Sit in a quiet place where you can relax. Consider the following questions. If you like, you can also use them as a journaling exercise, or the source for an art project.
Take a moment to think about these matters as you close your eyes. Visualize yourself in a cabin in the woods. This place is your safe haven away from the world, your Comfort Zone, contained within four walls.
Everything you need or desire has been provided for out front is a porch with a swing and a great view of the mountains. A battle-scarred easel stands at the railing, overlooking the valley below, with a blank canvas awaiting your brushstrokes. You'll find plenty of paint inside the living room has been converted to a studio, equipped with art supplies galore. Clay and beads, glitter and blank notebooks, glue and guitars and drums.
The kitchen has already been stocked with your favorite foods, and a bottle of champagne is chilling in the refrigerator, to welcome you home. There's a huge bathtub for soaking your cares away and reading delicious novels, and a cushy window seat with a view of the ridge.
The bedroom is perfect you see a big feather bed, and an old roll-top desk in one corner just begging for your stories and poems. Drawn to the studio, you notice musical instruments and art supplies, a stereo, recording equipment, and more. This is your studio of the mind. Here, you can create anything your mind can conceive songs and paintings, sketches and sculptures, stories and symphonies anything your art desires.
Spend as much time here as you like it is always waiting for you, and you're welcome any time. You possess the only key, although you're welcome to invite a special guest anytime you desire company, or inspiration.
After a few visits to this safe, inviting place, you might notice yourself getting restless. Do the four walls of your comfort zone ever start to close in, threatening to smother your creative work?
Getting cabin fever? Excellent. It is important to step outside your comfort zone as an artist, and experience new things. It's a good way to grow as an artist.
Venture outside the cabin and into the wider world beyond. Play. Have an adventure, or two. Break a leg, break your heart. Fall in love. Try something new. Make mistakes. Screw up. Get paint under your fingernails and clay on your feet. Walk barefoot in the grass. Fall down. Get up again. Repeat as needed.
Experience real life. Yes, you'll be uncomfortable and messy and heartbroken, poor and miserable, dirty and tired and sore at the end of a long day that's what makes you human. But you will sleep deep, knowing you've truly lived each day to the fullest and your dreams will be sweet.
©2011 Molly Anderson-Childers and Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved. Inspired by the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ model developed by Jill Badonsky with Robert Maurer, PhD.
Journal or create an art project expressing something outside your normal comfort zone. Do this at least once a week, until it doesn't make you feel queasy anymore. When you start loving it, do it as often as you want to. Take a risk. Plant a dream seed, and see what blooms.
Eat Mangoes Naked by SARK
Put On Your Crown: Life Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen Latifah
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Walk the Line
A Beautiful Mind
Discovery Do you suffer from procrastination, self-doubt, fears, and vicious Inner Critics?
Expansion What are the root causes of your creative blocks?
Surrender Are you procrastinating, or letting other tasks take precedence over your creative soul-work?
Nurture Isn't it time for a little self-care?
Trust It is hard to trust the ephemeral creative process.
Courage What is your definition of courage?
Play Feeling stuck? Muses on strike? Doldrums got you down?
Freedom Only you can bring your unique perspective to life.
Comfort Is your creative work a source of comfort to you?