Saturday, October 01, 2005

Time for the creative process

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Prospect at dawn.

Here are some more thoughts about this Artist's Happiness Challenge:

In "Authentic Happiness," Seligman tells a story of a colleague who has a new pet, an Amazonian lizard, but the poor creature is pining away. He doesn't want any of the food being offered to him. Finally the professor gives the lizard a ham sandwich (which the lizard ignores) while he reads the newspaper from cover to cover. Once the paper is finished he throws it down over the ignored sandwich. Immediately the lizard becomes very interested. He rustles around in the paper, stalking, shredding and then pounces and devours the sandwich. This Amazonian lizard has his own set of signature strengths; stalking, shredding, and pouncing. He was pining away because he wasn't using these strengths. Once he could practice his strengths, he began to flourish.

But what I'm noticing in giving this e-course, Artist's Happiness Challenge, is that time to practice our "signature strengths" is a huge concern for most of us. "How long will these challenges take?" "I don't have any time for serious art making in my life right now." "I've got so much on my plate." We've all heard these questions and comments before. We've probably made them as well. But we run a serious risk of depleting our own vitality if we don't take time for ourselves, for practicing our strengths. We run the risk of pining away like the professor's Amazonian lizard.

Wouldn't it be better to take a little time for ourselves every day, to practice our strengths, or even to find ways to build our strengths into our everyday life? Would you like to know how? Here's a newsletter from friend and creativity coach, Jane E. Ward:

Jane E. Ward’s Creativity News Letter
Part One of
“Three Techniques for Insuring That You Will Create Every Day”
The first technique for creating every day is..
… Create First ...
Would you like to finally end the problem of the demands of
daily life continuously preventing you from creating?
Of always ending up frustrated at the end of the day when
you've once again been too busy to make your art or to write.
Successful Creatives always have time to do their art because
they make their art the first thing they do everyday.
Financial advisors tell you to pay yourself first, to take a
little off the top of every pay check and put it away in savings
before you pay anyone else.
Successful Creative also pay themselves first,
in a stress free, uninterrupted block of precious time.
How to achieve this:
Get up in the morning when the house is still asleep,
before your busy day begins and create for two hours.
Whatever life surprises you with in the rest of the day,
you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you worked on your art.
Always pay yourself first every morning with two free hours to create ,
and you will never feel too tired or too stressed after a busy day to
create again.
If you usually procrastinate about whether to do your art at the end of
the day
now you can procrastinate about something else far less meaningful.

Tomorrow morning set your alarm for two hours early and try this.
I think you’ll be amazed at how fresh your mind is
and at how much you can accomplish .

Added Bonus: Sunrises

“Success as an artist to me is when you go to sleep your last thoughts
are about creating.
When you wake up in the morning your first thoughts are about creating.
It comes from the gut, from your insides.” ~ Marilyn Bonnett

IN THE NEXT ISSUE Part Two - Technique Number Two: Creating on the Go
Jane E. Ward is an artist and creativity coach and can be reached for
consultation at
and through her website
And her art work can be found here

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