I can focus on "what I love about what I do" which makes me WANT to do more.
“ What if I crack the door open to the possibility that I am doing enough?”
If THAT’s too big a leap, I start with the question: “What would it feel like to believe I’m doing enough?” (Without needing an immediate answer). This not only quiets the inner critic, it also gives my subconscious a mission to find what it feels like to do enough. I start to pay attention to when I DO feel I doing enough, and that begets more belief that I am.
What would it feel like to be kinder to yourself, including your inner critic?
These are just two ways to start.
What we are doing is also practicing a mindfulness skill called "equanimity," or poise in the face of experiencing undesirable human tendencies. As we practice this, it begins to apply to other areas of creativity. Creativity is filled with weird feelings, wrong turns, doubts, disappointments, and rejection that come with the territory. Developing equanimity toward our inner critic also helps us apply calm to those things which leads to acquisition of important assets that predict success:
Perseverance, enjoyment of the process, and curiosity versus condemnation.
Take your inner critic out for tea, but be sure to invite one of the voices that thinks you are capable, enough, and a ray of sunshine... because I’m pretty sure you are.
all best and more ~Jill
*Use your clutter as fodder from writing
A poem I wrote inspired by Billy Collin's Masterclass
in San Diego and Portland, Oregon!
Kamikaze at San Diego Writer's Ink
Tuesday May 21 6:30 -8:30 pm
Taos, New Mexico is filled with flowers, views, and the spectacle of creative restoration in the summer.
Taos, New Mexico, Annual Retreats:
Camp Creative Thunder: Creativity Retreat
July 16- 20, 2019 filling up
It's your turn to be a kid again. Remember when everything was taken care of for you? And you got to discover yourself in creative pursuits. You get to do that again, only THIS time the food is REALLY delicious.
Restore or deepen your creativity in enchanting New Mexico. Be pampered, fed three gourmet meals immerse yourself in your creativity - discover a new voice, or deepen the one you're loving. Lots of laughing, lots of relaxation.
Especially for the hesitant and doubtful person, looking for new energy, kindred friends, REALLY good food, laughter and pampering.
"I thought your workshop was going to be great - I just didn't know HOW great. I've been to tons of workshops and retreats, have facilitated some myself, and yours far exceeded any expectations I had. Your ability to help us open up, use our inner demons (and joy) to expand our creativity, and grow community in only 5 days is quite amazing."
More information here
and from a camper here
The Muse in Winter:
February 15-19, 2020- sign-up now and break the payments down monthly
Reply to this email or message me.
Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training
with Jill Badonsky, Robert Maurer and Sarah Sadie
Now Taking Applications for the Next KMCC Creativity Coaching Training:
August 12 - December 2, 2019
Take the journey yourself to understand our mindfulness and creativity work together to create the life you love.
Understand the psychology behind creative blocks and the tricks that confound them and the tools that make creativity easier. Procrastination, perfectionism, overwhelm, too many ideas, resistance to start, difficulty finishing projects, self-sabotage, fear - all are normal challenges and all have solutions that affect your entire life.
Take your own creative journey to finally GET to your call and learn how to liberate the creativity of others for another stream of income and joy.
Send me a little about your background and why you think this is a good fit for you. If you're passionate about creativity, you will be nourished.
More information here
I am so glad to say that it was Jill's books that paved my way into signing up for the KMCC training. And am I thankful. This study course has given me so much more than I ever expected; knowledge about the creativity process, tools that truly work to keep the creativity flowing, my favorite has been the interaction with other students and master coaches. ~Anita Mack Beatty
Parallel Universe Time
Mondays 8am pacific/ 11am eastern
A Kaizen-Muse Tool that Makes Showing Up Easier - no fee
Complimentary time, where we hold the space for each other and get LOTS done.
Since 2009! Come and try it, no obligation. All you need is an internet connection and a free download of Zoom.
Meet here on Mondays:
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Welcome to the Underground Highway ... Well, it's just the description for the Underground Highway, but I want you to take a deep breath in and imagine you are in a creative community, surrounded by supportive and inspiring kindred spirits, where your creativity is nurtured WITHOUT a lot of pressure in the comfort of your own home. How? Go here