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Read. Write. Grow.

Let’s recap, shall we?

I’m on a journey… a journey of self-discovery. I’m hoping you will hop on board my self-improvement bus… not only seeing the scenic views of my travels, but you may also move forward in your own life! My tools for this trip are from my social work education, my therapeutic work with others (and therefore, myself), parenting my new baby girl Dot, learning from books and LIFE!

My last blog post I reviewed The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W. and was able to make two goals for myself. One of my largest struggles in life is around self-esteem. I know, shocking! I mean, most people are totally self-assured, right? I have three areas I feel like a sham the most – I do not feel very smart (even though I have accomplished three university degrees), I do not feel very athletic (though I have ran a 1/2 marathon and can train like a beast) and I question my artistic abilities (refer to my last post where I joke I am more of a muse than artist myself).

A couple of years ago I learned how to scuba dive. Wow. I mean. Wow. Being submerged into this whole other world was AAAAMAZING! I was giddy underwater, schools of fish swimming by me, giggling into my regulator (the thing you breath air through), smiling so hard that I was letting water into my mask – which all led to my almost drowning in glee. I declared to JW that I wanted to learn to watercolour paint. I had always loved watercolour paintings best, collecting prints when I traveled. Now I wanted to paint them myself – the fish, the coral, the sea plants. So. I started painting. And it totally freaked me out. It made me tense. I didn’t believe. I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe I could possibly have any talent. But despite the bully that was my mind – I kept trying.

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I went on to do a watercolour course at N.S.C.A.D. (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design) which I truly enjoyed. I still felt stressed. I tooooootally compared my painting to those in the class with me (many were SO GOOD!) But it was fun to just dabble… to experiment with a bit of guidance. My absolute favourite class was when a nude model came for us to paint. We started with only having 30 seconds to paint per pose, then 1 minute per pose, eventually moving to 5 minutes per pose. This was liberating! This process helped SHUSH my mind-bully and I was in the moment… That series of paintings is by far some of my favourite work. The moral of my story is what? I love to paint, especially when my mind-bully shuts the heck up. Brené’s book reminded me to just try. Just try to cultivate my creativity and find the JOY within it. I want Dot to grow up seeing me joyfully painting, creating, discovering.

 

This was week 1 of 6 that I am to paint 1x a week. I did it! You can follow me on Instagram to see my picture and Instagram Story updates throughout the week. I must say, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. I definitely was busy this week. I struggled to find time. I left it to the very end of week. But I did it! Not only that, but I like what I painted. I started a lovely book called 21 Daily Creative Leaps, Painting Under the Sea, by Estelle Thomson in January. It is a mindfulness guide to painting one time a day for twenty one days. I made it to day eleven in January before I started an online cybercounselling course that took up most evenings. Tonight I picked up where I left off and completed day 12 – the corixidae. Estelle speaks about the corixidae (the water boatmen) being connected… “It is united with the water, with its environment and with itself”… Tonight I felt connected. I felt at ease within myself, as well as with my painting. I felt at ease within my painting space, the evening light just gorgeous. I was content in life with Dot sleeping peacefully upstairs and JW out driving my step-son Jack to the airport for an adventure. My family was happy. I was happy.

 

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Sometimes the art doesn’t go so well. I can’t get into the moment. I don’t feel it’s going well. I don’t like the final result. My hope is to be able to SHUSH my mind-bully and enjoy the process no matter what comes of it. I can tell you one thing though… I definitely won’t be waiting a whole week before putting brush to paper again! I can’t WAIT to do the next page of my creative leaps book – a Crab!

How do YOU cultivate YOUR creativity? I’d love to hear from you!!!

My next blog post will be reviewing the book You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. My biggest challenge will be figuring out how to do a concise post because there is SO much to say!

Until next time – read, write, grow!

Amanda

3 thoughts on “Cultivating Creativity

  1. Marcia says:

    I like this idea of cultivating creativity–something for me to think about for sure! Really enjoyed reading your posts.

  2. Jeannie J says:

    Its odd to me you feel so self conscious your art work is beautiful. I envy your patience to do watercolor. Enjoying the blog.

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment, Jeannie! Watercolor is a tough medium, but I just think it’s so lovely. Thank you SO much for reading! 💖

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