I had a dream on Thanksgiving day that I was going to die. Like, soon. Maybe that day. Do you know what I did? I painted an elephant with lots of patterns. It was very loose and childish, and it wasn’t very pretty (and by that I mean frame-worthy), but I was enjoying expressing myself. It was a melancholy feeling. Making the elephant felt so good and when I was done I felt extremely sad at the thought of not being able to do all the creative things I wanted to do in this lifetime. That was my biggest regret. A sad longing to create more. I woke up from the dream SO grateful that I was alive, and I HAD TIME!
Having time to do the things you want to do is such a gift and we shouldn’t take it for granted.
Sometimes we need a reminder to make time for the important things. We get so lost in our heads that we put them off. We also need a reminder that fear of failure is silly and we need to express ourselves and do what we love while we have time. When you die, it’s not going to say on your gravestone:
“Here lies so and so and they failed at watercolor.”
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet we all act like this so much. Fear of failure holds us back to the point of not really trying and the result of that is failure. The real failure is not going for it. If you go for it and ‘fail,’ in my eyes you succeeded because you tried! Also, try to remember that failure is a stepping stone to success. No matter how successful someone looks, their success is built on years of failure. On years of trying again and again, and even if they’ve mastered their craft after doing it for 50 years, it doesn’t mean they stop failing. Failing is completely natural, but we’re conditioned to think of it as a weakness.
You must fail and try again and again. This is the learning process. This is normal. We all do this!
I’m going to be honest. Lately, I’ve felt like a failure. I felt like I’m not improving fast enough or people don’t care about my art or classes as much as they used to. I compared my present self to my past self or other artists out there and felt lacking. That’s why this dream was such a revelation. I realized: ‘Who cares??’ We don’t create for other people’s approval or praise. We do it because we must. I’m grateful I’ve gone through these feelings. I know they’re super common and I feel like I finally got the key to overcoming them.
We must express the boundless creative joy in our spirit. Even if nobody likes what we do.
The last thing I did in my dream was a mediocre painting. But it had JOY! I didn’t think about sharing it on social media or even with the people near me in the dream. I just wanted to MAKE, PLAY, and EXPRESS! I had FUN!
Let’s all reconnect with our creative roots. Let’s express ourselves with freedom. Let’s have gratitude for our time and ability to create! Or we’ll be sad on our deathbed that we didn’t!
If you’re in a creative rut right now, I hear you. I know it can be hard. But ask yourself if it’s the creativity that’s gone or if you’re being too critical of yourself and your art. It’s time to quiet that mean inner critic and just play!!
Sending you love and remember that you’re not alone in your feelings. We all go through things and life can be hard. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. You are doing so much better than you give yourself credit for.
P.S. If you want to paint freely, check out my ‘Let’s Play!’ class! It’s all about intuitive painting for the joy of it! Get 1-month of free access to all 27 of my classes + thousands more by clicking here! 🙂