The last and final step to Capture Your Creativity, break free of old fearful habits, and live the life you want is this: Surround Yourself with Positive, Engaged Supporters, and NEVER Give Up!
Martha Beck calls this group of like-minded people your Tribe. Marie Forleo calls it your Power Posse. Whatever you choose to call it, you have to find YOUR people; people who "get" you, who support the new and different things that you are doing, and who understand where you are going.
Over the past few years, I have started to build a network of these kinds of people. There have been a few familly members and long-time friends who have supported my creative journey and my recent endeavors, but for the most part I have met most of these people very recently. Once I started living authentically from my heart, and doing my best to share this with the world, these creative, passionate souls are coming out of the woodwork.. I meet them left and right, in the most random of circumstances. People that I never dreamt that I would have anything in common with are coming up to me and saying "You too?", "Me too!!". Its unreal.
I'm not much for crowded networking events (in fact, I detest them), but I freaking love small group settings with sincere heart-felt conversations among a handful of open and honest individuals. That's my kind of networking! I'm so blessed to be involved with a few ladies groups like this. I meet every other week with my Braintrust ladies group, and we provide support and encouragement to each other through all of the challenges of work, parenting, running a business, chasing our dreams, and whatever else comes up in conversation. Braintrust was founded here in Knoxville by Sarah Martin. She and her group had such great success that they wanted to share it with others, so during an information session that she held one night at her house, I met the ladies in my own group. This was over a year and a half ago, and we are still going strong. I have also been blessed to meet the lovely ladies in my Clean Slate group. This is a holistic nutrition program offered by the lovely and fabulous Brianna Lamberson. She guided this small group through a soulful and spiritual approach to self-love and healthy living, and I feel a special bond with these amazing women because of it. These kinds of authentic connections are what I'm searching for. I don't care what you do for a living, or who you know, or how much money you make. I'm not into meeting people who want to know what I can do for them. I want to meet and connect with real people who are living and loving their lives and just want to share the love.
You CANNOT do this alone. There will be times when your creative journey will be HARD work, and you will feel terribly alone and vulnerable, and you will need support. You will question your ideas, your abilities, your talent. It's perfectly normal to experience this kind of doubt, but you cannot let it get you down. The best thing to do when this happens is reach out to someone for support.
The most important thing to remember when these down times inevitably come, is that they will NOT last forever. Everything goes in cycles, and sometimes what we really need is some down time, or a long period of rest and relaxation. We as creative individuals need ample time to fill our tanks. We give so much, and put forth so much energy in our daily lives and in our work that we must take a rest every now and then. I went through a period of rest at the beginning of this year. I didn't write or draw or paint or do anything else that required my creativity for at least a month. I simply couldn't do it. I was going through a very rough time personally, and I just didn't have anything to give. So I allowed myself to do nothing. I watched tons of tv, which I never do, and I spent a lot of time with my family. And then after about a month had gone by, when I was ready, I was right back in full swing, ideas bouncing around in my head like crazy, just like always.
The bottom line is: YOU can do this. You can embrace your creativity, face your fears, chase your dreams, and start living the life that you want. It will not always be easy, and there will be a few bumps in the road, but I know that you can do it.
We did it! Thanks for sticking with me throughout this series. I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts on creativity with you, and I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it as well!
Until next time,
PS: If you are interested in getting involved with a small group similar to the ones that I mentioned, Please let me know! I am starting a Creativity Cluster soon, based on the Artist's Way - A Spiritual Path to Highter Creativity.
© Haley McManigal 2015
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