Spring comes around every year, and I find that often, when coaching my clients, that some tidying up is required. It’s usually less the surface stuff, though that’s important, but often the things under the surface that need an update. Old beliefs, self-perceptions and projects may need to be taken to the curb.
This article is a refresh of one I published a few years back. See what needs refreshing in your creative life.
With spring’s arrival, we often feel a sense of newness and vitality. Along with that comes the inevitable spring clean. While I love the idea of dusting my baseboards and refreshing my closet, I get more excited when I think about refreshing my creativity.
You, too, might feel an urge to freshen up your art or writing practice. When we clear our space – our physical, emotional or mental space – we make room for better, fresher ideas and projects. Here are some ideas for how to bring a sense of vitality and vigor into your making process.
Clear out your supplies. What art or writing materials have been sitting around unused for more than a year, waiting for ‘someday’? Assess your stash and consider donating anything you haven’t touched in two years. Hoarding stuff isn’t productive. All that extra stuff/possibility may just be taking up space for the projects that want to be made.
Tidy up your digital files. My photo files from last year’s artist residency in Paris are a mess! I can’t wait to get in and tidy them up. This will reduce the amount of time I spend searching through my Dropbox folders. Do you have multiple, outdated drafts of your writing? Perhaps the images of your art aren’t organized.
Make more space for your dreams. Recently, while watering my succulents, I realized that most of my plants had outgrown their containers. I could see the sweet plants doing their best to thrive despite pots that no longer suited them. Immediately I wondered how that might relate to my creative dreams. Am I holding too small of a space for myself and my dreams? What might it look like if I opened possibility a bit more and gave myself room to dream bigger? What about your creative dreams? Time for new perspectives, perhaps?
Ditch old projects. While I believe in finishing things and following through on my commitments, I also know that some projects aren’t meant to be finished. I once set aside my 365 Cups series so I could work on something that felt more relevant and challenging to me. What projects are on a cold front burner that could be set aside for now to make room for things you really want to work on?
Get current with beliefs. Sometimes we’re operating on old beliefs that no longer suit or serve us. Some beliefs around creativity include:
- If I am creatively actualized, I will lose relationships.
- If I do my creative work, I will become a target for others’ criticism.
- If I do my creative work, my other obligations will suffer.
- I would love to do that, but I am not good enough.
When you get an exciting idea for a new project, notice the beliefs and fears that arise to meet your idea. Jot down that belief or fear and ask yourself if that’s still true for you. Then choose something else to put in its place.
After reading this list of potential cleaning projects, which area do you feel calls for your attention the most right now? Which area, if you did some spring cleaning there, would make a big difference for your creativity?
I hope you do some spring cleaning for your creativity – it will feel so good!
How will you spring clean your creative life? Leave a comment below!