Dear fellow creative, you’re not a machine
You are not meant to be in a constant state of growth, expansion, and achievement.
Times of calm, healing, repair, rest, and rejuvenation that happen in the absence of hustle are not only beneficial, but necessary for wellbeing.
Your inner knowing that you are meant for greatness is there to drive you and is a good thing but it must not take on the voice of shaming which is driven by the external pressure to perform. That's the fastest way to kill your creativity and dim your light.
How to feed your creativity
Energy comes in waves and we go through seasons as humans. This happens on a micro level on a daily basis, on a monthly basis for women, on a seasonal basis annually, and on and on. Just as in nature, all seasons of life have their purpose and we benefit from honoring it, not fighting against it.
You can feel good about rest and periods of less (externally perceived) productivity and still be a high achiever. Don’t let the concerns of external perceptions about your output (not doing enough) dictate your season of life.
Leave behind the shame stories that hold you back
The old stories of shame that lead us to people-pleasing and performing for attention/love tell us that if we are not entertaining, groundbreaking, growing, inventing, impressing, or otherwise providing external value, that we have no value at all.
Embracing seasons of low output runs counter to most systems we've been taught to obey in order to succeed. We’ve been trained to see rest as self-indulgent or even weak.
School, work, entrepreneurship, business marketing, unhealthy relationships, beauty standards, all demand your steady, unwavering output of excellence in order to be valued and stay relevant. Parts of our culture have been set up in a way that's counter to the natural rhythm of life.
For artists, this leads to a cycle of showing up for the sake of it, out of obligation rather than excitement which produces low-quality, inauthentic, uninspiring work that connects with no one.
The reality is that the seasons of withdrawal that allow us to recalibrate, get quiet, to introspect, and to work on our own self healing are the very foundation of further growth and creativity. Without these seasons, work becomes dreadful because we are disconnected from the purpose and the future vision, focusing only on how to impress people today.
Protecting your energy as a creative business owner
I think the first (not only) step we can take for immediate relief is reclaiming your choices over your energy and allowing permission for your own seasons. This is much easier said than done but we must take on this work for ourselves. Your partner, parents, boss, children, and society cannot grant you permission to honor your own cycles, only you can do that.
Boundaries take care of the rest.
So this is a small reminder for you to tune into your rhythm and to rid shame from your emotional toolkit.
If you are in a season of growth, soar baby soar!
But if you are feeling the need to go inward, that is a call from your intuition that there is something in you that needs attention, healing, mothering, and love.
Find that and your next journey begins.