A New Year For Could

As each new year begins I stretch out and take stock of what inspired me most about the previous year and how I can do more of that in the year to come.  Two questions come up again and again in this conversation that in the past seemed to oppose each other.  What must I do to maintain my happiness as a productive, contributing artist?  What must I do to maintain my business?

This balancing act can more broadly be expressed as the desire to do the work one wants versus the understanding that there are things that accompany these efforts that might not be as interesting or fulfilling, but that seem necessary to connect one’s work to the world without and generate income.

One tremendous gain I had last year was realizing that when I use the word “should” in mind or conversation, I take away my free will, the source of creative juiciness.  When I replace the word should with could, I find that the things I do to grow and develop the business of my creative work become more enticing as I allow myself a choice in the matter.  Using the thought and phrase, “I could do this or I could not do this” allows me to slow down and saunter along in wonder, What do I really want and how do I go about creating this?  Is this thing I believe I must do really necessary?  Why do I believe it is necessary?  What else could I do to achieve a similar result that might be more fun or more in line with who I am in this process?

At times when I am faced with things I must do it is wonderful to remember, even in these instances of “have to” there is usually an option.  Oftentimes reframing a “must do” as a choice involves changing my perspective on the action or task in front of me, to remember how it is I brought myself to this place and what the task accomplishes in regards to my life’s dreams and desires.  As I go through the motions, if I focus on why, in the end, this “must do” piece of work is meaningful, then I open up to alternatives in execution that can make it more of a creative act.  Perhaps there is something stylistically that can be done that more rightly reflects my nature.  I have not been stymied yet using this approach.

What do you really want for your creative development this year?  What could you do to activate this?  Replace the word should with could to release your free will and open up to the realm of possibility.  Sometimes the results you seek can be achieved in ways you didn’t anticipate.

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