Updated: Mar 30
Does this resonate?
You read a great short story that your neighbor has published in the local newsletter about an exciting day when they were thirteen years old, or you see a small painting by a friend who has exhibited in a local café or maybe you attended a concert where you were exhilarated by a choir performance and thought to yourself “I could do that”. And yet you don’t, even though you have been procrastinating about it for years. We can appreciate and enjoy a host of creative experiences without any unease inside. So, what exactly holds us back or prevents us from actualizing the creative things we long to do?
There may be many reasons. We may not have had the opportunity when we were younger to be taught how to play an instrument, write creatively, or how to bake. Perhaps someone may have said something negative about our attempt to sing, to read a poem in front of the class, or be part of the school play. Or perhaps there was not time to be creative, our life focused on working hard, developing a career, having a family and “time” itself was the enemy. Our roles in life may also prevent us, such as the role of care-giver, being a mother, a father, lone parent, self-employed, or high-pressure management roles, that seemingly drain all our energy and there is never any left for our creative passion. We may feel too exhausted to even comprehend beginning the process, because it may take years to be any good and we feel it is too late to start.
“Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to play the piano?
Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t.” (Cameron 1992, p.138)
In Julia Cameron’s international bestseller “The Artist’s Way” she provides major insights into self- sabotaging thoughts and situations that prevent us from engaging in our creative purpose. Our perceptions, habits, beliefs and roles play a major part in our life experiences. Unless we are very aware and conscious of our thought patterns’ we may be experiencing a constant state of dissatisfaction, competition, fatigue or even jealousy.
Mihaly Csikazentmihalyi’s book on Flow 2002, is a guide to achieving a focused mental state. It operates from the premise that if we can control our inner lives then we are in a position to decide what our outer lives will be like. It suggests that although many people experience various stresses in their lives, it does not necessarily diminish happiness, rather it is how people respond to stress that determines whether they draw something positive from those experiences or misery. Working with this concept, if we actively engage in establishing our perceptions, thoughts and habits we can begin the process of experiencing life in a different way, possibly reducing stress and engaging in a more creative lifestyle.
My workshops engage a number of practical tools that can assist in this transitional process. My own personal journey of facing my vulnerability and fear, was the catalyst that changed my life. I learned that my “experience is my expertise” and now it is time to share what I have learned.
“Knowledge in and of itself is insufficient: it is only through the practical application of knowledge that truly embodied “knowing” occurs”. (Donnellan, C. 2018)
My next workshop entitled “Women in Transition” takes place on March 7th, (to celebrate International Women’s Day, 8th March, 2020) 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the East Clare Community Co-op, Scariff, Co. Clare. Fee €70 or €60 for multiple bookings.
Cameron, J. (1992) The Artist’s Way: A course in discovering and recovering your creative self, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., London.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1992) Flow, New York, Harper and Row.
Donnellan, C. (2018) The Phenomenology of Evaluative, Live Performance Experiences for Irish Traditional Musicians in a Third Level Context. Unpublished thesis. University of Limerick.